Lampley rates Spence-Crawford as dream fight
By Chris Williams: HBO commentator Jim Lampley sees IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) as a dream fight for the future. Lampley can’t or won’t say who he favors right now in a fight between them. He thinks that Crawford has more punching power than Spence (23-0, 20 KOs) despite being smaller and with not as high a knockout percentage.
The winner of a Spence vs. Crawford fight could come down to which of the two welterweights can take a better punch. The way that Crawford’s head was snapped back by the 5’5” Felix Diaz in their fight last year, I have doubts whether the Nebraska native would survive for long against a fighter like Spence. The natural size advantage for Spence over the thin-boned Crawford might be too much for him to deal with.
Crawford is not in the immediate plans for Spence and vice versa. Spence just finished making his first defense of his IBF welterweight title in stopping former 2 division belt winner Lamont Peterson in 7 rounds on January 20 on Showtime Boxing. Spence is now scheduled to fight on June 16th against an opponent still to be determined in Dallas. Texas. The International Boxing Federation has ordered Spence to defend against his mandatory challenger #3 IBF Carlos Ocampo next.
For his part, Crawford is fighting WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn for his belt on April 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Horn-Crawford will be televised on ESPN. Crawford won’t have to share the same fate that Manny Pacquiao did in having to travel to Brisbane, Australia to challenge for the WBO title. It’s odd that Top Rank was willing to let their more popular fighter and only PPV guy Pacquiao fight Horn in Australia rather than having the fight take place in the U.S. It’s hard to understand that move by Top Rank. It should be the opposite. Pacquiao should have been protected by having him fight in the U.S rather than fighting Horn in his home country.
Crawford, 30, is older than the 28-year-old, and he’s promoted by Top Rank, which could slow things down in a major way when it comes to making a fight between them. If a future fight between Crawford and Spence does eventually take place, it might not happen until Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank finishes matching him against all available Top Rank fighters he can think of plus rematches. It could 2 to 5 years before the Spence vs. Crawford is made. When Arum is no longer at the head of Top Rank, fights like Spence vs. Crawford could be made. Right now, I don’t see it being a fight that will happen soon because Arum will likely keep Crawford in house fighting his Top Rank guys.
“Well, I rate Spence up here [at the top]. And I think that Crawford is right there with him,” Lampley said to Fighthub. ”I think that would be a fantastic fight, they’re both among, in my view, the top five or six fighters in the world. And then, you know, there are the other welterweights and if Thurman fights more and fights against better opponents and proves to me that he belongs on the level with the other two then I’ll put him there. But for the moment that’s Spence and Crawford,” Lampley said.
Keith Thurman and Spence will be fighting next year if the two of them hold onto their welterweight titles. Thurman will be defending on May 19th against an opponent still to be determined. Thurman could then fight Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia to wrap up the year if he stays healthy. That’s a big if. Thurman says he wants to fight Porter, and Garcia. Thurman has a choice whether to fight Garcia again. He’s not a mandatory challenger for him like Porter is right now, but he knows he can beat Garcia. That’s why Thurman wants to fight him again. It’s a decent payday against a fighter that he knows he can beat. Thurman doesn’t have the same confidence about Spence, which is why he’s not in a hurry to make that fight.
“Crawford has more experience. Crawford can fight out of both stances. Maybe Crawford has more punching power — he’s certainly more of a mean-streak kind of killer in there,” Lampley said.
Spence is a southpaw, so it won’t bother him too much for Crawford to fight as a southpaw against him. Crawford certainly isn’t going to confuse Spence by fighting out of the orthodox stance. Crawford might end up hurting his own performance if he wastes time changing stances against Spence. Crawford is going to be too concerned with the heat that is being put on him by Spence than he will be in trying to confuse him. With the pressure that Spence puts on his opponents, they’re unable to fight at a slow enough pace to play mind games like the type that Crawford likes to play in his fights. Crawford’s falls apart when he’s forced to fight in a messy style when he’s pressured. When Victor Postol was taking the fight to Crawford in the 12th, he looked like an amateur in flailing with his punches and getting hit hard. rawford didn’t like the heat that Postol on him, so Crawford got on his bike and ran for the remainder of the round while sticking his tongue out. Not surprisingly, the boxing fans booed Crawford. It was a terrible way for Crawford to end the Postol fight.
“But Spence has remarkable technique, amazing quickness, sees everything — I don’t know. That’s a dream fight. And I hope somehow or another that can take place,” Lampley said.
Hopefully, Arum makes the Spence-Crawford fight while the boxing public still cares about it. If Arum makes excuses for why it can’t happen and drags it out like he did with the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Pacquiao fight, we might not see Crawford and Spence face each other until one or both of them are over-the-hill. Crawford will lose his game way before Spence, because his speed is the only thing that is keeping him from getting beaten right now. Once Crawford loses some of his speed, he’ll get chopped apart at 147.