WBA approves Spence-Thurman, Stanionis-Ortiz

The WBA continues to develop its world title reduction plan, taking the next steps in the welterweight division. After a thorough review of the situation, it was determined that Errol Spence Jr., the WBA super champion, will be granted special permission to fight Keith Thurman, while Eimantas Stanionis, the regular champion of the category, will face Vergil Ortiz.

The winners of these bouts will square off in the near future to determine the organization’s sole 147-pound champion.

Initially, former super champion Yordenis Ugas was allowed to face Spence in a unification bout, while Butaev and Stanionis fought for the championship title. In these cases, the winners were Spence and Stanionis, respectively.

On November 14, 2022, TGB Promotions applied for special permission on behalf of Spence to fight Thurman in February 2023, but with specific mandatory conditions. Pursuant to WBA rule C.16, which states that mandatory defense periods can be modified for cause, either by special permission request or on its own initiative, the WBA decided that Spence can face Thurman.

Stanionis will remain the mandatory challenger to the welterweight super championship. He will now face Vergil Ortiz, who defeated Michael McKinson in a WBA eliminator on August 8. The winner of the bout, or Stanionis if it ends in a draw, will face the winner of Spence-Thurman within 180 days of their bouts.

The winner of the Spence-Thurman bout is obligated to meet the winner of Stanionis-Ortiz. This ruling supersedes all previous rulings and any issues that arise along the way will be resolved under WBA rules.

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    • PBC??? Bud was back ending them working on a second deal the whole time. He obviously didnt really want the fight.
      AH is the new DK as far as fans pointing the finger to blame. Meanwhile you have promoters who cant keep their fighters from testing positive and ruining an event, and I see no boos.

      • It’s Bud vs the entire PBC organization. If Uncle AL wanted the fight to happen, it would have already, but Crawford has a backbone, which is why he’s being frozen out and heavily aged in the process.

  • Ortiz – Stanionis is good news. That is a good fight. I think Spence stops Thurman. Thurman seems vulnerable to the body and Spence will capitalize on that. I do not even think Thurman believes he will win. He has not seemed the same since his war with Shawn Porter. I do not think he is damaged much physically, I just do not think he has the same confidence and does not want it like he used to.

    • Yeah Pete, Stanionis – Ortiz is all kinds of fun. I think Thurman has the experience to make it to the end against Spence, but I’m thinking he gets dropped a few times on the way to losing a wide decision. Like you said, he doesn’t like body shots at all.

      • He might make it Lucie…never been stopped before. The mental part of this game is also very interesting. For example it appears Jeison Rosario is shot at 27…But is he shot?..or have others just figured out his weakness? Regardless the results end up being the same. I think fighters have now seen Thurman hurt to the body and like Rosario’s opponents they are focusing on it. He appears to have lost confidence and people fighting him appear to have gained confidence. That said..he may as well take his shot at Spence. Likely will be his last big pay day. It would be nice if they put both these fights on the PPV…but I doubt it.

        • I just don’t think Rosario was ever that good. He just might be THE most unlikely unified champion in the history of the sport, up there with Julius Indongo and I think Rosario called it a day after his last fight.
          Thurman has always shown that vulnerability and he’s going to fight one of the best body punchers in the sport – doesn’t seem like a good recipe for success, but I’m looking forward to it and as long as the undercard isn’t trash (and it just miht be), they’ll probably get my money.

          • Thurman is a name and it gives Spence the chance to clean out the PBC stable. Not what we want but I will likely get it to. Maybe they will throw the Canadian Cody Crowley on there. He does not seem to stop guys but is relentless.

        • Jeison “Banana” is through can’t take a good shot and don’t belong at the top. Stanionis will beat both Spence and Ortiz.

          • Stanionis is a sitting duck constantly getting hit. He will get knocked out by either Spence or Ortiz.

  • Keith ‘fights “one time” every 4 years’ Thurman has past his used by date, easy win for Spence. Guess Spence vs Crawford will be another Mayweather vs Paquaio, where it finally happens years too late

  • Thurman could have been a house hold name but he ruined his career by fighting once a year or less. Pacquiao beat him easily also. What’s holding up the REAL fight? Spence Vs Crawford???

    • It’s not quite that simple. He was injury prone and kinda faded away. Pac choose him instead of Spence because he was easy pickings due to being injury prone.

      • Lol. Pacman got Thurman because he was playing the PBC video game. Thurman was just a boss as Pacman was trying to get to the final boss which was Spence. Obviously he couldn’t make all the way through as Manny ran out of quarters.

  • I am looking forward to Stanionis vs. Ortiz because this fight will create a series of explosions for possibly 12 rounds…is Ortiz battle tested enough to deal with Stanionis’ solid overall skills, constant inside pressure and body punching?

    • one thing for sure , Vergil will give his all..
      watch him punch…”he punches beautiful” Lou would say

  • Vergil Ortiz vs Eimantas Stanionis is in paper an awesome fight, where the trainer factor might play a heavy role. Stanionis, as far as I know is trained by Freddie Roach and I don’t know who will train Vergil Ortiz (Eddie Reynoso ??), despite who could be, can’t be better than Roach, especially in the strategy and corner department, Roach is the ideal trainer for a fighter like Stanionis and could be the difference in this even matchup

  • Thurman is not more difficult as a fighter than Ugas and Spence is already on track. I expect a steady beatdown that might end when Thurman’s corner waive it off

  • Nicely done Spence. Made Crawford irrelevant and is fighting the top available , willing and important in the bigger scheme. Smart smart. And really, Spence / Ortiz is what we want..

  • So your just going to side step boots I don’t get boxing sometimes stanionis struggles with dulorme boots knocks him out in one round boots is being avoided in my opinion

    • The IBF’s mandatory will be last to be called it seems, unless the WBA allows another exemption.

      • Looks that way. If this serves as the WBC’s mandatory and the WBA signs off on it (and technicallly Stanionis – Ortiz is a WBA mandatory), then Ennis should be next, unless some miracle occurs and brings Crawford – Spence…… and it won’t.

        • I actually don’t know for sure if Spence has ever made an IBF mandatory. The last IBF welterweight mandatory challenger that I know for certain got his shot was Errol Spence at Kell Brook. And they’re usually pretty insisting on that type of stuff. I know they tried to make an interim champion, but the fight was a draw and then Ennis beat both of the guys in the fight – Clayton & Lipinets.

    • You mean put the PBC belts and their top face against a young, skilled and hungry fighter? That’s against the rules.

  • Avoid boots I hate to see it but all these fighters know that boots is a handful in my opinion

  • Old man Thurman in 2! joke but its a good name for Spence and hope he moves in to Crawford next or Ortiz.

  • thurman can beat spence he would have to use jabs and go in and out quickly and be aggressive and be focused in every round.

  • Beyond disappointing! Crawford’s upcoming fight and this mandatory for Spence IS NOT what we fight fans had hoped for!!

    • Because Crawford is still working the “wrong side of the street” and big daddy AL doesnt want him around his….you know.

  • Translation, the PBC is attempting to “reduce” titles in order to clear any confusion as who the real PBC champion is which will also stall the Spence/Crawford fight for at least another year, giving the PBC further opportunity to age Crawford out. It’s so obvious, why not just say so.

    Special permissions are made all the time, for many reasons. Any excuse that can be made for these fights to happen are superceded by the fight we’ve wanted for years now.

    Under these conditions, no one can lay claim to the greatest of this time, next time, or last time.

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