Spence on top fighters at 147: ‘Whoever ends up on top from this group, will end being a Hall of Famer’

IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is considered, by some, to be one of the best welterweights in boxing, but to be considered the best, he is going to have to beat some of the top guys in the division.

Some of those top guys include WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter, and WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman. While those guys are belt-holders at 147, there a few other names out there that are tops in the division, including Manny Pacquiao and Danny Garcia.

According to Spence(24-0, 21 KOs), who will battle four-division world champion Mikey Garcia(39-0, 30 KOs) on March 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the best at 147 need to fight each other.

“The welterweight division has always been one of the strongest divisions in the sport, and it is like that now,” Spence said on Saturday at a press conference to promote his fight with Garcia.  “We just need to fight each other. I’m ready to fight any of them. Whoever ends up on top from this group, will end being a Hall of Famer. That’s how you become an all-time great.”

Credit should go to Mikey Garcia for his willingness to fight Spence; credit should also go to Amir Khan who is stepping up to fight Crawford in April.

Sadly, the politics of boxing might prevent Top Rank’s Crawford from fighting PBC’s Thurman, Spence, and others. However, not many PBC fighters have been willing to step up and face Spence, which is why what Garcia is about to do should be applauded.

Ultimately, the top guys at 147 do need to fight each other. It’s good for the sport, and it according to Spence, it could mean a spot in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

 

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Winky Wright on Keith Thurman: ‘He’s a complete fighter'(VIDEO)

WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman returned to the ring after almost two years away from the sport and defeated Josesito Lopez by majority decision back in January, and while some were unimpressed by Thurman’s performance, Hall of Fame Winky Wright was impressed, and he thinks Thurman showed a lot of good things against Lopez.

“Listen, he fought a tough fighter as you can see,” Wright recently told goforitradio.com. “He fought a game fighter; he fought a guy that didn’t come to lay down. He came to win, and Keith showed what a lot of fighters don’t show. Keith showed yall how to move, Keith showed yall he can punch, Keith showed yall that he can take a punch… He’s a completer fighter…

“Keith is a well-rounded fighter. He can box, he can punch, he can go to the body, so I can’t wait to see him fight all these other fighters. I like Terence Crawford; I like Errol Spence, Pacquiao; I like all them fights, so that’s what the game needs, that’s what the sport needs for them fighters to fight each other.”

Wright does believe that Thurman can hold his own against some of the top names at 147, including Spence, Crawford, and Pacquiao.

“He stacks up well against anybody,” Wright said. “He can box, he can jab, he can do whatever they do. That’s one thing that he can do, and that’s punch with both hands. So, no matter what you say. You might do this or do that, but if he catches you with either one of those hands, one-time, lights are out.”

It should be interesting to see where Thurman goes after the Lopez fight. You could see the rust against Lopez, but that is expected after almost two years out of the ring.

Listen below as Wright talks Keith Thurman:

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

Malignaggi thinks Thurman should take another tune-up

Last Saturday night in Brooklyn, we saw the return of WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman after 22 months away from the ring. The 30-year-old Thurman was out dealing with injuries(elbow, hand). While Thurman was able to get by Josesito Lopez by majority decision, he was not very sharp, and quite possibly a couple of punches away from getting stopped by Lopez in the 7th-round.

However, Thurman survived, and now he moves on. What’s next for Thurman? He did talk about the possibility of fighting Manny Pacquiao, or even the winner of Shawn Porter-Yordenis Ugas, who will battle for Porter’s WBC welterweight title in March.

According to Showtime boxing analyst Paulie Malignaggi, Thurman should possibly fight another tune-up before going after the big boys at 147.

“Probably, another tune-up would work better for him,” Malignaggi said.

Listen to complete interview with Malignaggi.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

Thurman: ‘Floyd Mayweather is the best ever ‘seven-round fighter”(VIDEO)

Floyd Mayweather was a special fighter. He fought 50 times and won all 50 times. Mayweather won his fights in many different ways. Earlier in his career, he was more aggressive, while later in his career he was more defensive, but no matter what he was, Mayweather still won.

