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Spence and Crawford trade words

Errol Spence Jr Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. and WBO champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) traded words last Saturday night back stage in Oklahoma City at the Maurice Hooker vs. Alex Saucedo fight.

While it seemed like they were both on good terms originally when they started out trash talking, that changed when Crawford started talking about wanting to bet money on the outcome of a fight between them. Crawford dared Spence to bet $1 million on their fight, and he agreed to. However, it still doesn’t mean that the boxing public will see Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) inside the ring anytime soon.

Spence, 28, is defending his IBF 147 lb title next against WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) on March 16 at the AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas. If Spence wins that fight, he’ll likely be facing World Boxing Council 147 lb champion Shawn Porter in a unification fight in the second half of 2019.

For his part, Crawford is supposed to be facing Top Rank stable-mates Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Mike Alvarado. The fight between Crawford and Kavaliauskas is a good one on paper, but Alvarado, 38, hasn’t done anything to deserve a crack at Terence’s WBO title. That’s a terrible fight, and one that few boxing fans will be interested in watching.

“You’re too fat,”” Crawford said to esnewsreporting in talking to Spence. “Don’t you try and go to the body [against me]. You got hurt by Kell Brook, What we going to bet on it?”

At this point, Spence said, “$100,000.”

Crawford then said, “A million!”

Spence then agreed to the bet by giving the 31-year-old Crawford an old fashioned handshake. That’s obviously a lot of money for a fighter like Crawford, who hasn’t established himself as a star and who looked shaky in his last fight against Jose Benavidez Jr.

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“I’m not fat,” Spence said to Crawford after he called him fat. “How do I look at the weigh-in [for my fights]?”

Spence puts weight on between fights, and appears to balloon up to the 180s. But when it comes time for Spence to train, he quickly takes the weight of and is able to come into the fight in top shape.

“This is gonna be easy work,” Spence said. “You got hurt by [Yuriorkis] Gamboa,” Spence said to Crawford about how he was staggered by former featherweight champion Gamboa four years ago in 2014 in the toughest fight of his career. Despite having a height, reach, weight and youth advantage over Gamboa, Crawford was struggling badly against the Cuban star until he slipped and fell to the canvas in the 5th. Crawford hit Gamboa a split second after he had slipped. The referee Genaro Rodriguez blew the call in ruling it a knockdown when it should have been ruled as a slip. Gamboa lost his cool after being knocked down by Crawford, and he just started swinging for the fences Crawford was then able to take control over the fight and stop Gamboa in the 9th. We’ll never know what would have happened if the referee had made the correct call in the 5th round of the fight. The contest took place in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

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Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum says Spence should stay away from his fighter Crawford. Obviously, Arum would like nothing better than to see Spence and Crawford face each other as soon as possible. Crawford needs a big win over Spence for him to take his career to the next level, as he’s not been able to win over the boxing public the way that former Top Rank fighter Manny Pacquiao did during his prime.

“The smartest thing you can do is to stay away from Terence.” Arum said to esnewsreporting.

Arum sees Spence having an easy time beating Mikey Garcia on March 16. Arum is surprised that Garcia, 30, agreed to take the fight.

“I think that’s an easy fight,” Arum said. “I didn’t think Mikey was that stupid!”

Mikey wants the big payday that comes with fighting Spence. It’s a match that will help Mikey’s popularity whether he’s beaten or not. As long as Mikey puts in a good effort and goes out on his shield the way that warriors do, he’ll come out of the fight smelling like a rose. Garcia stands more to gain by fighting a popular fighter like Spence than he does in remaining at lightweight and defending his WBC title against Luke Campbell and Richard Commey. There would be a lot of interest from boxing fans between a unification fight between Mikey and WBA lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko. That’s a good fight, but the casual boxing fans might not be as interested in seeing the match due to Lomachenko not being a big name. He’s mainly known by the hardcore boxing fans in the States. The casual fans don’t follow the lighter weight classes in the U.S like they do in other parts of the world. Mikey is an exception because he has a large fans base from the Southern California area.

“You said the fight wasn’t going to happen,” Spence said to Arum.

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