Terence Crawford tells Errol Spence, ‘the fight can happen after Khan fight’
By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford says a unification fight against Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr. is possible after his next fight against Amir ‘King’ Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) on April 20. Crawford, 31, says the Spence match-up is the biggest one in the 147 lb weight division today, and he thinks his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing can sit down and make the fight happen in negotiating a deal with Spence’s management after his next fight.
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) says he’s not even thinking about the Spence fight right now. The Top Rank fighter Crawford needs to win this fight over the 2004 Olympic Silver medalist Khan before he can even dream about his promoters hammering out a deal for a mega-fight against Spence. The Spence-Crawford isn’t going to be an easy one to make, though, considering that they both fight on separate networks. Spence is with Premier Boxing Champions, and he fights on Showtime and Fox Sports. Crawford is with Top Rank, and his fights are on ESPN. For the mega-fight to get made between the two welterweight champions, the networks will need to agree to share the PPV telecast in the same way HBO and Showtime shared the PPV broadcast mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
“Of course it is makeable. I believe it would be the biggest fight in the welterweight division,” Crawford said in insisting that a fight between him and Spence is doable fight. “But like you said, I have this fight against Amir Khan. After the fight, we can talk about Errol Spence and Al Haymon and Top Rank doing business together. But right now, I am not even thinking or worried about Errol Spence.”
Spence just finished showing that he fight the same way that Crawford normally does in his recent 12 round shellacking of Mikey Garcia on March 16 in Arlington, Texas. Spence, 29, stood on the outside and boxed Mikey for most of the fight, and made it look easy. The way that Spence fought is how Crawford normally does by boxing instead of slugging, and it wasn’t particularly interesting for a lot of fans to watch. The one round that was exciting was the ninth, when Spence suddenly started bulldozing Mikey, and he had him reeling and within an whisper of being stopped. Had Spence come out for the tenth round fighting with the same intensity, the referee or Mikey’s trainer Robert Garcia, would have had to stop the fight. The ninth round was sickeningly one-sided. Spence showed how versatile he is with his win over Mikey. With Spence’s Olympic talent, he can fight just like Crawford, but he chooses not to because he sees it as boring. Spence likes to make it exciting by destroying his opponents. In looking at that performance by Spence against Mikey, it’s hard not to envision Spence doing the same thing to Crawford when that fight gets made in the future.
As good as the Spence vs. Crawford fight is, it’s still a little early for the two to be facing each other right now. Spence still has to win the WBA and WBC welterweight titles by beating Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman before he turns his attention to Crawford. Those are three big fights that await Spence against Premier Boxing Champions [PBC] welterweights [Pacquiao, Porter and Thurman]. Crawford needs to beat some relevant guys that are young, talented and in the prime of their careers instead of taking older guys that have a lot of mileage on them like the ones he’s been facing most of his career. It won’t hurt the Spence-Crawford promotion if the marinating is done for another 2 years or so, until Spence has fought all the other top welterweights with PBC. Crawford still has guys he needs to fight on his end to build up the Spence fight. If Crawford gets past Khan, he has Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Jessie Vargas, Giovanni Santillan, Rashidi Ellis, Diego Ramirez, Kudratillo Abdukakhorov and Luis Collazo. Those fights will take Crawford a couple of years to work through, but he’ll be the better for it. The Spence fight will be bigger by that time, and the boxing public will get a good idea whether Crawford is the real thing or a product of hype the way some fans think he is when they look at his weak resume.
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing in the Ring Magazine poll, but he’s badly inexperienced when it comes to fighting prime high caliber opposition. There are a lot of wins on Crawford’s resume against aging guys like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Raymundo Beltran (37), Ricky Burns (35), John Molina Jr. (36), Viktor Postol (35), Dierry Jean (35), Hank Lundy (35) and Julius Indongo (36). Those guys are all pretty old. Crawford hasn’t beaten talented fighters in their youth. Even if those guys were all young, they’re not super talents, and those are the best fighters in Crawford’s resume.
Crawford’s trainer Brian McIntyre is hoping that the unification fight between Bud and Spence can get made, but he too isn’t ready to look past the Khan fight.
“Right now, our total focus is on Amir Khan,” McIntyre said. “Bob is doing his thing, trying to make the fight happen. So, hey, let Bob do his thing and let us do our thing and when the fight is done we’ll sit down with Bob and hopefully the other guys will come to the table.”
McIntyre needs to keep Crawford switched on with his upcoming fight against Khan, because this is by far the best opponent he’s fought against during his 11-year pro career. Crawford could well lose this fight, and it wouldn’t be surprising to the boxing experts, because they know he’s faced a lot of fodder opposition, thanks to the careful work of his promoters. It’s quite possible in this day and age for clever promoters to skillfully match their fighters to have them build up an unbeaten resume. Crawford got out of the 135 and 140 lb divisions just in the nick of time before he would have been expected to fight the likes of Mikey Garcia, Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, Maurice Hooker and Josh Taylor.
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