- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
- 0 Shares
Even before Keith Thurman won a welterweight title and was tabbed by many as a potential boxing star, he was calling out pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather. Now Thurman has reached a point in his career where there are many who are quite interested in that potential fight.
With Mayweather, coming off his huge win against Manny Pacquiao on May 2, announcing that he will fight on Sept. 12 to complete his Showtime/CBS contract -- but having not announced an opponent yet -- some have speculated that he was waiting to see what happens when Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) faces former welterweight titlist Luis Collazo (36-6, 19 KOs) on Saturday night in the debut of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN (9 ET) at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida -- about 20 minutes from Thurman’s hometown of Clearwater.
But as much as Thurman wants that fight, and as much as many fans would be interested in such a showdown, it’s not in the cards for September, Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s right-hand man, told ESPN.com.
“Keith Thurman is a very, very good young fighter who is extremely talented, but he doesn’t understand how the game goes,” Ellerbe said on Monday night. “Ain’t nobody (on Team Mayweather) thinking about Keith Thurman.
“He’s a terrific fighter and he’s supposed to call out Floyd Mayweather. He wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t. But everything we want we don’t always get. Everything takes time and patience. He’s entitled to say whatever he wants to.
“He’s a young, hungry fighter. He’s willing to challenge the top fighters out there but there’s a whole pool of young fighters out there. Last I checked (top prospect) Errol Spence called Keith Thurman out. In my opinion Keith Thurman can’t beat Errol Spence.”
Ellerbe said Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) has not decided yet who he will face -- even though Mayweather has mentioned possibly fighting Andre Berto or even more lightly regarded Karim Mayfield. But Ellerbe said it will not be Thurman.
“I wish him the best,” Ellerbe said. “He makes me laugh at some of the things he says. He’s funny. He has a great sense of humor. And he got the fight game to back it up. But he’s not on Floyd’s level. That’s no disrespect. Floyd will decide who he’s fighting and then let the world know.
“He’ll decide who he wants to fight and then make the announcement how he wants to make it. But every last one of them, young and old, want to fight Floyd. If I was in their situation I’d be calling his ass out too because Floyd Mayweather represents the biggest payday out of all of them.”