As his career went on, he had many nicknames. He started as “Pretty Boy Floyd,” which turned to “Money Mayweather,” and finally ended with “TBE”(The Best Ever). No matter the nickname, he found a way to win 7 or more rounds, which is why the current WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman calls him the greatest “seven-round fighter” of all-time.

“I had to ponder on this,” Thurman said after his victory over Josesito Lopez on Saturday night. “Obviously, watch some film, and watched his fights live, and I said to myself, ‘you know what?’ I never said it out loud to all of you, but I will today. Floyd Mayweather is the best ever “seven-round fighter,” and with hard work, determination, grit, and the will to win. He never, including when he let Marcos Maidana, fight Marcos Maidana’s fight. He never let a human being get more than five rounds in a 12-round fight. He made sure that he was the best “seven-round fighter” ever, and that’s one of the reasons why he was able to remain undefeated.”

Interesting thoughts from Thurman, and depending on who you talk to, Mayweather may or may not be TBE, but you can’t deny his greatness and his ability to win seven rounds or more.

Listen below as Thurman talks Mayweather:

Thurman: ‘I’m ready to fight wherever Pacquiao wants it’

WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman returned to the ring and defended his title with a majority decision victory over veteran contender Josesito Lopez Saturday night in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

In his first fight in 22-months after elbow and hand injuries, Thurman started fast, landing a clean left hook on an exchange that put Lopez on the canvas with 15 seconds left in the second round. Thurman continued to move effectively and pick out power shots to Lopez’s head.

“My hand took some contact tonight,” said Thurman. “Lopez had a tough head but we held out strong. I said you wouldn’t see the best Keith Thurman tonight, but you’d still see a world class performance, and I gave you that tonight.”

Lopez tried to crowd the space, attack the body and then use his length to surprise Thurman with power shots. In round seven, Lopez connected with a straight right hand that hit Thurman cleanly and had him immediately in retreat mode.

“He had me buzzed and shaken up in the seventh round, but I tried to stay on the outside,” said Thurman. “I was a little off in my prediction of how long his arms were. He lunged in and was really willing to commit to the knockout.”

“I definitely thought I held my own in that fight,” said Lopez. “I had him hurt in the seventh round and I was landing a lot of clean shots on him.”

Lopez poured it on throughout the seventh round, but Thurman was able to do enough to survive the round. Lopez continued to come forward in the ensuing rounds, but Thurman was careful to continue his circular movement, while also landing big power shots to the head.

“I was disappointed I couldn’t finish him and get him out of there,” said Lopez. “If he thinks he’s the best welterweight out there, then I want two through five lined up for me.”

Thurman ended the fight landing 247 punches to 117 from Lopez, and held the advantage in accuracy by landing over 27 percent of his punches to 23 percent from Lopez. Lopez’s increased activity in the closing rounds helped him narrow the deficit on the scorecard, but in the end, the majority decision went to Thurman by scores of 117-109, 115-11 and 113-113.

The victory sets up Thurman for many possible marquee matchups against top welterweights, including eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao.

“I would most likely definitely take the Manny Pacquiao fight this year,” said Thurman. “I feel good. That was a beautiful fight. I’m ready to fight wherever Pacquiao wants it. Either way, I will be back later this year. Believe that.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Thurman: ‘I’m definitely interested in a big unification fight with Errol Spence Jr.’

As fight week begins for the first Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes event of 2019, WBA welterweight world champion Keith Thurman and veteran contender Josesito López took part in a media workout at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn on Wednesday before they headline action this Saturday, January 26 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING.

Due to injury, Thurman has been out of the ring for nearly two years after beating Danny Garcia to win the WBC welterweight title in March 2017. Ultimately, he would vacate the WBC belt, but now he’s back and ready take over the division.

