WBA World welterweight champion Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KO’s) is saying ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ to Floyd Mayweather Jr’s proposal to face unbeaten No. 8 ranked WBA contender Errol Spence Jr. (17-0, 14 KO’s) on the pound-for-pound king’s September 12th undercard at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Ken Porter, the father and trainer of former IBF World welterweight champion Shawn Porter, told Tha Boxing Voice exclusively on Friday, June 19, that they were not interesting in fighting Spence.
Porter is one of many who is vying to fight Mayweather in what is supposed to be his final fight in September.
Errol Spence is the Dillian Whyte of the heavyweight division. Tyson Fury wants nothing to do with Whyte because he has a legitimate shot at fighting Wladimir Klitschko. If he takes a fight with Whyte and loses, his shot at the big money fight is over, so he’s a smart cookie.
Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are in the same position. However, it’s unlikely Thurman will get a shot at Mayweather because his next fight is against Luis Collazo on July 11 in Tampa. I think the only way he gets a shot at Mayweather, is if he extends his career to possibly May 2016.
Porter has the most realistic shot because he’s coming off a decisive victory against who many considered to be Mayweather’s protégé, Adrien Broner.
After a defeat to Marcos Maidana in December 2013, Broner appears that he hasn’t even attempted to be the best fighter he can be. He’s just going through the motions, and there are rumblings in the rumor mill that his tenure with PBC/NBC could be in jeopardy.
From a personal standpoint, I think Spence is a great fighter; he’s got a lot of potential, but he’s being pushed a little too quick for my liking. The last thing we want to see is a fine talent like Spence turn into exactly what Adrien Broner is right now, irrelevant.
Speaking with 78SportsTV, Thurman criticized Mayweather for trying to make him fight Spence.
“Floyd ain’t no matchmaker. He was trying to promote AB [Broner], and now he’s trying to promote Errol Spence.
“One, he [Spence] doesn’t deserve the fight. Two, he isn’t right. Three, he hasn’t even fought a B-class fighter. They’re trying to push him to the top. They’re trying to push him into the baddest welterweight in the welterweight division. Believe me, Errol Spence can get ‘One Time’ all the time. I look forward to the boy’s progression. He needs to progress.”
To be fair, Keith Thurman hasn’t fought the best either. He fought a Carlos Quintana that was already broken down by tough defeats against the likes of Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams, and Andre Berto.
It’s the same case with Jan Zaveck – he was stopped by Berto as well – and Thurman went on to beat him via one-sided unanimous decision. I give Thurman full credit for beating Diego Chaves because it was a matchup against two undefeated guys really hungry to prove who the best is.
However, Jesus Soto Karass, Julio Diaz, Leonard Bundu, Robert Guerrero, those guys just aren’t marquee enough.
This past weekend at the MGM Grand, Thurman spoke about the advantages of having a common opponent with another fighter with Nestor Gibbs of Tha Boxing Voice.
“I do know that this a common opponent with Amir Khan. It was very nice to have a common opponent with Floyd Mayweather in my last fight. That is one way to get your foot in the door to make certain fights happen is by two fighters having a common opponent.”
Speaking of Andre Berto, what about a fight against him? If common opponents are so important, offer him a fight. After all, he is the No. 1 ranked WBA contender.
On the other hand, having a common opponent doesn’t always work your way. Floyd Mayweather struggled against Jose Luis Castillo in the first fight, many thought he lost, but he got the decision. In the second fight, he dominated from start to finish.
Ricky Hatton knocked out Castillo early with a vicious body punch, and we all know what happened to Hatton when he fought Mayweather in December 2007. It wasn’t close.
Everyone in the welterweight division needs to step up, and that includes Mayweather.
If he wants to end his career with a bang like he says he will, we may get a surprise that no one else in the boxing world expected.