Terence Crawford believes Errol Spence Jr. fight can happen
By Chris Williams: Fresh off his victory over WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn, Terence Crawford believes that a fight against IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. is possible if it makes good business sense for the two of them, which will require agreement between his promoters at Top Rank, and Spence’s manager Al Haymon.
Crawford fights on ESPN, and he would need to be given the green light by his promoter Bob Arum to fight on Showtime against Spence. Spence is with Haymon, and he fights on Showtime. Getting the promoters and networks to agree to a fight between Spence and Crawford by the end of 2018 would seem highly unlikely. It’s still possible if there’s enough money involved, but it’s early in both of fighter’s careers to be fighting on PPV. In a perfect world, Spence-Crawford will take place in 2019, but given all the hurdles that will need to be bypassed to make this fight happen, it’s unlikely to take place in the next five years.
Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) is going to need Top Rank to work with Haymon for him to have access to all of his fighters, such as Spence, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman. Without them, Crawford will be stuck fighting Top Rank’s meager stable of fighters at 147.
Crawford captured the WBO welterweight title in stopping Jeff Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in the 9th round last Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I just think business-wise it has to make sense,” Crawford said via ESPN.com. “Al isn’t going to send his fighters to ESPN if it doesn’t make sense, and Bob isn’t going to send me to Showtime if it doesn’t make sense. If the fight makes sense, the fight will happen.”
What Crawford doesn’t realize is that his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank lost his biggest money fighter Manny Pacquiao three years ago when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. and was beaten soundly. Following that defeat, Pacquiao stopped being a huge PPV draw for Top Rank. Pacquiao brings in almost nothing in PPV money compared to what he was making before he lost to Mayweather. You don’t think Arum hasn’t learned his lesson from that fight? Of course he has. If it was a sure thing for Crawford to beat Spence, then Arum would bend over backwards to try and make the fight happen. Arum was in a hurry to make Crawford-Horn, because it was a fight that Crawford was a guaranteed lock to win. Arum never matched Crawford against Regis Prograis when he was fighting at 140. I don’t think Arum is going to let Crawford anywhere near Spence, because it’s a bad match-up for him. It took Crawford 9 rounds to beat Horn, a fighter that Spence would likely blast out in three rounds at the most.
In the next couple of year the fighters that Arum will likely try and match Crawford against are these guys:
I doubt that any of those guys will fight Crawford unless they’re absolutely hard up for a payday, which they still won’t get fighting him. It’s not worth it to fight for $1 million against Crawford if you’re going to lose. I think Porter would give Crawford a lot of problems with his pressure fighting. If Porter rams his head into the face of Crawford often enough, he’ll cut him up around his eyes and have him struggling to see. Crawford has never had fight with two cut eyes. It might be a different story for him to defend against Porter if he can’t see where the punches are coming from.
”I’ve already fought two Al Haymon fighters, so I don’t think that will stop a fight from getting done,” Crawford said. ”It’s boxing, so anything can happen. A lot people are leaning towards me and Errol Spence, but we never know what tomorrow holds.”
Deciding what the future holds should be easy enough for Crawford to figure out. First of all, he’s with Top Rank, who doesn’t make too many matches with Haymon fighters. Second of all, Top Rank is trying to turn Crawford into a star after having a bad experience when they matched Pacquiao against Mayweather. Arum was smart to make the fight when Pacquiao was old rather than still in his prime, but the fact is he waited until the Filipino fighter was 36 before he finally made the fight. Crawford is only 30. If Arum makes the fight with Spence now, he could be stuck with a badly devalued Crawford if he gets beaten up and stopped. As such, I see Arum dragging his feet for the next 6 years minimum when it comes to making the Spence vs. Crawford fight.
It’s unfortunate that Arum doesn’t have anyone to match Crawford up against in the next five to six years while he lets the Spence vs. Crawford fight slowly marinate. There’s no one for Arum to match Crawford against that will excite the boxing public. There’s talk that Crawford’s first defense of his WBO title will be against Top Rank fighter Jose Benavidez. After that, it’s nothing but no names as far as the eye can see unless Arum wants to take some risks with Crawford by matching him against Regis Prograis and some of the junior middleweights like Erislandy Lara, Jermell Charlo and Jarrett Hurd. I think Hurd would love to fight Crawford, but I’m not so certain the feeling would be mutual. Those are the guys that Arum would probably have a good chance of matching against Crawford.
Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Keith Thurman are all with Showtime and Haymon. It’s doubtful that Showtime is going to agree to let them fight on ESPN. It’s unlikely Arum will let Crawford fight on Showtime. The different networks will likely keep Crawford from fighting those guys. If Arum was willing to let Crawford fight on Showtime, it would help make the fights doable, but I can’t see Arum ever agreeing to that. Crawford still isn’t a big enough name yet for it to be worthwhile for Haymon to let his fighters fight him on ESPN. There’s little money in fighting Crawford yet. I’m not sure that will ever change due to the lack of fighters that Arum has to match Crawford up against in his Top Rank stable. The boxing public isn’t going to want to see Arum throw Crawford in with Jeff Horn four or five times. Doing rematches is out of the question.
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