“When I’m outside of the ring, I’m not the jealous type watching other people perform,” Thurman said. “But I feel better when I’m here living out my dream. These past weeks, I have just felt so good. I feel fantastic and ready to perform. I’m going to be an active fighter and one of the best welterweights in the world today.

“My ranking, my ‘0’ and my accomplishments haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve been out of sight and out of mind for a little, but I’m back now. You can’t block a star from shining. We’re in the galaxy and shining bright.”

Some believe the 30-year-old Thurman is a little reluctant to get in the ring with IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., including Spence himself, who said this about fighting Thurman in December after Thurman noted recently, that he was looking to fight Spence in 2020.

“Man, I mess around and don’t even fight him,” Spence said about Thurman back in December. “I probably won’t even fight him. Man, I honestly can’t wait that long, and he might get injured again, especially if I look good, and start stopping more people. He’ll probably get injured or hurt, or something crazy.”

However, on Wednesday, Thurman made it clear that he is more than willing to fight Spence.

“I’m definitely interested in a big unification fight with Errol Spence Jr,” Thurman said. “When I first met Errol at MGM Grand years ago, I told him that it’s nice to meet him and I can’t wait to get in there and scrap it out. I’m humble, but I’m also honest. I’m a man of my word. It doesn’t matter how many years ago that I said it, but from that day to this day, it’s a true statement.”

I guess we’ll have to see if Thurman will be a man of his word and fight Spence at some point in the future.

Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features additional participants from Wednesday’s workout including rising Polish heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki and former title challenger Gerald Washington, who meet in a 10-round attraction, and hard-hitting featherweights Claudio Marrero and Tugstsogt Nyambayar, who meet in a 12-round showdown.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Thurman: ‘People will see one of the best welterweights in the world on January 26’

Welterweight world champion Keith “One Time” Thurman discussed his anticipated return to the ring as he nears his showdown against Josesito Lopez that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, January 26 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.

PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes action begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features unbeaten Polish heavyweight Adam Kownacki battling former title challenger Gerald Washington, plus unbeaten featherweight contender Tugstsogt Nyambayar taking on hard-hitting Claudio Marrero in a 12-round bout.

Thurman will return to action on January 26 from a long injury layoff after his most recent fight saw him unify welterweight titles by defeating Danny Garcia in March 2017 at Barclays Center. Here is what Thurman had to say about his return, Josesito Lopez and more from his training camp at the St. Pete Boxing Club in St. Petersburg, Florida:

How has training camp been going? Have there been any adjustments because of the injury?

“Training camp has been going well. It was a little bit of a slow start after so many months out of the ring, but I’m feeling great as we get closer to the fight. I’m starting to feel more and more like a world-class athlete again. It’s a good feeling working this hard and it reminds me what it’ll take to continue being the champion.”

Do you anticipate any ring rust? Do you think it will be more difficult to feel like yourself physically in the ring, or mentally trusting the injury is healed?

“I don’t think ring rust will be an issue. The only thing that even if this may not be the best Keith Thurman that people have ever seen, we’re focused on getting better and much stronger with each fight. But make no mistake, people will see one of the best welterweights in the world on January 26 at Barclays Center.”

When did you start to feel like you were turning the corner physically? Were you ever worried you wouldn’t be healthy enough to fight?

“You always have to be a little worried about new injuries. There’s nothing wrong with your car until the day it decides to break down. So at the end of the day, it’s always in the back of my mind. I run a lot of miles, so I wonder about my knees. I wonder about my shoulders also. Athletes and their bodies go through a lot of things. But here I go getting right back into things and I’m totally ready to showcase my talents on January 26.”

What kind of challenges does Josesito pose? What makes him a difficult opponent for you coming off a layoff?

“Josesito is experienced. He’s a busy fighter with good reach. He likes to mix it up and force his opponents to fight. He also has a new coach in Robert Garcia now, and I know he has a lot of confidence in his abilities. Josesito has been through ups and downs in his career, but he’s back on an upswing at the moment. Then he pinpointed me and called me out. So I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

What are you looking to show in this fight? How do you control your emotions and make sure you don’t press too much?

