Errol Spence Jr. is repaying Keith Thurman for when the latter was on top of the welterweight mountain.
When Thurman was the WBA (super) and WBC champion, he avoided the up-and-coming Spence. Now that Spence is the IBF and WBC belt holder, he's calling the shots and doesn't want anything to do with Thurman.
“Man, I don’t want anything to do with Keith Thurman," Spence said ahead of his Aug. 21 fight with Manny Pacquiao. "That ship has sailed. That ship's been gone. I don’t want anything to do with that man. He’s messing with me. He’s still a good fighter. He could still fight. I don’t really have any interest in it ... He can fight [Yordenis] Ugas (WBA titlist). He ain't going to get into a fight with me … It’s just how he is. He’s just a cornball to me. I just can’t stand him.”
Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has only competed two times in the last four years due to a litany of injuries, a lackluster win over Josesito Lopez in January 2019 and split-decision loss to Pacquiao in July 2019, which Thurman was sent to the canvas in the opening round. However, despite Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) dismissing him, the former unified 147-pound champion believes sooner or later, he and Spence will lock horns.
“The weather changes. Sometimes it’s sunny, sometimes it’s rainy and cloudy,” Thurman said to Boxing Scene. “Humans are very emotional. I think there’s going to be a time and a place, and I think that time and place are going to come soon [for us to fight]. If he keeps denying that this match-up is one of the greatest match-ups that boxing can have right here and right now -- young, athletic, in their prime fighters -- I want the fight. This was supposed to be my fight. I wanted to beat Manny Pacquiao then fight Errol Spence. Because of my loss, this is the matchup that has manifested. Because I dropped the ball [in the Pacquiao loss], he doesn’t have to see me today. Does he not ever have to see me ever? We’ll see.”
With Spence leading the pack, the narrative is he's boxing Thurman out for what "One Time" did to him in the past. Thurman admits he didn't want to face Spence at the time and thinks it would be absurd if Spence is doing it to him because of their current statures in the sport.
“You would have gotten paid pebbles, and now you’re going to get paid a big gold chest," Thurman said. "The value of Keith Thurman, the value of Errol Spence, and the world recognition of who Keith Thurman and Errol Spence is are bigger than ever. So the fight would be bigger than ever today than it ever would have been yesterday. [Don’t] be upset at me for being in a politically powerful position and not taking that step. Who Keith Thurman is is not an up-and-comer who doesn’t hold a lot of value. So to devalue who I am at this moment doesn’t make sense.
“When I devalued [Spence], [his] value was devalued, and that’s me being honest. [Errol is] ‘The Truth,’ [who] made it to this point, and we are all proud of you, and we’re all big fans ...I’ve watched so many of your fights. You’re a talented young man. See me. See me. It’s going to happen.”