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Broner advises Terence Crawford not to fight Errol Spence

Adrien Broner Errol Spence Jr Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: Former four division world champion Adrien Broner thinks WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) should not fight unbeaten welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. (21-0, 18 KOs) right now. Broner doesn’t see that fight as a good career move for the 29-year-old Crawford right now.

Broner says that Crawford should keep winning and building a name for himself. As for why Broner doesn’t think it’s such a good idea for the 5’8” Crawford to take the fight with the 5’9” Spence, he sees Spence as the bigger fighter. As in bigger, Broner would be meaning heavier.

Crawford rehydrates to close to 160lbs for his fights in the 140lb division, while Spence is said to be around 170. There’s really not much weight that separates the two. The main thing that sets them apart is Spence is much bigger puncher, and he is younger by three years, and more trap Crawford into a dog fight with his ability to hit fighters while they’re on the move. Crawford likes to move a lot. That might not work against Spence.

Broner said this to about a fight between Crawford and Spence:
“I think it’s a foolish fight for Crawford,” said Broner about a fight between Crawford and Spence. “It would be a great fight for boxing. I’ve never been in the ring with Crawford. I’ve definitely been in the ring [with Spence]. Me and Errol have had plenty of wars. I think he’s a naturally bigger guy [than Crawford]. I don’t think it would be a smart fight for Crawford right now in his career. I just want Crawford to keep winning. Keep making the best decisions for him, and keep building his name and his fan base.”

With Crawford still being promoted by Top Rank, I don’t think there’s much chance of a fight between him and the Al Haymon managed Spence. I don’t think Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum would ever make that fight while Spence is looking as good as he is. The only way that I see Arum making a fight between Crawford and Spence is if Spence becomes a super popular fighter like Floyd Mayweather Jr. Even then, I don’t see the fight happening unless Spence was willing to give Crawford a big cut of the revenue for the fight.

Arum doesn’t have the younger fighter on his side, so he can’t sit and wait Spence out until he gets old before he makes the fight. If he’s going to make the fight with Spence, he’s going to need to make it while Crawford is still in his prime. He’s about to turn 30, and he might not age as well as Bernard Hopkins. Crawford’s game is built on speed and movement rather than raw power like Spence.

The guys that are movers and speed fighters like Crawford tend to age quicker when it comes to their boxing skills. If Arum does want to make the fight between them, then he should pull the trigger on the fight before Crawford ages out, and loses whatever chance that he has to be competitive with Spence. Crawford doesn’t have the size to move up to 154 and fight the Charlo brothers, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara and Julian Williams. Those guys are too big for Crawford. If anyone is going to move up to 154, it’s going to be Spence once he gets done with the 147lb division.

Spence is too powerfully built for Crawford. I don’t think that’s a fight that Crawford can win. He looked bad just getting hit by John Molina Jr. and Viktor Postol in those fights. The way that Crawford’s head was snapping back from their shots didn’t look good. If that was Spence that was throwing those shots, I think Crawford would have been getting dropped left and right.

There’s a lot of boxing fans that want to see Crawford and Spence face each other in the future. Right now though, Crawford says he wants to unify all the belts at 140, which is an empty division in terms of talent. Crawford could use up a considerable amount of what’s left of his prime trying to unify the titles. If it was as simple as Crawford asking Arum to schedule fights against the remaining champions, then he would probably unify the division right away, because the other champions are mediocre fighters. But it’s probably going to take a year, maybe two for Crawford to unify the belts.

I don’t think the boxing fans will care whether Crawford unifies the 140lb division, because the fans have stopped carrying about titles. It doesn’t mean anything anymore in the era of catch-weights and multiple titles. Instead of Crawford trying to validate his career by collecting titles, he should be moving up in weight to 147, and leaning on his promoter Arum to setup fights against the top fighters outside of his Top Rank promotional company.

There’s no one for Crawford to fight in Top Rank other than Manny Pacquiao, and that guy is almost 40. Crawford can’t sit around and wait on a fight against Pacquiao for the remainder of his career. Crawford needs to tell Arum to match him against Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Keith Thurman or Spence. If Arum can’t do that, then Crawford should move up to 147 and fight his way to the No.1 position in the division so he can get a title shot.

Crawford is the WBC 140lb champion, so he should be able to ask the World Boxing Council to give him the No.1 ranking with their organization at 147 so that he can get a title shot against the winner of the Garcia vs. Thurman fight. If the winner doesn’t want to fight him, then they can always vacate the WBC belt. Crawford would have a chance to fight for the vacant WBC welterweight title against the likes of Amir Khan.

I think that would be much better for Crawford to do then for him to wait around for another year or two trying to unify the belts against guys like Julius Indongo or Ricky Burns. Those are the IBF and WBA 140lb belt holders. Crawford already beat Burns by a 12 round decision three years ago. Beating him for a second time won’t mean a lot.

Spence is waiting for a title shot against IBF welterweight hampion Kell Brook, who is supposed to be making a decision on whether to take that fight or vacate. Spence is going to win that title whether Brook faces him or not. If Brook fights him, then Spence knocks him out. That’s how I see tht fight. If Brook vacates, which is what many boxing fans believe will be the case, then Spence will fight the next available contender in the IBF’s rankings that is willing to fight him for the title. Here are the next available contenders in the IBF’s rankings:

2. Jeff Horn

3. Andre Berto

4. Bradley Skeete

5. Konstantin Ponomarev

Out of all those fighters, Berto is likely the only one that would be willing to stick his neck out and face Spence. Horn is already scheduled to fight Pacquiao on April 23. The 23-yeard-old Ponomarev doesn’t look near ready to fight someone like Spence now. I don’t think the Russian fighter will ever be ready to fight someone like Spence. That would be a bad mismatch in my view.

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