By Tom Benett
Boxing’s most competitive weight class, the welterweight division, is seemingly up for grabs once more.
Floyd Mayweather has retired after a nine-year reign at 147lbs. Manny Paquiao is seemingly in the twilight of his career, and Miguel Cotto has outgrown the division.
These changes in the sport’s landscape have left the class with no true king.
Brook v Spence – a welterweight classic?
Errol Spence Jr has bulldozed the IBF’s welterweight rankings en route to becoming the mandatory challenger for Kell Brook’s title.
Their planned showdown is, to many fans, the most evenly-matched contest in the division.
Spence has eliminated all who have stood in his way, earning unheralded praise from former PPV king Mayweather,
This has convinced many within boxing that he is the next kingpin of the sport.
However, Brook’s size, strength and extraordinary reflexes thus far left him undefeated at welterweight.
His sole loss came only when going for middleweight glory against the feared Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin.
Thurman at the double
Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia have been on collision course since both regularly headlined on Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions platform.
PBC brought the American rivals together on March 4th in an eagerly-anticipated unification bout in Brooklyn (pictured).
Thurman edged a close contest by a split decision (116-112, 115-113,115-113) to add the WBC welterweight title to his WBA crown.
Thurman is hopefully now awaiting the outcome of the likely match-up between Spence Jr and Brook.
A great era at welterweight
A bout between him and the winner of that contest has the potential to be a generation-defining super-fight reminiscent of 1981’s Ray Leonard v Thomas Hearns contest.
It’s a time of great excitement in the world of championship boxing as, after an evident hiatus, the best fighting the best.
We are finally seeing the contests that the fans have craved. Elite fighters are putting everything on the line to prove they are the rightful heir to the welterweight throne.