“I’m going to show my versatility in the ring. I’m going to show Josesito what it’s like to be in the ring with me. He might think it’s just all about my power, but I’ll show him what none of his sparring partners could. I’m going to show everyone the full package of skills I bring and enjoy every second of it.”

How do you see this fight looking stylistically?

“I like to let my opponent show me how the fight is going to go. I’ve thought many times that my opponents would do something specific, but then they do something totally different in the moment.

“I’m just prepared for any version of Josesito. I’m ready for him to come at me with punches in bunches, but I’m also ready if he wants to try box more and work behind his jab. I don’t think there’s anything that he’s going to do that I won’t be able to dominate. I’m going to move, trade on the inside, whatever it takes and we’ll see which road to victory looks the easiest.”

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

 

 

 

 

 

Spence thinks Keith Thurman will try to avoid him(VIDEO)

We have been waiting for two of the biggest names at 147, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBA champion Keith Thurman to battle it out in the ring. Well, we might have to wait a little longer.  Unfortunately, according to Thurman, he is not looking to fight Spence until 2020, which means we may have to wait a whole year for that fight to happen.

Here is how Spence reacted to that news:

“Man, I mess around and don’t even fight him,” Spence recently said on Thurman. “I probably won’t even fight him. Man, I honestly can’t wait that long, and he might get injured again, especially if I look good, and start stopping more people. He’ll probably get injured or hurt, or something crazy.”

Thurman, who has been out almost two years due to injury, will make his long-awaited return on January 26 against Josesito Lopez, while Spence will battle Mikey Garcia on March 16, and if all goes well, maybe at some point we’ll see Spence-Thurman.

I don’t think Thurman is scared. He has fought and beaten some of the top guys at 147, including Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.

Here is what I think Thurman’s plan will be:

He is going to try to beat Lopez, rematch WBC champ Shawn Porter(if he beats Ugas) in a unification fight, and then fight Spence(if he beats Garcia and others) sometime in 2020. At least, that’s what I think his plan will be.

Listen to Spence below:

 

Thurman: ‘The best fights in the welterweight division have involved Keith Thurman and that will continue to be the case’

WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman will make his long-awaited return to the ring when he battles Josesito Lopez on January 26 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The 30-year-old Thurman has missed close to two years of action due to elbow and hand injuries. The last time we saw Thurman was in March 2017 when he beat Danny Garcia to capture the WBC welterweight title. Ultimately, due to injury, Thurman vacated the WBC strap.

Having missed close to two years, Thurman is very excited to get back in the ring and knock off some rust against Lopez.

“I’m extremely excited to step back into the ring,” said Thurman. “It’s a little nerve-wracking considering the time off and because I want to have a tremendous performance. I want to speak more with my hands more than my words and quiet the naysayers who think that Keith Thurman has lost his passion and skills in boxing.

“I believe I’m the best welterweight in the division and in the world and I hope to showcase that on January 26 with a knockout. The best fights in the welterweight division have involved Keith Thurman, and that will continue to be the case. I’m looking forward to having a tremendous year and showing why I’m number one.”

If he beats Lopez in January, many of the big fights at 147 will involve Thurman, and if Thurman is right, he’s still one of the best welterweights in the world. He holds victories over Garcia and WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter.

The two other champions at 147, who are signed to Al Haymon and PBC are Porter and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Both Spence and Porter have fights lined up in 2019. If they all handle their business, we will probably see Thurman against either Spence or Porter sometime in 2019.

 

Keith Thurman returns January 26 against Josesito Lopez

Undefeated WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) ends a long injury layoff to defend his title and starts to reclaim the division against battle-hardened veteran Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs). The last time we saw Thurman was in March 2017 when he beat Danny Garcia to unify the welterweight title.
Also that evening, Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs), one of the fastest rising stars in the heavyweight division, takes on his toughest challenge to date when he steps in against U.S. Navy veteran and USC football standout Gerald Washington (19-2-1, 12 KOs).