Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford possible says Top Rank president
By Mike Smith: Top Rank president Todd Duboef says that they’re “all in” for a unification fight between their fighter WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) and IBF champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs), and it’s just a matter of them getting the fight made.
(Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)
Duboef says they don’t care what promotional outfit other fighters are. Top Rank still wants to do business with them to try and make a fight between their best fighters and Crawford, and that includes Spence, who is managed by Al Haymon.
Spence, 28, recently said that Crawford is on the other side of the fence, and that makes it hard for the two of them to face each other. Crawford and Duboef says they want the fight with Spence. It’s about the “attractability” of the fight. If there’s enough demand from the boxing fans, Duboef believes the Spence-Crawford fight will get made, although he’s not able to give a date for when the fight will get made.
“I think all fights are realistic,” Top Rank president Todd Duboef said to Fighthype when asked if Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford is possible for 2019. ”We’ve said that from the beginning. Regardless of the affiliation, we’re in. These guys want to fight. They’ve been talking all this stuff. We’re in. He [Crawford] wants to fight everybody, and we want to make it happen,” Duboef said.
Right now, some fights aren’t realistic because there are fighters who don’t seem to be eager. Guys like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, Manny Pacquio, Mikey Garcia and Errol Spence aren’t calling Crawford out on a frequent basis. They don’t seem to be overly eager to fight Crawford right now. One reason that might explain these guys not wanting to fight Crawford right now is he’s still not taken his career to the next level in terms of his popularity. Crawford isn’t a PPV star yet, and he doesn’t have a large fan base like Saul Canelo Alvarez does. Crawford is popular in the state of Nebraska, and hes got a certain amount of hardcore boxing fans that like him, but he’ still hasn’t gotten the casual fans to come on board as of yet. For Crawford to get to that level, he’s going to need more visibility and better opposition. He’s not going to become a star fighting the level of guys that he’s been facing. I think that’s been well established. Despite unifying the light welterweight division and winning the WBO welterweight title, Crawford remains and unknown with a lot of fans. Many of the fans that do know him aren’t excited by his counter punching style of fighting, and the movement that he often uses. The fans want to see exciting fights with blood being spilled and huge punches being landed. They don’t want to see the switch hitting, counter punching and the movement that Crawford often does. Most of all, they don’t want to see mismatches involving Crawford, which Saturday’s fight between him and the 26-year-old Benavidez figure to be.
“I think these guys are programmed to say certain things,” Duboef said about the remark from Spence about Crawford being on the other side of the fence, which prevents them from being able to fight due to them being with different management. “Everybody says right side, wrong side. They can get done between different parties. I’ve been in this business 25 years. Things get done. So, it’s about the attractability of the fight. De La Hoya-Trinidad got done, Mayweather-Pacquiao got done, Morales-Barrera, everything gets done. Dollars always make fights, Duboef said.
Duboef brings up a good point about the bigger fights getting made if there’s a lot of interest in the fight getting made. What he doesn’t say is that the promoters need to do their part in helping to generate interest from boxing fans in those fights getting made by ensuring that they match their fighters against the best opposition possible. Crawford’s fights against Benavidez, Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo, John Molina Jr. and Felix Diaz aren’t the type of fights that he needed. Crawford should have been fighting better opposition. You can say the same thing about Spence. His fights against the likes of Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Peterson, Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu aren’t the type of fights that he’s needed for hi to expand his fan base to become the next huge star in the welterweight division.
“The more awareness you have, the bigger attraction you are, the easier it is to make fights,” Duboef said. “There’s tons of fights out there. If you look back at the old days, there wasn’t a super fight every fight they fought, and that’s what Terence Crawford will do. He’ll take a fight regardless of who it is. He’ll find a really good welterweight fighter that will keep him active out there, and we’re going to keep building off the Terence Crawford brand and keep it going,” Duboef said.
Duboef is talking about Crawford taking a lesser fight against Benavidez, who the boxing public see as having virtually no chance of winning. The build up to the Crawford-Benavidez fight is expected to be world’s better than their fight on Saturday night. The problem that Crawford has had is there hasn’t been a “super fight” for him during his entire career. Duboef mentions that in the old days the fighter didn’t have a super fight all the time, but they did occasionally have them if they were popular. Crawford is 10 years into his career and he still hasn’t had a super fight or even a good fight. You can’t call Jeff Horn a good fight. A good fight would be between Crawford and the likes of Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter or Amir Khan. A super fight would be Crawford vs. Spence or Keith Thurman.
“We believe he’s the big business, the best fighter in the world, and the best fighter I’ve seen in a long time,” Duboef said about Crawford. “He’s at his peak, and he’s the guy the people want to beat. We’ve got opportunities.”
Duboef and Top Rank can call him the best fighter in boxing, but until he starts proving it by taking on the best, you can’t call him the best. To be the best, you’ve got to prove it, otherwise its just fantasy stuff, which is what Duboef calls it himself when asked if Crawford vs. Spence is the best fight in the sport. Calling Crawford the best fighter is fantasy because he’s not proving it by facing Benavidez, Horn and Indongo. Those are good fighters, but they’re not talented enough to say that Crawford is the best fighter in boxing for having beaten them.
“It’s called fantasy boxing,” Duboef said when asked if Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford is the best fight in the sport that can be made. “What if? What if? At the end of the day, if everybody does their job, the fights will get made,” Duboef.
It sounds like Duboef doesn’t want to put pressure on himself with the Crawford vs. Spence fight. If Duboef says that Crawford-Spence is the biggest fight in boxing, then the fans will come down hard on him night and day in wanting him to put the fight together. But by Duboef undermining the idea of Spence-Crawford being the best fight that can get made, he doesn’t have to feel the wrath from boxing fans when he fails to make it.