Keith Thurman Says Fighting Jaron Ennis Is a Contract Away!
Even in the twilight of his career, one-time welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (30-1, 22 KO’s) remains a formidable force in the division. Minus his WBA strap however, which he lost to boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, he is finding it extremely difficult to pen the matches that he wants. The Floridian has made it very clear that he wants to challenge the best and become a champion once again.
Sadly for him though, champions Terrence Crawford (WBO) and Errol Spence Jr (WBA, IBF and WBC) have shown very little interest. In fact, Spence has all but vowed never to face Thurman. Obviously this places One Time in a very handicapped position in terms of obtaining his goals. Thankfully though, there are a number of other high profile adversaries for him to face. Yet, this is where it appears that One Time is his own worst enemy.
LOW MAN ON THE TOTEM POLE
While Thurman may feel that he is still among the crème of the crop, his fellow fighters are not treating him as such. Here is where a prudent person would become a bit more proactive in making things happen. In terms of Thurman, he could easily pen matches with red hot fighters such as Jaron “Boots” Ennis (29-0, 27 KO’s) or Vergil Ortiz Jr (19-0, 19 KO’s). Each of these athletes holds a tremendous buzz and infinite future potential.
Both of them currently outrank One Time, who hold the standings of #3 (WBA), #3 (WBO), #3 (WBC) and #6 (IBF). Ennis is #1 (IBF), #2 (WBA), #2 (WBO) and #4 (WBC), while Ortiz stands at #1 (WBA), #1 (WBO), #1 (WBC) and #3 (IBF). Despite the interest that fans have, and their superior standings, One Time is adamant that these fights are somewhat beneath him.
BUT WHY NOT?!
Actually this is where things get somewhat confusing. On the one hand, Thurman insists that both Ortiz and Ennis are great fighters. Yet at the same time he maintains this attitude that they must come to him to request a fight. According to One Time, if presented with a contract, he would sign in a hurry. Oddly though, as he expressed on The Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer, in his mind this is a one-way street where Ennis and Ortiz must come to him with the necessary paperwork.
“That’s just how this game is. If there is a phone call tomorrow and it comes with a date, it comes with a time, it comes with a pay check and the name attached to it is Boots Ennis, then so be it! Because the one thing Keith Thurman has always been is a Yes Man […] see, people talk that but they don’t want to come send me a real legitimate contract. Send me a real legitimate contract and see how long it takes for me to send it back to you!”
This quizzical logic just may get his slim window of opportunity to become a champion again slammed in his face! The logical question remains: if Thurman is willing to accept fights with these guys, why is he so opposed to presenting them with fight proposals? In fact, if he beat Vergil Ortiz, for example, he’d very likely usurp his standings and then would be in a mandatory position for both Spence and Crawford. So, if he won’t challenge Ennis or Ortiz, who he feels he can beat, then who is he going to fight next? And why? Let’s just hope that Thurman doesn’t squander his remaining fighting vigor being too proud for his own good.
By: Bakari Simpson