The year 2017 was quiet for WBA/WBC Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman following his title unification win against Danny Garcia back in March. Elbow surgery following the bout kept Garcia on the shelf for most of this year, but he’s preparing for a return to the ring in 2018.
Current rumors say that Garcia will defend his welterweight titles against Jessie Vargas sometime in April. However, there have been calls for Thurman to face off against either WBC mandatory challenger Shawn Porter and IBF Champion Errol Spence Jr.
But Thurman is not interested in fighting either of the two yet, especially not Spence.
“Honestly, people can say what they want to say. I’m not going to fight [Spence] right now. I wouldn’t fight him right now. I’m not gonna fight Shawn Porter, I wouldn’t rematch Danny Garcia, I wouldn’t fight any of those guys right now. There’s no point. If I do have a mandatory around the corner, it just pushes things back.
“I know boxing! I know boxing. The fans can say whatever they want to say, but I just know how this sport works and how the business works. Plus, as much as I respect Errol Spence, he’s still a young, fresh champion. It’s not gonna hurt him by having a few title defenses, me getting back into the ring, doing what I want to do, before we see each other.”
Thurman further states that between Porter and Spence, Porter may be in line first for a shot at him due to his mandatory challenger status, furthering the chance of a showdown between Thurman and Spence sooner.
“I just have a feeling it’s gonna be mandated, because he’s holding on to that mandated position. The WBC, I just won it, but because of my injury, they’ve yet to mandate anything. As soon as I get active, they might possibly try to give me a deadline. But we’ll see. I haven’t come across that yet.”
Thurman adds that a fight between him and Spence not happening right away could be beneficial. According to Thurman, a couple of bouts before Spence will help him get back into prime condition after injury, while title defenses under Spence’s belt would make him look more like a legitimate threat and make the bout even bigger.
Spence is scheduled to defend his IBF title against Lamont Peterson on January 20 in Brooklyn, New York.
“Errol Spence has never fought a fighter like me. Nobody in the world has ever fought a fighter like me. I’m just unique and versatile in the ring. I believe I’ve shown it on several occasions. But I don’t mind keep showing it each and every time I step in the ring.”