Thurman leans towards 'hungry' Spence

Luke G. Williams
23/05/2017 9:30am

As Saturday's IBF welterweight title showdown between Kell Brook and Errol Spence Jr draws closer, unified champion Keith Thurman tells Boxing Monthly he is leaning towards the American...

Britain's Kell Brook and American Errol Spence Jr are set to do battle for the IBF 147lb crown on Saturday night, but it's worth remembering that the only man in the welterweight division with two title belts is unified champion Keith Thurman.

The Clearwater, Florida native is interviewed in-depth in the new issue of Boxing Monthly, which hits stores on Thursday and is available now in Appstore.

When I spoke to the 28-year-old Thurman via a transatlantic telephone call recently he admitted that he was taking a close interest in the Sheffield showdown.

"Spence wants to become champion of the world and Kell Brook wants to prove to the world that he truly is special [and now] he’s going to have his opportunity to do that," Thurman said. "I look forward to the fight."

Thurman, currently the WBA 'Super' and WBC champion, defeated the previously unbeaten Danny Garcia in March and is thus seen by many as 'the man' in the 147lb division, given his unblemished 28-0 record.

When pressed, 'One Time' admits he makes Spence a slight favourite this weekend.

"You know, I like leaning towards the more hungry fighter, which I think is Errol Spence," he said. "I just think he feels like it’s his time. He wants it so bad. He’s also got great skills.

"As for Kell Brook – I’ve always said I’ve not seen enough of him – I don’t have a pure judgement on his skill set. We watched him beat Shawn Porter - and he was very calm, cool, collected throughout that whole fight, he did a good job. He didn’t do anything killer or spectacular but he understands boxing, he’s very good fundamentals wise.

"He’s a big welterweight, you know - I call him the dark horse in the race of welterweights. We don’t really know how good he is. I always say that if you want to know how good somebody is they need to fight American fighters and Kell Brook has only fought one world-class American fighter with Errol Spence being the second one."

Since he spoke to BM, Thurman has undergone elbow surgery and now faces several months on the sidelines. When he returns, it would be a tantalising prospect to see him face the victor of Brook vs Spence.

Thurman is certainly keen to carry on proving himself at the highest level possible. "I love the sport, I  love challenging myself and I look forward to the challenges that are to come in my career," he added.

With the welterweight division brimming with talent and explosive potential match-ups let's hope Thurman's spell on the sidelines is as short as possible.

Luke G. Williams' full interview with Keith Thurman is in the June issue of Boxing Monthly