Welterweight: DOA?

By Paul Magno on January 9, 2018
Welterweight: DOA?
Errol Spence won’t be seeing Thurman anytime soon. He also won’t be seeing Crawford.

Those holding up the good times think it’s “good for business.” As if intentionally NOT delivering a quality product is ever good for business…

One would think that with three of the sport’s most exciting fighters about to occupy the top 3 positions in the division and a bevy of quality contenders stacking up beneath them, the welterweight class would be rocking. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.

Errol Spence and Keith Thurman, who are the consensus no.1 and no. 2 fighters in the division, are about to be joined by junior welterweight kingpin Terence Crawford. That trio, alone, could probably make for a tremendous makeshift round robin of action to electrify the sport for at least a couple of years. And then, below the big three, we’d have Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Jeff Horn, Amir Khan, Lucas Matthysse, and Jessie Vargas all vying for a shot at redemption and/or an opportunity to step up to the big dogs. And let’s not even mention the fringe contending gatekeepers who could definitely make for some buzz-worthy moments like Omar Figueroa, Andre Berto, Adrian Granados, Adrien Broner, Devon Alexander, Victor Ortiz, Frankie Gavin, Lamont Peterson, Brandon Rios, and Luis Collazo. In a perfect world, welterweight would be absolutely buzzing and the fans would be reaping the benefits of the talent surplus

But the boxing world is not a perfect world.

“Honestly, people can say what they want to say,” Keith Thurman, the central figure in the Spence-Thurman-Crawford triangle, recently told Fight Hub TV, “I’m not going to fight him (Spence) right now. I wouldn’t fight him right now. I’m not gonna fight Shawn Porter, I wouldn’t rematch Danny Garcia, I wouldn’t fight any of those guys right now. There’s no point…I know boxing. I know boxing. The fans can say whatever they want to say, but I just know how this sport works and how the business works. Plus, as much as I respect Errol Spence, he’s still a young, fresh champion. It’s not gonna hurt him by having a few title defenses [and] me getting back into the ring, doing what I want to do before we see each other.”

Damn.

And Spence, who, apparently won’t be seeing Thurman anytime soon, also won’t be seeing Crawford, who is separated from the welterweight pack by his association with Top Rank Promotions—a promotional outfit that doesn’t generally pursue out-of-house cross-promotions for their A-level talent.

So, in short, Spence can’t fight Crawford and Thurman WON’T fight Spence or Crawford (and not even Thurman or Garcia again). Horn and Pacquiao, meanwhile, belong to Top Rank and COULD fight Crawford, but Pacquiao would prefer not to, and neither Pacquiao nor Horn are going to fight anyone outside of the Top Rank family.

That doesn’t leave a lot to work with.

The most frustrating thing is that those holding up the good times are doing so because they think it’s “good for business.” As if manipulating the fans and intentionally NOT delivering a quality product is ever good for business. It’s like if a burger joint decided that they’d only serve their good burgers to a client on his fourth visit to the restaurant because, by then, he should be good and hungry for a decent burger. Who would put up with that kind of business model? But boxing fans, who are often their own worst enemies, tend to have short memories and forget these things when something good does come around.

Some day we may see Thurman vs. Spence and, maybe, by divine miracle, Crawford gets thrown into the mix, too. But nothing of real note will be happening anytime soon in the welterweight division. If we do eventually get what we want, it’ll come after being strung along for way too long and right when we’re just about at the point of not caring anymore.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Comments

This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Pete The Sneak 11:34am, 01/11/2018

    ” At the present I see Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr, Terrance Crawford, and Danny Garcia replicating Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran. ” Warren my friend, you are joking are you not? Sure you are. It’s nice to see some folks still maintain a good sense of humor… Peace.

  2. nicolas 11:03am, 01/11/2018

    WARREN: I can’t see any way the group led by Thurman replicating the group led by Thurman. Todays Welterweight division is not so great, but it is so evenly matched. While promotional groups might be a problem, the4 real problem did start in the 80’s with the IBF in 83, and the WBO coming-out it 87. From two boxing organizations to four. If all these four groups would agree on one boxing champ, it would not be such a problem. While it might be bad for boxing that these fights do not happen, it might mean these boxers make more money the long run. if these boxers were British, I could see really big fights happening back there, but they are American, and I don’t think in the US that they have enough real star power here to generate a real fantastic gate. Think about it, would giving Spence and Thurman to fight one another, and giving them let say 10 million each make a profit.

  3. Warren Jones 05:32am, 01/11/2018

    I am probably the biggest fight fan ever.  I watch every fight.  I’m looking at the welterweight division and I see a 22Nd century fight club that could have an everlasting imprint into the minds of boxing fans. At the present I see Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr, Terrance Crawford, and Danny Garcia replicating Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran.  In my opinion the public could see some great fights with the names mentioned above.  In comparison Keith Thurman reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard, Errol Spence is a new Marvin Hagler, Terrance Crawford is identical to Thomas Hearns, and Danny Garcia is Roberto Duran without the “No mas”.  I hope Al Haymon and Bob Arum can make this happen

  4. Alfonso Bedoya 02:46pm, 01/10/2018

    DOA just doesn’t work in this headline…..now if you spelled it out…..

  5. Alfonso Bedoya 09:38am, 01/10/2018

    A “sport” where you can decide who you want to duck and better yet who you want to beat up next is at it’s core a scam! It works with psychologically stunted boxing nutz because when all is said and done they just want to see someone get beat the fuk up! 154 is so much bullshit….there’s plenty of fights that could be made in that seven pound phony ass gap! The difference in weight is the matter of a good healthy dump after breakfast!

  6. Your Name 07:52am, 01/10/2018

    Thurman is a disappointment. There is nobody on the planet that can come close to persuading me to think that today’s crop of fighters, er whiners could compare favorably with the warriors of the 70’s and 80’s and part of the 90’s. Maybe there will be a hybrid type of contact ballet that would be a more fun to watch than “fighters” acting like they have a backbone and an MBA. Maybe that’s why some of these guys wear glasses to press conferences.

Leave a comment