Keith Thurman Denies Ducking Errol Spence Jr
Long before boxing heads were calling for a clash between Terence “Bud” Crawford (36-0, 27 KO’s) and Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KO’s), they wanted to see Spence face Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s). At the inception of this would-be bout, Thurman was the WBA welterweight champion and widely thought to be the king of the welterweight landscape. Initially, Thurman felt as if Spence had not done enough in the division to warrant a title shot, so he largely snubbed Spence.
Yet, as time went on, a notable shift in power and perspective took place. For Thurman, his career was greatly stagnated by injuries, which kept him away from the sport. One Time would go on to only fight one time in both 2016 and 2017 and not at all in 2018. Yet, while Thurman was losing momentum, Spence was gaining steam in an awful hurry.
In 2017, Spence would travel overseas to defeat IBF world welterweight champion Kell “The Special One” Brook (39-2, 27 KO’s) in his own Sheffield backyard. Since usurping the IBF title, many believe that now Spence is the man to beat to be crowned top dog of the 147lbs division.
IT AIN’T MY FAULT!
As the unrealized rivalry between Thurman and Spence has raged, both men have been asked about the other countless times. In fact, there came a period where whenever questioned about The Truth, Thurman visibly would become annoyed and agitated. Also, hearing large chunks of both fans and media members calling One Time a duck became commonplace.
On the one hand, the Floridian was tired of being accused of avoiding Spence. However, at the same time, he didn’t make any effort to make a fight. Nor did he show any sign that he even wanted the fight.
Now, in an exclusive interview with Fight Hype, One Time is doubling down on his claim that he has never ducked Spence. To support his words, Thurman points to the simple fact he has never been officially offered the fight.
“I’ve never avoided Spence, I’ve never seen a contract, I’ve never legitimately been offered. He can say what he wants to say after each and every fight, he’s never went to Al Haymon and said, ‘Al, write up the dang contract, show it to me and show it to Keith.’ Because when I asked for Danny, I got Danny. When I asked for Shawn, I got Shawn.
And I only called one man, his name is Al Haymon. I didn’t do a lot, I didn’t get on Twitter. I didn’t have to talk to you, I didn’t have to talk to other outlets, that’s what I tell people. When people want to fight, they can pretty much get the fight or at least request the fight and then if the fight was requested and I said no, then that’s a duck, then that would be a dodge.”
REAL TALK OR SMOKE SCREEN?
While it may be true that a formal contract was not sent, many will say this is just making another excuse. With the first counter being, ‘why didn’t Thurman himself request a contract be drawn up?’ One Time could have just as easily have called up Al as could Spence.
Furthermore, at the moment Spence is now a unified champion, which gives Thurman more incentive to face Spence than for the Truth to want One Time. So, if underneath it all Thurman really does want a fight with Spence, why not call Al Haymon now and follow his own advice?
By: Bakari Simpson