For anyone wanting to see a fight between unified WBA and WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. anytime soon, Thurman has some bad news.
Thurman spoke to FightHype.com on his current status and when a potential fight against Spence could take place. With Thurman recovering from surgery and mandatory challengers to deal with, the unified champion said a fight against Spence is more likely to happen in 2019 than in 2018.
“I know you guys want to keep talking about it but it’s definitely on hold. It’s not on my to do list. To be honest, it’s not on my immediate to do list. My immediate to-do list is to get back, get moving, and then, I don’t know per se, but Shawn Porter is a mandatory through the WBC. First time we fought, we fought representing my WBA [title] on the line. But now he’s mandated through the WBC, so this is a different situation. He worked hard, he wanted the rematch since the loss, we all know that, and he put himself in position for the rematch. But even if so, depending on how that sounds, '19 sounds more realistic than '18,” Thurman said.
Back in October, Thurman told Fightful his plan is to fight in the first quarter of 2018 in a tune-up fight of sorts. Thurman said he wants to shake the ring rust off in his first fight back before having to fight Porter. Thurman is recovering from elbow surgery earlier this year after unifying the WBA and WBC titles in the spring against Danny Garcia.
Thurman has Porter as the WBC mandatory challenger while the WBA "regular" welterweight title is still vacant. Porter has won two fights to position himself as the mandatory challenger, one against Andre Berto and the other against Adrian Granados. Spence, on the other hand, is defending his title against Lamont Peterson on January 20 in Brooklyn, New York, further making a Thurman vs. Spence clash for 2018 the more unlikely.
The interview can be seen in the video above.