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Roy Jones Jr. says Crawford would give Errol Spence Jr. trouble

Errol Spence Jr Roy Jones Jr. Terence Crawford

By Dan Ambrose: You can include HBO commentator Roy Jones Jr. being firmly a true believer in WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) after his 12 round unanimous decision last night over former WBC 140lb champion Viktor Postol (28-1, 12 KOs) in their fight on HBO pay-per-view. Jones not only sees the 28-year-old Crawford as the No.1 fighter at light welterweight now, but he also thinks he would give major problems to the top three welterweights in the division, including unbeaten #2 IBF Errol Spence Jr. (20-0, 17 KOs).

Crawford beat the one-dimensional and quite slow Postol by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 118-107, 117-108 and 118-107. The Crawford vs. Postol fight took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nwevada. The fight was televised on HBO PPV for $49.99 to $59.99. For boxing fans wanting entertainment/excitement, the gave very little of that due in part to Crawford’s constant movement, clinching and Postol’s inability to cut off the ring to force Crawford to fight.

Jones also thinks Manny Pacquiao should think about not taking the fight with Crawford and focus instead on facing someone good in a winnable fight and then retire. Jones thinks Crawford would be a difficult puzzle for Pacquiao.

One of the reasons why Jones thinks Crawford would give Spence and the other top welterweights problems right now is he’s basically walking about at middleweight. Last night, Crawford weighed in at 157 pounds after weighing in at 140lbs last Friday. That’s 17 pounds that Crawford gained in the re-hydration process. Jones thinks Crawford has the size to compete against the top welterweights like Spence, and he sees his clever boxing ability, switch-hitting, and his power as being a real problem for them.

“That’s what the problem is [lack of competition for Crawford at 140]. This is why he decided to fight Postol now, because there’s not that many names there,” said Jones to Fighthub. “Of course, he can [handle the top welterweights]. Anyone in the top three at welterweight now, he’d give them hell.”

When asked if Jones could handle Errol Spence Jr, Jones said, “He’d give him hell too. He was 157 tonight. He can box and he can fight on both sides [switches stances].”

I don’t think that Crawford could beat a guy with the kind of punching power, pressure fighting, and inside game that we see from the young 26-year-old Spence. It wouldn’t matter if Crawford switched to southpaw against Spence, because he’s a southpaw himself. Switching back and forth all night long against Spence would be a waste of time for Crawford, because he’s not going to befuddle a southpaw like Spence by switching to southpaw.

Besides that, Spence doesn’t believe in chess-match type fights like we saw last night in Crawford’s win over Postol. Spence just keeps coming forward, ripping shots to the body and head. When Spence on the inside, he doesn’t just give up and let himself be tied up by his opponents like we saw from Postol. Spence throws punches in close and looks to take his opponents out on the inside.

What I saw in the 12th round of the Crawford-Postol fight last night is the fact that Crawford is really not that good at eluding his opponents. To be sure, Crawford can move around a little, but he gets caught easily and he takes shots when he does get caught. The movement that we saw from Crawford was identical to the movement we’ve seen from some of Gennady Golovkin’s opponents. The movement doesn’t work against a good pressure fighter like Golovkin or Spence. Crawford could move all night long against Spence, but he would get caught six or seven times per round against the ropes and would take tremendous shots to the head and body.

I didn’t like the reaction I saw from Crawford last night when he was taking head shots from Postol in the 12th round. Crawford looked flustered and very, very uncomfortable with the shots he was getting nailed with. I wouldn’t expect Roy Jones Jr. to point that out, because Crawford is an HBO fighter. Crawford eventually got upset and tried to turn and fight Postol after taking too many head shots. This was a stupid move by Crawford, because it enabled Postol to nail him with several more big shots and get the better of him in the exchange.

