‘Why do I got to wait so long?’ ⋆ Boxing News 24
By Max Schramm: Terence Crawford is disappointed with former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman saying he needs eight months before he’ll be ready to fight for a world title in 2022.
WBO 147-lb champion Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) wonders why Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) needs so much time to get ready for a world title fight against him.
Of course, from the 33-year-old Thurman’s perspective, he’ll have been out of the ring for almost three years when he makes his comeback in 2022, and that’s a long time for a fighter to be inactive.
It’s implausible that Crawford, 33, would immediately jump into a world title fight if he’d been out of the ring for three solid years.
Crawford says Thurman lacks confidence
“Why do I got to wait so long?” said Crawford to the Porter Way Podcast when told that Keith Thurman wants to wait eight months before he’s ready to fight him.
“That just shows that he doesn’t believe in himself like he needs to,” said Crawford about Thurman needing a tune-up before challenging him for his WBO title.
It’s obvious why Crawford has got to wait before fighting Thurman. ‘One Time’ Thurman isn’t crazy enough to go straight into a fight with Crawford after three years out of the ring and fighting at roughly 60% capacity.
It would be suitable for Crawford if Thurman fought him immediately in his first fight back, but that would be foolish.
If Thurman wasn’t as famous as he is, Crawford could give him a take it or level it ultimatum by letting him know that he must take the fight with him now or else he’ll never give him a shot.
The 34-year-old Crawford can’t afford to do that because he has poor options for big-money fights at 147, and he’s also getting older.
Crawford needs to fight a beatable guy like Thurman because if he waits much longer, the WBO will make Jaron Ennis or Vergil Ortiz Jr. his mandatory.
Those guys will likely beat Crawford. With the way Crawford struggled against the gatekeeper Shawn Porter last Saturday night, he’s not going to beat Ennis or Ortiz Jr.
Thurman targeting Crawford or Spence
“I think if I maintain my body properly, it will be enough just because I’m still right in the prime of my career,” said Thurman to PBC Podcast when asked if one tune-up will be enough for him to prepare for a world title shot against Crawford.
“Both are great,” said Thurman when asked which welterweight champion between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford he would prefer to face. “Whoever would give me the opportunity.
“I know Bud Crawford was mentioning me in his interviews up to the Shawn [Porter] fight. Post-fight, he didn’t say my name. I get your code because you’re tired of saying my name because there haven’t been that many responses.
“I’ve been a family man, and I’ve been keeping it tight with Covid and keeping it homebound in Florida. I would love a Crawford fight because he’s trying to mix it up more with PBC guys.
“I would love a Spence fight. That’s been in the works for a long time coming. It was always my ideal plan to get past Manny Pacquiao and get ready to unify with Errol Spence.
“I know for a fact that certain fighters DON’T have an interest in Keith Thurman because Keith Thurman isn’t the undefeated champion that he once was. But I will remind people who I am and what I do when I get back in the ring,” Thurman said.
There’s only one real option for Thurman, and that’s Crawford. Spence will likely face Yordenis Ugas if he still has the WBA title in his possession when the smoke clears from the WBA’s four-fighter tournament.
Crawford wants to fight Thurman, but he was hoping to face him next rather than wait until the second half of 2022.
‘One Time’ wants a ‘Big fish”
“Hopefully, we can create enough buzz to get these big fish to take a bite because none of these young guys didn’t beat me,” continued Thurman. “Shawn Porter didn’t beat me, Danny [Garcia] didn’t beat me. None of these guys beat me.
“I was only beaten by one veteran, a champion of champions, a Hall of Famer. Once I get back in action, I know the fans are going to support, and the fans have been waiting for a long time.
“I still believe all the best fights are Thurman fights. Thurman vs. Crawford, Thurman vs. Spence, Thurman vs. everybody. I feel we have the potential to entertain.
“I feel like due to styles and match-ups, I make a great fight. Similar to Shawn Porter, but with more boxing and more methodical approaches and really what I intend on doing and what I’m focusing on is making the adjustments.
“Even though it’s one loss on my record, I currently don’t hold a world title. That might make Spence want an Ugas more than a Thurman,” said ‘One Time’ Thurman.
The only big fish that Thurman can fight is Crawford or Yordenis Ugas, as far as world champions at a welterweight go.
Spence has already made it clear that he’s not going to fight Thurman, even though it would be a fantastic match-up for him.
Errol is still bitter about being shut out by Thurman earlier when he wanted to face him.
Keith believes one tune-up is enough
“I believe my body has muscle memory, and all I have to do is remind it what its job is,” continued Thurman.
“Of course, I don’t think it would hurt to do two fights and then take a big welterweight battle in October or November at the end of 2022. I don’t think that would hurt me.
“I like great fights, though,” said Thurman on why he only wants ONE tune-up. “This isn’t the amateurs no more. I’m here for the legacy, I’m here for the ride, I’m here for the rollercoaster, and I’m here for the entertainment and the highs and the lows.
“I believe if I focus and truly dedicate myself, we can make it happen. And I feel strong.
“I was feeling a little slow due to the weight that I was holding onto,” said Thurman. “Now that I’m dialed in on the diet, I’ve been able to drop some pounds, and I feel like I’m walking faster
“Week after week after week, that champion shows up again, and I end up being that dominant factor every single day. That’s what we’re trying to get back to,” said Thurman.
As long as Thurman’s tune-up fight is against a quality welterweight and he looks good in winning, there’s nothing wrong with him from going straight into a world title match against Crawford after that.
If Thurman’s tune-up is going to be against a second-tier opponent with little talent, he’s going to need more than one fight to get him ready for Crawford. Thurman needs one of these contenders to get him prepared for Crawford:
- Conor Benn
- Jaron Ennis
- David Avanesyan
- Eimantas Stanionis
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Kudratillo Abdukakhorov