Thurman Plans Two 2018 Fights, None With Spence

At Wednesday’s Showtime “2018 Boxing Upfront” event, Keith Thurman made it clear that this would be the closest Errol Spence Jr. gets to him in 2019

Following the event, Thurman once again made it clear that he has no intention of fighting Spence this year, even though Spence views Thurman as the opponent he wants most.

Thurman returns from elbow surgery on Showtime will be against undetermined opponent May 19th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Thurman expects one more fight in 2018, and is sure that it won’t be against Spence.

“You’re not gonna see it [in] ’18, baby,” Thurman said. “This is a get-back year. This is a get-back year. You’re not gonna be able to see it.”

Spence had a dominant first title defense when he stopped Lamont Peterson on Saturday night at Barclays Center for his IBF welterweight title for the first time, will fight again June 16 at an undetermined venue in Dallas.

Spence’s rumored opponent is undefeated Carlos Ocampo, but if Spence is successful he will search for a third fight in 2018.t.

“I believe Errol Spence is a great champion, but he can defend the title that he just acquired, he can defend that another time this year,” Thurman said. “I’m gonna defend [the WBA and WBC titles] this year. After that, I can expand – because I just became the unified champion, correct? I just became unified. He just became champion, with his first title defense. I’ve yet to defend my unification. And I’m gonna be defending it after the injury. So this is all the get-back year. I hope later this year we can do an exciting fight for you. But it will not be EJ. EJ is to come in the near future, but not that soon.”

The 29-year-old Thurman made it clear that he is not ducking competition, as he would search for a rematch against Shawn Porter or Danny Garcia if he wins his return fight in April.

Thurman was last seen defeating Garcia in a unification fight 10 months ago, and has since underwent elbow surgery.

“So in 2018, we’re coming back, we’re holding our position,” Thurman said. “We can possibly have a big fight – arguably the Shawn Porter rematch, arguably there’s enough drama to do a Danny Garcia rematch. I don’t know what’s gonna happen later this year. I know I’m gonna be fighting May 19th.

“I know I’m gonna be getting back into action. I want something big to happen later, but Errol Spence and expanding outside of this unification and into another unification just is not gonna happen this year. I know that. The fans might not understand that, but that’s just the way it is.”

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