“These fights are still possible,” says former world welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman ESNews in an interview published on Friday. The now 34-year-old Floridian hasn’t fought in over a year, yet the conversation turns, as it always seems with Thurman, to Errol Spence. “I’m ready,” Thurman tells Spence directly. “I take my side and you take your side and the truth is Errol, you should thank me. If I fought you when you called me out, when you were nobody, nobody paid you. If you fight Keith Thurman today, you make more money than Keith Thurman.
As far as Thurman is concerned, big battles (and a Spence-Thurman fight would certainly still be a big fight) take time to successfully come to life. “I knew that big fights have to be built,” he says in the interview. “It’s one of those little things that fans don’t like. But big fights have to be built and I love making them as big as possible. That said, Thurman is clearly aware that the “big fight” people want to see now is an undisputed welterweight toss between WBA, IBF and WBC titlist Spence and WBO titlist Terence Crawford.
“You have to take out a Keith Thurman,” he says of Crawford. “You have to take out an Errol Spence Jr.” And what about a Crawford-Spence bankruptcy? “I like Crawford’s style,” he says ESNews. “It has more angles, it has more diversity and that could play to its advantage. He might find something others haven’t found about Spence, like the ability to attack from so many different angles, being ambidextrous, and he’s very talented on both counts.” Yet Thurman also has some kind things to say about Spence.” fundamentally solid and effective,” he says of the Texan’s style, “and he’s the bigger man, he’s a real welterweight.”
Provided a Spence-Crawford fight actually happens (and that’s no guarantee) Thurman still wants his name on people’s minds. “They can fight each other,” he says of Spence and Crawford, “what next?” Thurman clearly thinks he should be in line for the winner. “You need great fighters to make great fights,” he says, “and Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, until the day I retire, will always be one of the greatest in the welterweight division.”
Thurman may be right, but he should also prove it in the ring more often. “I need to be more active,” he admits. “I have something in the works. No matter what manifests, we’ll get this ball rolling again.