Keith Thurman calls 2018 'a get-back year,' says not to expect Errol Spence fight until 2019

Kevin Iole
Combat columnist

For the last few years, the fight that boxing fans kept calling for was a middleweight unification bout between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez. Eventually, that fight happened and now the fighters are scheduled to have a rematch.

So that makes the dream match fans are praying gets made a welterweight unification bout between WBA-WBC champion Keith Thurman and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr.

Yahoo Sports spoke to Thurman about his return from a lengthy layoff, his elbow surgery, his plans for 2018 and more.

Here is a breakdown of what we spoke about:

1:44: We talk about how difficult a boxer’s life is on their families and how Thurman’s recent marriage may impact him.

3:30: Thurman talks about how he approaches major fights since his recent bouts with Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.

5:04: I asked Thurman whether he felt he lost momentum after being out of the ring so long following his unification win over Garcia on March 4, 2017.

7:00: Thurman talks about making big fights and how to keep boxing fans interested.

7:56: Thurman explains why he had surgery on his right elbow following the Garcia fight.

10:00: Thurman and I discuss a potential fight with Spence. “It’s a great fight. I look forward to the competition,” he says.

11:20: I asked Thurman about allowing a fight to marinate and the possibility that one fight fans want to see won’t happen. “We really want to bounce back in a tremendous fashion,” Thurman said. He notes he might not fight anyone in the Top 10 in his May 19 bout.

13:15: Thurman talks about being able to fight more than once in a year. He hasn’t done that since 2015.

14:25: Thurman gives an opinion about Terence Crawford. “I believe Crawford is going to have to prove himself in the welterweight division,” Thurman said.

16:00: Thurman talks about the insults he took from Angel Garcia, Danny’s father, at a pre-fight news conference last year.

18:03: Thurman says, “I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve been hurting people since I was 14, 15, 16 years old.”

18:35: Thurman gives his opinion on the upcoming heavyweight title fights, both of which will be broadcast live on Showtime in March.

WBA-WBC welterweight champion Keith Thurman speaks about his return to boxing following elbow surgery at a Showtime news conference in New York. (Getty Images)

More boxing coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Jose Benavidez makes surprising return to ring
Crawford expects to fight both Thurman, Spence
Samuel Teah uses faith in the face of tragedy
What’s ahead for Deontay Wilder in 2018?