Unified welterweight boxing champion Errol Spence Jr. hasn’t had much luck on the road – suffering from two car crashes since 2019 – but with a scheduled clash with Keith Thurman planned for April 2023.
Spence returned to the ring after the first accident to clash with Yordenis Ugas on April 16th, 2022, but he notably struggled to make the 147-lb limit after the car accidents and eye surgery he’s had to deal with.
Many expect the No.3 ranked pound-for-pound best to remain in this higher weight class, not only because of his weight issues, but he isn’t getting any younger as he’ll turn 33 next month.
When struggling to make weight versus Ugas, Spence looked drawn-out and ill. Despite winning the contest, he didn’t perform up to the standard we expected from him. Whether the initial car accident is to blame for his performance or the strenuous weight cut is yet to be known.
However, should Spence decide to remain at 147, fans will eagerly be waiting for Terrance Crawford to step up a weight division in hopes of seeing this dream fight take place.
With that said, most have given up on the thoughts of a Spence versus Crawford bout. Unlike mega fights of the past, such as Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, neither fighter has been active or is competing against stiff competition to raise the keenness of boxing fans.
Crawford has competed just once per year versus lackluster opposition for a long time, and he isn’t displaying the charisma to create a huge build-up like those before him.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says: “I think he’s been at 147 for a long time. He’s very tight at the weight. When you look at the mileage on Errol Spence through accident, through the eye operations and stuff like that, it’s going to be harder for him to start making weight,”.
Spence vs. Thurman
There are a handful of intriguing bouts for Spence at 154, but as the current betting odds suggest, Thurman isn’t at a level of competition that can hang with the 147lb champ. In the upcoming fight vs. Thurman, Errol – the New York local – is the favorite at -800 according to Caesars New York, which allows you to place a $1000 for free on Spence Jr.
From a betting perspective and a stylistic standpoint, Spence is a nightmare matchup for Thurman – whose kryptonite has been receiving shots to the body. Spence is an impeccable body puncher, and unless the underdog can avoid them for twelve rounds, there’s a good chance he could receive his first-ever knockout loss.
And while Spence can make up for his inactivity behind sheer talent, Thurman’s lack of ring time isn’t going to fare well for him long-term, specifically against elite lever boxers. Furthermore, if you’ve only taken one fight in three, nearly four years, expecting to move up a weight class and compete with the larger man in Spence is a reach – and this is without considering he’ll face one of the best boxers in the world.
It’s been a long road for Spence, and his absence is warranted, but Thurman has looked shy since making a boatload of money versus Pacquiao, and this is a sign that his heart isn’t in it no more.
We must remain transparent; Spence versus Jermell Charlo would be an ideal bout and one worth wagering on. Or even Tony Harrison, Sebastian Fundora, and Tim Tszyu. However, if Spence competes for just one time per year, his career could end before he faces even half of those names.
“I don’t know him personally, so I can’t tell you, but I remember seeing him in Sheffield when he made 147, which was years ago, and I’m surprised he’s still there,” Heard added.
“Respect to him and the way he makes that weight, but I see him moving up, and I guess 154 is his future,”.