Errol Spence Jr has long vowed that he’d never fight Keith Thurman after the latter refused to give him a title shot in the aughts, and while it looks like he’ll be going back on that progress, he at least won’t have his belts on the line.
Mike Coppinger reports at ESPN.com that the pair are “finalizing a deal” to meet in April at 154 lbs.
Per Coppinger, the WBA’s Gilberto Mendoza “granted Spence a special permit” to venture upwards with the caveat that he must either come to terms with Terence Crawford within 60 days of the fight or take on the winner of Eimantas Stanionis vs Vergil Ortiz Jr.
Mendoza’s not the one I’m curious about, though; that would be WBC head honcho Mauricio Sulaiman, who’d previously ordered Spence (28-0, 22 KO) to defend his welterweight title(s) against “One Time” (30-1, 22 KO). I know the man plays favorites like few others, but this seems excessive even for him.
Whatever the case, the fight’s got its merits. Thurman’s inactivity belies genuine skills, and while he’s had his share of close shaves, nobody’s yet managed to genuinely dominate him. Stopping Thurman, or even just winning a wide decision, would still be a feather in Spence’s cap.