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Errol Spence close to finalizing bout against Keith Thurman at junior middleweight

Errol Spence Jr., the undisputed welterweight champion, is reportedly planning his next fight, but it will not be in his usual weight class.

According to ESPN's Mike Coppinger, the three-belt champion is finalizing a junior middleweight match against Keith Thurman for an April PBC on PPV event.

Spence is the WBA, WBC, and IBF welterweight champion. WBA president Gilberto Mendoza told Coppinger that he gave Spence permission to fight outside the division without relinquishing his belt.

Mendoza also stated that Spence will have 60 days after the Thurman fight to finalize a deal for a highly anticipated undisputed welterweight championship fight against WBO titleholder Terence Crawford. Last year, they were negotiating before the anticipated unification match fell through.

Mendoza stated that if Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) is unable to reach an agreement with Crawford, he will be forced to defend his 147-pound title against the winner of the postponed WBA "regular" title fight between Vergil Ortiz and Eimantas Stanionis. Spence could also choose to move up to the junior middleweight division and compete at 154 pounds indefinitely, according to Coppinger.

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) returned to the ring in February and defeated Mario Barrios by unanimous decision. It was his first fight since losing a split decision to Manny Pacquiao in July of this year. The former unified welterweight champion is 34 years old.


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