Spence gives 3-fight plan: Porter, Pacquiao-Thurman winner, then Crawford
By Sean Jones: Errol Spence Jr. has mapped out his three-fight plan for unifying the welterweight division in facing Shawn Porter next followed by the winner of Keith Thurman vs. Manny Pacquiao and then finally Terence Crawford.
Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) is hopeful the fights with the Pacquiao-Thurman winner and WBO welterweight champion Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) can be made, but he’s altogether certain they will.
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“He’s [Roy Jones Jr.] rocking with Crawford real heavy. I’m going to beat Porter, then beat Keith Thurman-Pacquiao, then I’mm going to wash his boy [Crawford] too,” said Spence.
Crawford, 31, and his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Boxing want the fight with Spence in 2019, but it’s not looking likely. Spence is devoting this year to capturing the WBA and WBC belts by beating Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) in a unification fight in September, and then going after the Pacquiao-Thurman winner.
Arum wants 45/45/10 split for Spence vs. Crawford fight
“The Terence Crawford fight is going to happen,” said Spence to Barbershop Conversations. “I’ll get the WBC belt [from Porter], and then hopefully get the winner or Keith Thurman and Pacquiao, and the we’ll put Terence on the plate,” said Spence.
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum is going to be a potential obstacle to the Spence fight being made. Arum wants an even split between Crawford and Spence, and that’s not going to happen. According to Arum, he’s willing to make the Spence-Crawford fight with either a 50-50 or 45/45/10 split. The latter split involves a 45/45 split with an extra 10 percent going to the winner of the fight. In other words, it’s still an split for Crawford on paper.
Spence says that once he wins the IBF, WBA and WBC welterweight titles, then that’ll put him in a good position to be the A-side in the negotiations with Crawford. Under that scenario, Arum will be in a weakened position with him insisting that Crawford deserves a 50-50 or 45/45/10 split. Crawford would have one world title at 147 compared to Spence’s three.
Arum is basically saying that Crawford should get an equal split with Spence despite having fewer belts. Depending on whether Arum turns out to be intractable in the negotiations, the Spence vs. Crawford fight not ever get made. Even if the fight doesn’t get made, Crawford would still be the WBO champion, and he might be better off. Crawford can make good money sitting on the WBO title for as long as possible defending it against the obscure contenders that Arum matches him against.
Spence: I’m the A-side for Crawford fight
“He say a lot, but Bob [Arum] don’t run me. He might run those boys over there [at Top Rank Boxing], but he don’t run me,” said Spence when told that Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum wants him to accept a 45/45/10 split for a unification fight against Terence. “If I get three belts, and he [Crawford] has got one, then I’m the A-side. I already feel like I’m the A-side,” said Spence.
In an interview last week, Arum stated that he feels that Crawford is better known with boxing fans than Spence, and that he feels he’s deserving of an equal split or better in unification fight with him. During the interview, Arum came up with the idea of a 45/45/10 split for the Spence vs. Crawford fight. While Crawford would likely be happy with that split, Spence isn’t and he’s probably not going to agree with it.
If Arum insists on Crawford getting parity in the negotiations for a unification fight with Spence, then there won’t be a fight. It’s as simple as that. Crawford will need to be satisfied with making title defenses against the likes of #1 WBO Egidijus Kavaliauskas and the other contenders in the World Boxing Organization’s top 15 rankings.
Arum: Crawford is better known than Spence
“Crawford is the guy that is much better known to the public,” said Arum to Helen Yee Sports. “If they want to test that, I would say we would get 60 and they [Spence] would get 40. If they want to make it a sporting deal, why don’t we do a 45-45 and 10 for the winner. I would be happy with that. No, I just thought of it now,” said Arum.
The problem is Crawford hasn’t been fighting the popular enough contenders to raise his profile high enough for him to get the 50-50 or 45/45/10 split that Arum is talking about for the Spence fight. up to now, Crawford’s best wins of his career have come against these fighters:
– Amir Khan
– Viktor Postol
– John Molina Jr.
– Ray Beltran
– Jeff Horn
– Jose Benavidez Jr.
– Yuriorkis Gamboa
– Ricky Burns
– Thomas Dulorme
– Felix Diaz
Spence: Crawford didn’t do good numbers for Khan fight
“With his [Crawford] pay-per-view numbers [for the Amir Khan fight], he didn’t really do anything,” said Spence about Crawford’s recent low PPV numbers for his April 20th title defense against Khan. “I just feel like I’m the A-side, period. I just feel like when I get the WBC belt [from Porter], and the other belt [WBA], I’m definitely A-side,” said Spence.
Crawford vs. Khan is rumored to have done a little over 100,000 buys on ESPN pay-per-view. You can’t entirely blame Crawford for his low PPV numbers. After all, this was a horrible idea by Arum to put the Crawford-Khan mismatch on ESPN PPV. Khan, 32, is considered an over-the-hill fighter in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans, and he’s not a popular fighter in the U.S. Assuming Arum had no other choice but to put the Crawford vs. Khan fight on ESPN PPV in order to make it, then you can give him a pass for having done so. But never the less, it was a poor fight for pay-per-view, and the low numbers showed that. The negative part about Crawford’s low PPV numbers for the Khan fight is it hurts his ability to get a 50-50 split for a unification fight against Spence.
Spence: Crawford has nobody to fight
“He [Crawford] has nobody to fight. He can [fight Brook], but Kell Brook is washed. Yeah, he washed. Look at his last fight [against Michael Zerafa]. He got hurt and everything. He washed, especially at 147, he washed. I think he’s past it. He’s been hurt and everything. He can’t get down to 147. Even I suck down to 147,” said Spence.
You can argue that Spence is correct about Crawford having few options for him to fight right now. Crawford doesn’t have access to the Premier Boxing Champions fighters Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, Spence and Yordenis Ugas. Those are the fighters that Crawford needs for him to increase his popularity in order to demand a 50-50 fight with Errol.
Spence says he’ll fight Canelo if asked
“I would move up to fight Canelo,” said Spence. “I spar with light heavyweights all the time. I don’t want to spar Deontay [Wilder]. Hell no. His power, it comes up every once in a while. He just got crazy power, man,” said Spence.
Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Spence is a fight that a lot of boxing fan are eager to see, but it’s unlikely to happen. The two guys are on different network platforms right now. Spence fights on Fox for PBC, whereas as Canelo is on DAZN. Apart from that, they fight in different weight classes, and Canelo is clearly more popular than Spence. For a fight to get made between Spence and Canelo, a lot of hoops would need to be jumped through by the management for the two fighters. In the end, it’s probably not a doable fight at this time because of the networks.