It wasn’t a complete shock to Eimantas Stanionis when the news officially broke. After hoping and praying that a showdown between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford would finally come to fruition, Stanionis incredulously rolled his eyes as reports surfaced of Spence moving up to 154 pounds to take on Keith Thurman.

Spence, the current WBA, IBF, and WBC welterweight champion, has longed for an undisputed matchup against Crawford. Initially, the two appeared to be on a collision course at the tail end of 2022 before talks stalled, forcing both sides to go in opposite directions.

Now, with the 32-year-old gearing up for his showdown against Thurman, Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) shakes his head in disgust. In addition to sternly believing that the former unified champion has done little to earn a shot at Spence, Stanionis has a strong hunch that Thurman's protracted stints on the sidelines will lead to a cataclysmic end result.

“I think Spence is going to beat him down,” said Stanionis to “This inactivity plays a role and the age. He was very inactive.”

At one point, Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) proudly held both the WBA and WBC welterweight championships. However, after snagging back-to-back victories against Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia in 2016 and 2017 respectively, Thurman has been hit with the injury bug.

For nearly two years, the Clearwater, Florida native nursed a bothersome hand and elbow injury. Once he made his return in 2019, he may have eked out a victory over Josesito Lopez but the now 34-year-old was given the first defeat of his career at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.

Much like in years past, Thurman once again found himself sequestered on the sidelines. With yet another long hiatus, Thurman returned to the ring in February of 2022, registering a lopsided victory against Mario Barrios.

Spence, similarly, has also spent far more time than he would like watching from the bench. Most recently, nevertheless, the powerful southpaw unified three of the four major world titles following his win over Yordenis Ugas.

Considering Spence’s innate mean streak, Stanionis doesn’t envision Thurman reaching the final bell.

“I see the stoppage like late.”