Now imagine if that had been Spence that Crawford tried to fight in a toe-to-toe manner. It would have been suicidal for Crawford to turn and try and fight Spence, because he’s more suited to that type of fighting than Crawford. I think Spence would wipe the deck with Crawford if he stopped moving around the ring and tried to meet him head on. Crawford was getting knocked around by the light hitting Postol’s shots last night. If it had been Spence that was throwing those shots, it would have been pure trouble for Crawford. Like I said, I wouldn’t expect Roy Jones Jr. to point that out because Crawford is an HBO fighter and Spence isn’t. But even Jones really does believe that Crawford would give Spence problems, he would have to come up with a good reason to explain away a loss by Crawford if he takes that fight, which he obviously won’t.

As much as it would be fun to see how Crawford would do against a talented fighter like Errol Spence Jr, the fight will likely never happen. Crawford is with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, while Spence is with manager Al Haymon. I cannot see Arum calling Haymon up to make a fight between Crawford and Spence. It’s too much of a mismatch in favor or Spence. Arum would likely look to get Haymon fighter Adrien Broner for Crawford if he were get anyone from his stable. Arum might also look to get Danny Garcia for Crawford, because he’s vulnerable and not nearly as solid as Spence or Keith Thurman.

The only guys that I could see Arum interested in matching Crawford against in Haymon’s stable of fighters is Garcia and Broner. Spence and Thurman are too solid, too powerful in terms of punching power, and way too good at cutting off the ring on their opponents. Crawford could move all he wants against them, but it wouldn’t work. He would have to stand and fight if he didn’t want to get embarrassed.

Spence is fighting next month in an IBF welterweight title eliminator bout against Leonard Bundu (33-1-2, 12 KOs) at the Coney Island Amphitheater in Brooklyn, New York. The winner of that fight will be the mandatory challenger to IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. That’s the fight that Haymon is positioning Spence for. Crawford is not on Spence’s radar at the moment.

I think Crawford is in the same situation as other Top Rank fighters Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley. Those guys are on the other side of the fence in terms of promotions, and you don’t see them fighting non-Top Rank guys like Shawn Porter, Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Amir Khan and Errol Spence. I suspect that won’t change. Crawford will likely need to be content with fighting guys that are either with Top Rank or the promotional companies that occasionally work with them.

I could see Spence being matched against someone like Ruslan Provodnikov next. If not him, then maybe a rematch against Postol could be Crawford’s next fight. Arum loves to do rematches over and over again involving fighters from his own Top Rank stable. A rematch between Crawford and Postol is a high possibility depending on the ratings and the PPV buys generated for their fight last Saturday. Provodnikov is a high possibility as well. If Arum can get IBF light welterweight champion Eduard Troyananovskiy to agree to fight against Crawford, then that would be a possibility as well. Arum might also go for a unification match between Crawford and WBA champion Ricky Burns. Crawford already beat him several years ago.

“Who is better at 140 than Terence Crawford? If you just want to fight a good fight and retire, then leave Terence Crawford alone,” said Jones when asked about a potential fight between Pacquiao and Crawford. You have nothing to prove to Terence Crawford. If you just want to have another good fight and call it a day, leave Terence Crawford alone. But if you come to say you want to fight the best, then this is the best. Don’t fight a hungry young lion like this, who has everything to gain and nothing to lose. This is a crazy fight for Pacquiao,” said Jones.

“We haven’t seen Pacquiao fight someone that catch switch and be equally effective as a left as he is at righty, so Pacquiao would have more of a puzzle to figure out,” said Jones to HBO. “We also know that Pacquiao has been taken out a few times by some really big punchers. Crawford is a really big puncher,” said Jones.

I disagree with Jones. I think Pacquiao KOs Crawford with his hand speed and punching power. I’m just not sure that Pacquiao will want to come back to fight a runner like Crawford, because he moves much more than Floyd Mayweather Jr. ever did. Mayweather would at least stand in the pocket and fight. He understood what the boxing fans want to see. Crawford doesn’t do that. His focus is to win at all costs regardless of how poor he looks.

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