Errol Spence interested in Terence Crawford fight
By Dan Ambrose: Welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) says he’d be interested in fighting unbeaten light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) when he moves up in weight to fight at 147.
Spence says he won’t move down to 140 to fight Crawford. He’s staying at welterweight to fight in that weight class. Spence has a lot of respect for the 29-year-old Crawford, because he thinks he has a lot of talent, and he likes the way that he stands in the pocket at times and is willing to trade power shots with his opponents.
Last Saturday night, HBO commentator Max Kellerman asked Crawford if he would be willing to fight Spence Jr., and Crawford said he would if he doesn’t move up in weight to the 154lb division. Spence isn’t talking about moving up in weight right now. He’s interested in challenging IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook for his title, and then going after the winner of the Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia unification fight.
Spence Jr. said this to Fighthype.com about a fight between him and Crawford:
“Terence Crawford can fight,” said Spence. “He’s willing to stand there and trade with you if he has to. He’s a guy that gets it done. He’s a good fighter.”
When asked if he’d be interested in fighting Crawford, Spence said, “Yeah, if it happens and he’s going to fight, then so be it. If he moves up to 147 and we have to fight or we’re going to fight, then I’m not ducking anybody 140, 147 or 154, wherever I land. I’m not ducking anybody.”
Asked if he’d be willing to drop down in weight to fight Crawford, Spence said, “Nah, I’m not dropping down to 140. I’m staying at 147.”
The question is will Crawford and his promoters at Top Rank be willing to take a fight against Spence in the near future? Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum has spoken about wanting to match him against Manny Pacquiao a lot, and also Vasyl Lomachenko. It doesn’t look like either of those fights are going to happen for Crawford. He says he wants to try and unify all the titles at 140 before he moves up to welterweight in the division.
Sticking around to unify the belts could be a lengthy process for Crawford. He might be better off vacating his belts and moving up to welterweight where he has a better chance of becoming getting big fights than if he stays at 140. There’s no one left at 140 for Crawford. He recently beat Viktor Postol, who many boxing fans saw at the second best fighter in the division. Crawford has already beaten Ricky Burns, the current WBA 140lb champion. IBF belt holder Julius Indongo doesn’t have a big enough name for it to be worth much for Crawford fighting him. Former four division world champion Adrien Broner is with Al Haymon, and he’s not likely going to make a fight against Crawford.
Spence Jr. doesn’t think too much of UFC star Conor McGregor getting his boxing license and talking about wanting to take on the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr. Spence sees that as disrespectful for McGregor to even think he could take up boxing and beat the top fighters.
As far as Spence is concerned, he’d KO McGregor just in sparring with him. Spence also thinks that Paulie Malignaggi would beat him, as well as Mikey Garcia. He thinks that even green fighters and amateurs would beat the 28-year-old McGregor.
Spence has no doubts that McGregor is the king of the UFC, but he sees boxing as a different sport and he doesn’t believe he would be able to have success in that realm.
Spence said this to Fighthype.com about McGregor:
“I don’t think nothing of it,” said Spence about McGregor. “He can’t box. I’ll stop Conor McGregor in sparring. McGregor can’t box. I don’t worry about him doing anything. it’s a joke trying to compare him to Floyd Mayweather. This is boxing. I don’t see him doing anything in boxing. Even the greenest guys would beat Conor McGregor in boxing. Boxing is a whole different story. It’s kind of disrespectful for him to say he’ll come to boxing and take over,” said Spence.
McGregor might not be serious about wanting to come to boxing and compete. This could be just a trick for McGregor to gain fans from a different sport. When you think about it, McGregor could be just using a different type of strategy to gain fans by constantly talking about wanting to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. Even if McGregor never does fight Mayweather, he’ll have likely gained a lot of fans, because he’s being talked about in the media.
You can argue that it’s a lazy way of gaining fans by name dropping and saying you’re interested in becoming a boxer. If McGregor starts doing the same thing by saying he’ll compete with the top NFL players, golfers or tennis players by talking up the possibility of taking up their sports, then you have to see it for what it is. McGregor would be seen as trying to gain new fans from different sports.
It’s one thing for McGregor to talk about wanting to take up boxing as a hobby, but for him to be saying he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., it’s silly. McGregor would have done nothing for him to go straight to the top of the sport by taking on Mayweather. If McGregor would earn his way to a fight against Mayweather, then people would at least respect that. McGregor isn’t talking about earning the fight. He just wants the fight, but he might not even be serious.
As I mentioned, McGegor could be just name dropping Mayweather’s name to gain fans the easy way without any serious interest on his part in taking the fight.
McGregor is still under contract with the UFC, and they’re likely not going to ever let him compete in boxing while he’s under contract. Why would they? If McGregor takes on a good boxer, he could get hurt inside the ring and wind up missing time in the UFC. His value could also drop if he got beaten inside the ring, and that would make him potentially less marketable to the UFC.