Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford not doable economically
By Chris Williams: The boxing public is not going to be seeing a fight between IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs) and former light welterweight unified champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) anytime soon unfortunately. The fight still needs to be built up over time, and it’s going to take a while for it to be the money maker that it could be in the distant future.
According to Dan Rafael, it’s not a feasible fight right now because it won’t make the kind of money that it will later after the two fighters are built up more. It’s also a tough fight to put together right now due to Crawford being one of Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s stable fighters. Spence is with adviser Al Haymon, and he doesn’t work a lot with Arum. That’s just how it is with the two. However, they’ve worked together in the past to put together the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao fight in 2015, but the negotiations took a lot of time to get done.
Spence fights on Showtime as part of a Premier Boxing Champions. Crawford’s fights are not televised on ESPN. It’s a different situation between the two fighters in terms of how their fights are televised. Spence vs. Crawford isn’t a big enough fight for it to make sense for Haymon and Arum to work with one another.
”Down the line, is the best fight to be made (marinated…) Spence/ Crawford? The talent level of that bought would be astounding,” Rafael said on espn.com. ”Definitely up there. That’s a great fight but at this point not remotely doable economically or promotionally.”
It might take a lot of marinating before Spence vs. Crawford becomes a reality if it ever does. Crawford will be challenging Top Rank fighter WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) for his title on April 14 on ESPN at Madison Square Garden in New York. If Crawford wins that fight, he’ll likely either face Horn in a rematch or defend the belt against 39-year-old Manny Pacquiao. Arum likes to do LOTs and LOTs of rematches between his Top Rank fighters, so you can’t rule out Crawford locking it up once again against Horn if their fight is even remotely close. It doesn’t take much for Arum to put together a rematch.
If Crawford doesn’t fight Horn again, then Pacquiao has a good chance of being matched against Crawford in his first defense of his WBO welterweight title. Where the problem for Crawford comes in is once Arum exhausts fights against Horn and Pacquiao, he’s not going to have anyone to fight in his Top Rank stable. Unless Arum reaches out to other promoters to match Crawford against their fighters, he’s going to be isolated as the WBO champion if all Arum is going to do is match him against guys from his own stable. The long short of it is Crawford won’t become popular enough to ever face Spence unless he’s put in with guys that the boxing public wants to see him fight. The U.S boxing fans aren’t too excited about the Horn vs. Crawford fight. That’s not an interesting one. Horn is an unknown with the casual fans in the U.S, so they can’t care too much about this fight.
Crawford isn’t a good talker. He can’t assist in creating interest in his fights like some fighters do. Likewise, Crawford doesn’t have a well-known trainer like Freddie Roach that can take over the trash talking burden that he’s done for Manny Pacquiao for many years. I don’t think the Crawford vs. Horn fight is going to gain a lot of attention for the Nebraska native Crawford. For Crawford to become popular, he’s going to need to either fight Haymon’s fighters like Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter or he’ll need to take some risks by facing some junior middleweights like Jermell Charlo, Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara. I don’t see that happening. Crawford won’t want to take a risk like that, so I don’t see him ever becoming popular enough for a fight between him and Spence to make sense economically or promotional-wise.
Without the right match-making, Crawford’s career will be stunted, just as we’ve seen with Pacquiao’s career since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. Pacquiao could still be a highly popular fighter right now if he were matched against the right opposition in his 3 fights since his loss to Mayweather. Instead of Pacquiao being matched against fighters the boxing public wanted to see him fight, he was put in with Jessie Vargas, Terence Crawford [third fight that few boxing fans wanted to see] and Jeff Horn. Those were 3 wasted fights for Pacquiao. He should have fought Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman. If Pacquiao had fought those guys, I think he’d be a lot more popular than he is right now.
Crawford needs to be assertive with his career by speaking up and letting Arum know that he’s willing to face some guys from the 154 or even 160 lb. division if he can’t match him against guys that will help his career. I think it’s predictable that once Crawford beats Horn, he’ll either start the rematch cycle or start facing Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters like Konstantin Ponomarev. That’s a waste of Crawford’s time and his career if he starts being fed weak opposition for the next few years.