Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he expects the July 29th welterweight championship fight between Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford to be a chess match in the first three rounds before turning into what could be a Marvin Hagler vs. Tommy Hearns-type shootout.
The former welterweight champion Thurman notes that Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) has never fought a welterweight with power that has tested his chin.
Although Crawford did fight Kell Brook, he was past his prime when they fought and not the am guy he’d once been.
Thurman says Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) has never fought a boxer/puncher like Crawford before during his career, so this will be a first for him. We don’t know how Spence will react when dealing with the skills of Crawford, a counterpunch that likes to change stances.
The age and inactivity of both fighters make it difficult to predict a winner because Spence & Crawford’s careers have dramatically slowed since 2020.
The 33-year-old Spence hasn’t fought since April of last year in his grueling war against Yordenis Ugas. We don’t know how much that fight took out of him or how the long 15-month layoff will affect him.
This fight would have been a lot more interesting if it had taken place in 2018 or 2019 when Spence & Crawford were younger and fighting twice a year. Unfortunateely, it never happened, and it’s disappointing that they waited until they were on the downside and their popularity not what it once was.
Spence-Crawford will be chess match early
“Spence, this might be his last hoorah because he’s going to feel like he accomplished everything,” said Keith Thurman to Fight Hub TV. “It’s still a big fight for me. If I have to chase big names at 154, I’m that guy. I’m willing to do it.
“We’ve seen both of these fighters start off slow. So we could see a bit of a chess match for three rounds and then going into the fourth round, where one of them will try and implement some dominance,” said Thurman about the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fight.
“I think it’s important for one of them to control the pace and the rhythm and sneak some punches in. So who is going to touch who first? How much of it is going to be a scoring match and how much of it is ‘I’m the bigger, badder man’ kind of event.
“They say it has the potential of being a Hagler-Hearns, and we know what that means. We don’t see that ever in boxing today because the #1 rule, the golden rule. Protect yourself at all times.
“This is the top pinnacle of boxing. We’re going to see everything. Ring generalship, great defense, and great offense, and we’re going to see which one of the two is the better man.
“It’s hard not to like Crawford. That’s something we’ve never seen Spence fight. That’s a puncher/boxer. There’s a style that Crawford & Thurman bring to the table that Spence has never had presented to him in his professional career.
“Spence may not be fancy, but he’s been holding it down, and he’s the truth. The truth is, he’s not easy to beat; he’s never been easy to beat, and no matter how much you like Crawford, it might not be an easy match. It might be the toughest match of his career.
Crawford facing first big puncher
“Spence is the biggest guy. Crawford has never been hit by a true welterweight. I know he fought Porter, but the way Porter has been fighting during his career since I knew him in the amateurs. To be a 12 round fighter, he took away the exertion of being a one-punch knockout artist.
“These are some powerful punches coming from the bigger, stronger man. I know that neither one of them have gotten their chin clipped. I’m just waiting to see who hits who first. They’re both defensive, but they’re not perfect.
“This is a game of inches. These are minute details that separate these great fighters.
“I love the welterweight division, and I’ll stay there as long as I can, as long as my diet and my regimen, I know how to scale down my body mass to hit that weight comfortably. For the right fight at the right time at 154, no problem. I’ll sign.
“You make a great fight happen, you move up. I think [Erislandy] Lara is a little bit too big for him, but he’s at the last stretch of his career,” Thurman reacting to being told that Danny Garcia is going up to 160 to fight Erislandy Lara.
“It’s a height thing. Once you go up, the average height goes up and I’m climbing trees. Six-footers, I’m messing with these boys, and that’s just an average. I’m willing to do what I need to for mee to make great fights happen,” said Thurman.