By Brad Slotnick: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman believes Floyd Mayweather Jr and Errol Spence Jr conspired against him to keep him from putting pressure on Floyd for a clash back when he was his WBC mandatory in 2015.
Thurman believes that Mayweather gave Spence the idea to call him out to change the narrative.
So instead of the boxing public putting pressure on then WBC welterweight champion Mayweather to defend against his mandatory Thurman in 2015, they started asking why Keith doesn’t agree to fight Spence.
Thurman says that he was trying to get the biggest fights against Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao at the time. Spence was just starting as a professional, and it wouldn’t have been a big fight if they had fought.
Thurman clarified that he wanted to wait to fight Thurman after the fight marinated to be a bigger one.
Instead, Spence is now seemingly holding a grudge six years later because he couldn’t get a fight with Thurman in 2015 and 2016.
Thurman claims Mayweather & Spence conspired against him
“When he [Spence] got a W that night [against Phil Lo Greco in June 2015], a little birdie named Floyd told him to say my name,” said Keith Thurman to Fighthype about how his problems with Spence first started.
“Why? There are multiple reasons why a fighter in his position at the time would call a fighter that is already in the limelight. So what was it really about?
“It was the changing of the narrative. Right now, we’re talking about the narrative of Thurman and EJ and what’s all happened. But before Thurman-EJ, what was Thurman’s narrative?
“I was on Floyd’s back. When I fought Diego Chaves, I became the interim WBA champion. My mandatory would have been Floyd.
“So when EJ [Spence] first said my name, it wasn’t you. It was someone else [Mayweather?] that told you to do. Why didn’t you just call out Mayweather?
“He was still top and an active fighter. I thought it was very reflective; the boy [Spence] was only 16-0. I always thought there would be a good fight one day in the future.
“But why would I look down [at Spence] when I was trying to get a Floyd fight back then? I was trying to get a Pacquiao fight back then when I was 26-years-old.
“Instead, I had to take what was coming to me, which was Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero and all these other fights,” said Thurman.
Back then, many boxing fans believed that Mayweather planted the idea in Spence’s head to call Thurman out.
In other words, Spence was being used as a tool to keep the pressure off of Mayweather from having to fight Thurman. Mayweather had no interest in fighting Thurman, and that was obvious.
One Time wanted Spence fight to marinate
“So he [Spence] went through the trenches and ended up getting the IBF from [Kell] Brook,” Thurman continued. “I saw him as a real champion as he was; he deserved it, he had a tremendous performance.
“We need fighters like Errol Spence to fight fighters like Keith Thurman; we need that. But we also need people to know what type of fight it is when it is.
“If you do that fight [Thurman vs. Spence] early, people aren’t going to fully understand the magnitude of that fight.
“My whole objective was me vs. Pacquiao, and then Thurman-Spence. Do you think if Pacquiao got defeated, Spence would be fighting Pacquiao at this moment?
“No, he wouldn’t be fighting Pacquiao at this moment, so that falls back on me. That’s my mistake; I allowed this door to open. ‘We don’t need Thurman.’
“If that’s how he [Spence] wants to go about the welterweight division, so be it. I ain’t never got a phone call once in my life to fight Errol Spence, and we got the same manager,” Thurman said.
It makes sense for Thurman to have let the Spence fight marinate rather than fight him back in 2015 and 2016.
Thurman was quite clear back then that the Spence clash needed to marinate more to where it would be bigger with both guy’s world champions.
Unfortunately, Thurman has had injuries, which have forced him to sit on the shelf for prolonged periods. But now that Thurman is healthy, Spence is freezing him out, saying he has no interest in fighting him.
It’s a childish and self-defeating move on Spence’s part, as he is going on the false belief that Thurman was ducking him in the past. But even if he was, it’s still self-defeating to hold a grudge and freeze him out.
Spence NEVER called Thurman out
“So don’t act like you called me out when you never called me out,” said Thurman. “That’s what I don’t appreciate because when Thurman wanted Porter, Kenny Porter got a phone call.
“And what did Kenny Porter say? ‘Not now.’ And then it came later, Thurman got a phone call. ‘Kenny Porter – Shawn Porter want you now.’ ‘You bet, run it because I wanted them before anyways, run it.’
“I got the phone call. The moment Floyd retired, the WBC got vacated, and Danny Garcia moved up to welterweight fighting against Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero for the vacated title.
“Danny beats Guerrero, and I told Al [Haymon], ‘I want that boy [Danny Garcia] at 147.’
“There are a few people at 147 that I never got a phone from in my career,” said Thurman.
“I never got a phone call from Adrien Broner in my whole career. And I never got a call back in the day when I was interested in this, to fight Amir Khan. I never got a call to fight Errol Spence Jr,” said Thurman.
Although Spence has talked recently about not wanting to ever fight Thurman, the fact is Errol never called him out years ago.
Perhaps Spence was hoping that Thurman would get the message that he wanted to fight him by using telepathy to communicate.
Errol following in Keith’s shadow
“But I thought I was going to fight EJ in 2020,” said Keith Thurman. “The whole goal was to beat Pacquiao, get hand surgery and then go right after Spence.
“Why? Because we’d be unifying the titles. The move that they’re doing right now was the move I had intended the whole time.
“All of a sudden, it’s not me making the move. So EJ can say what he wants; I think it’s a whole bunch of nonsense. How do you fight Shawn Porter?
“And how do you fight Danny? How do you fight Pacquiao? How do you fight [Leonard] Bundu? You want to fight everybody that’s seen me, but you don’t want to fight me?
“I’m not following your shadow. He’s [Spence] is fighting my shadow. I’m not following his shadow because if I were fighting his shadow, I’d be right on his tail, right behind him.
“All I know is when somebody wants somebody; they want somebody. I don’t think he [Spence] really wants it,” said Thurman in making it clear that Spence is and has been afraid of him,” said Thurman.
Spence can’t deny that he’s been purposefully following in Thurman’s footsteps for a while now, fighting the same guys he’s already beaten.
Fighters Spence has/will fight that Thurman previously fought
- Leonard Bundu
- Shawn Porter
- Danny Garcia
- Manny Pacquiao
Thurman may follow Spence to 154
“When you really want something in your heart and as a warrior, when you really want something, you want something, and I want to see it,” Thurman said.
“I just didn’t want to see it for no reason and no stage [earlier in Thurman and Spence’s careers before they became known] with no payday, I didn’t want to see that.
“It didn’t mean I didn’t want to see it. I wanted to see it. I’m a chess player. I wanted to get it where we line up, and it’s a real clash [big money maker].
“I think we can still make it happen unless he wants to make this fight [with Pacquiao], unify, salute and jump out of the welterweight division.
“If he jumps out of the welterweight division, it ain’t on Thurman; it’s on him. Maybe I’ll follow him. Maybe I’ll just tell him, ‘I’ll follow you wherever you go.’ Why? Because I seek ‘The Truth’ these days.
“I’m a ‘Truth’ seeker; I seek ‘The Truth.’ When I fought Shawn [Porter], Shawn had more credentials than Errol Spence.
“When I fought Danny [Garcia], Danny had more credentials. What did I really do? I fought the best fighter at that time.
“Now he’s [Spence] prove by staying the course by doing what he says he is, ‘The Truth,’ that he’s up here, he’s here to see everybody. But why don’t you want to see me no more?” said Thurman.
It may not matter if Thurman follows Spence up to 154 trying to get a fight against him. If Spence is adamant about his desire not to fight Thurman, he’s not going to change his mind no matter what.