Errol Spence trashes Terence Crawford, says he’s on wrong side of street
By Chris Williams: Errol Spence Jr. tore into WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford last Saturday night in talking to the boxing media following Shawn Porter’s 12 round unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), who holds the IBF welterweight title, thinks Crawford made a mistake in re-signing with Top Rank, as it puts him out of reach for a fight against him, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman due to his promotional company not doing business with his manager Al Haymon. Spence says he’s the A-side in a fight with Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), and that a fight between them will never happen because he’s not going to fight on ESPN. Spence fights on Showtime and Fox.
“How many fights does he have?” Spence said about Crawford. “The guy [Julius Indongo] he just fought for the light welterweight championship of the world, Regis Prograis just stopped him earlier than he did. So you got to add it all in to conclusion to say who the top welterweight. A lot of stuff is smoke and mirrors,” Spence said about Crawford and his resume. “Bob Arum does a lot of smoke and mirrors, and that’s how it is with Terence Crawford. One of you guys name the guys he fought that is better than Chris Algieri…It’s a good fight,” Spence said of Crawford’s fight with Jose Benavidez on October 13. “I got tape of me beating Benavidez in sparring, punishing him in sparring. Keith is he fight for me. Once he comes back, they’ll be talking about Errol Spence and Keith Thurman,” Spence said.
Spence brings up a good point about Arum’s hype about Crawford being nothing but smoke and mirrors. Crawford hasn’t beaten anyone good yet during his career. His toughest fight thus far was against Yuriorkis Gamboa, and he was hurt by him and getting dominated for the first five rounds.
Crawford’s best wins during his career have come against these fighters:
– Julius Indongo
– Ricky Burns
– Felix Diaz
– Hank Lundy
– John Molina Jr.
– Thomas Dulorme
– Dierry Jean
– Yuriorkis Gamboa
– Amdrey Klimov
– Viktor Postol
That above list would likely be no problem at all for top light welterweights like Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor. Crawford has been matched carefully by Arum, and that help explains why he’s been able to win so many of his fights without losing.
Crawford beat former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Julius Indongo by a 3rd round knockout last year in August 2017. The victory for Crawford enabled him to unify all four titles at 140, making him the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO light welterweight champion. At the time, it was considered a big deal that Crawford knocked out Indongo in three rounds. That was until Regis Prograis turned around and knocked Indongo out in two rounds last March. Suddenly, Crawford’s stoppage win over Indongo didn’t look nearly as impressive.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum made a slick move in matching Crawford against WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn to make him a world champion at 147. Crawford didn’t have to fight Spence to win a world title. He only had to fight the Top Rank promoted Jeff Horn, who was viewed as a paper champion by a lot of boxing fans after winning a controversial 12 round decision last year against Manny Pacquiao in Brisbane, Australia.
“If Keith Thurman didn’t injure his hand again, he’d be back inside the ring this fall,” said Spence’s promoter Lou DiBella. “Unfortunately, he’s had a rough turn of luck, and injured his hand again,” DiBella said. ”But remember, Keith Thurman beat both of those guys [Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter] that we saw tonight.”
Spence isn’t going to be able to get a chance to fight Thurman until 2019, and even then it’s not assured that he’ll be able to get that fight. Thurman’s brittle body makes it possible that he’ll suffer another injury and wind up needing to sit inactive for a lot longer. When Thurman does come back, it’s unlikely that he’ll be anywhere close to the fighter that beat Porter and Danny Garcia. If Spence beats Thurman, he’s not likely to be given credit from the boxing public due to Keith’s injury problems.
“Like I said, Terence Crawford is on the wrong side of the street,” Spence said. “It’s me, we got Danny Garcia, then Shawn Porter. We got Keith Thurman. We got [Yordenis] Ugas. We got a lot of good fighters over here. Who has he got? If he was an A-level fighter, Bob Arum would have been done gave him a fight against Manny Pacquiao, but he gave him a fight against Jeff Horn. Why is that? Why didn’t he give it to him? Their [Top Rank] guy is Terence Crawford, so why didn’t they give it to him? He gave him to Jeff Horn. If that’s supposed to be your dude [then why didn’t you match him against Pacquiao?]. Like I said, he’s on the wrong side of the street. Who is he calling out? Al Haymon guys, right. How is he going to get that fight when he just signed an extension [with Top Rank]? I’m not going to ESPN. I’m not going to fight on ESPN. The big money fights and the fights that are going to get made are the fights on Showtime and Fox Sports. That’s the fights that are going to get made,” Spence said.
Crawford reportedly was given a lot of money to re-sign with Top Rank. However, that decision may wind up coming back to haunt Crawford in terms of him being unable to fight Haymon’s fighters. Crawford hasn’t been fighting Haymon fighters in the last 10 years of his career, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. The money must have been good for Crawford in re-signing with Top Rank, but have to wonder how much he would have made if he had been able to fight top guys like Garcia, Spence, Thurman and Spence. Those would all be big money fights that would potentially increase Crawford’s popularity if he won them. If Crawford cleaned the table and beat all of those guys, he’d potentially be the next Floyd Mayweather Jr. in terms of the popularity and money he could make in the sport. But without being able to fight those guys, Crawford’s popularity will likely be stunted. There’s not going to be much interest from the boxing public in seeing Crawford fight Jose Benavidez three or four times.
Arum likes to do rematches, so it’s quite possible that we’ll see Crawford and Benavidez face each other 2 to 4 times depending on how competitive their fights are. Those likely won’t be big fights.
”He’s talking about, ‘I got $3 million guaranteed.’ I’m A-side, that’s it,” Spence said about Craword. ”Terence Crawford lives across the street. He’s got to leave ESPN and come across to Showtime and Fox or they got to do something where they come together and we both fight. I’m not worried about it at all. I like Terence Crawford and I respect him a lot, but like I said, he’s on the wrong side of the street. There’s politics in boxing. That’s the truth of it. It is what it is. I’ve never fought on ESPN and I’m never going to fight on ESPN probably. No disrespect to ESPN. I’m with Showtime and Fox. I’m on the different side of the street. How can he say he owns the block? You don’t own the block. You’re not going to fight on Showtime. You’re not going to fight on Fox,” Crawford said.
It’s unlikely that Spence will fight on ESPN. I don’t know if Arum realizes that or not, but if he does, he’s now aware that he won’t be able to put the Crawford vs. Spence fight together. It’s not just the politics of boxing that is preventing Crawford and pence rom fighting each other. It’s the fact that the two fighters compete on different networks. The only way that it makes sense for Crawford and Spence to face each other is if the fight is a huge one that can make a lot of money for both networks. Right now, that’s not the case.
”Shawn Porter isn’t a tune-up fight,” Spence said. ”He’s a world class fighter. He’s definitely not a tune-up fight. I’m not going to disrespect him and put it like that at all. Even though Danny Garcia lost, Danny Garcia is still a world class fighter. That’s a good fight to make. Even if I fight Danny or Shane, that’s a big fight to make. They’re both world class,” Spence said.