Without Mayweather or Pacquiao, Thurman targets Spence Jr. or Crawford

Credit: Stephanie Trapp
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Welterweight World Champion Keith Thurman met with the media at Barclays Center to discuss his 2018 campaign.

Thurman announced he expects to return in early 2018 in his first bout since unifying the division and subsequent surgery.

Below are quotes from the charismatic title holder:

“I’m in the bounce-back stage. It won’t be long before I get back into the ring and hopefully, my arm will be better than ever. We’re estimating I’ll be ready for a fight the first quarter of next year," explained Thurman.

“I look forward to continuing my legacy and dominating the welterweight division.

“Everything happens for a reason. I’m 28-years-old and it doesn’t feel good to not be an active fighter while you’re in your prime.

“I don’t think that I will take that level of a fight [against Shawn Porter] coming off my injury. I think we’re going to just get a welcome back fight.

"Throw the arm around, test it out, have an injury-free camp, take the momentum from that and we can possibly get in the ring with Shawn after that.

“I look forward to that [potential] fight against Errol. I look forward to great competition and Errol is that.

"This is a fight that you guys have been talking about, you won’t stop talking about, and you should keep talking about it because when it goes down it will be one of the best fights of this generation.

“Everybody knows there’s no Floyd Mayweather. There’s no Manny Pacquiao. Everybody thinks they know who the real champion is. But real talk is that the king of the welterweight division will manifest within one to two years.

“[Terence] Crawford has whacked up a lot of people, but he hasn’t whacked up a welterweight yet. He still needs to make himself relevant in this division. He’s a 140 undisputed champion.

"He can come up to this weight division and fight anybody in the top 10 and he deserves that.

"But we are so flooded with talent he is going to have to make himself relevant at 147 before he gets his hands on us," he added.