By Chris Williams: Errol Spence Jr. reacted to Keith Thurman’s win over Mario Barrios last Saturday night by saying “TAILOR,” meaning ‘One Time” is ‘tailor-made’ for him after watching his less than impressive performance on FOX Sports PPV.
The Barrios fight was the first WBC 147-lb title eliminator for Thurman, but he’s got one more eliminator he must win before he’s the mandatory for Errol Spence.
The bad news for Thurman is that for him to become the WBC mandatory, he must beat #1 Vergil Ortiz Jr (18-0, 18 KOs) in a final title eliminator to become Spence’s mandatory. Ortiz is an excellent body puncher, and he’ll have seen how Thurman was hurt to the body by Barrios.
While Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) looked good for the most part, showing excellent movement and defensive skills to win an easy 12 round unanimous decision, he once again showed his weakness in his inability to take body shots.
In the eighth round, Thurman was hurt by a body shot from the former WBA ‘regular’140-lb champion Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs) and had to take his mouthpiece out and run around the ring to avoid getting dropped.
IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is a superb body puncher, and he would target Thurman’s body. Thurman didn’t even try to disguise that he was hurt by Barrios last Saturday night.
It doesn’t look like Thurman will be getting a title shot against Spence anytime soon, even though he let boxing fans know after that fight that’s what direction he wants to go in for his next match.
The fighter Thurman doesn’t want is WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. Thurman ONLY wants Errol Spence, but he’s got a fight against Yordenis Ugas.
Also, Spence may choose to freeze Thurman out so that he knows what it feels like to be ignored.
However, it’s possible Spence could change his mind about that and throw the needy Thurman a bone if only because if he doesn’t take that easy money fight, someone else will and send ‘One Time’into retirement.
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) February 6, 2022
“We saw what happened to Barrios today with his nose and his eyes he had to endure. I had to endure punches. We were trading, and we were real fighters in the ring,” said Keith Thurman at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night.
“I hope you guys enjoyed what you saw tonight. It was a beautiful night of boxing, and I look forward to having more great fights. That’s what Keith Thurman is about, creating exciting fights in the welterweight division today.
“The fighter in me says, ‘Let’s, I want to be champion. I want the winner,’” said Thurman when asked if he wants to fight the winner of the Spence vs. Yordenis Ugas fight.
“But there’s a weird little technicality that happened for those that read the article that this was a title eliminator to a title eliminator. I don’t know the politics all the time. I’m just a performer.
“I do feel that I should be worthy of challenging any world champion at any given point in time considering my resume and everything that has happened in my career,
“But it does feel good for me to be back. So if I have to take another fight, as I say, from being good to being great to being champion, then so be it. I’m just so happy to be back.
“I want to do what I haven’t done in the past two and a half years. Keith Thurman does want to be an active fighter. So, I have to go back and talk to my team and see what’s brought to the table through the networks, through Al Haymon, and just go with the flow.
“I just want to have an active year and have more performances for the fans, and have more performances for myself.
“But no matter what, if it happens this summer or if it happens in November or December, Keith Thurman is on the road to being world champion in the welterweight division once,” said Thurman.