By Chris Williams: WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman confirmed on Wednesday that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is the next IBF/WBA/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr to match his three belts.
This means that Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) will need to face ‘One Time’ Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) next if he wants to retain the WBC 147-lb title.
Of course, when you’re talking about the 33-year-old Thurman, you can’t rule out the chance to fight Spence because of injury or obesity.
If Spence chooses not to face Thurman, he is looking at a more difficult fight against IBF champion Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis. This fight on paper is more of a problem for Spence than the aging of ‘One Time’ Thurman or WBO champion Terence Crawford.
“No, the WBC is mandatory next. Thurman is the #1 contenderbut everything is to be seen in [WBC] event,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Fighthype when asked if Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is the next IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
“I believe Ennis is a must for the IBF,” said Sulaiman.
With Spence facing a decision between defense and Thurman or Boots Ennis, the logical choice is to take one time.
With that said, Spence could always go back to 154, but there aren’t many people for him to fight at that weight other than Jermell Charlo, Sebastian Fundora, and Tim Tszyu.
Although Thurman has been pushing for a fight against Spence last year, the former ‘One Time’ has been quiet with the media since his win over Mario Barrios last February.
Spence is adamant about his desire NOT to fight Thurman for not giving him the title years ago when he held the title and he is not interested in defending it from Errol.
Unless Spence changes his mind, we won’t see a fight between them. If Spence chooses to stay at 147 and not defend against WBC mandatory Thurman, he will likely face his IBF mandatory Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, as that is next.
There will be more interest from boxing fans in the Spence-Ennis fight than the one involving Thurman because ‘One Time’ has hurt his popularity by fighting too many times since 2017.
Thurman is forgotten by his fans because he doesn’t fight often. Also, he hasn’t beaten a quality fighter since his victory over Danny Garcia five years ago in 2017.