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Teddy Atlas talks Errol’s car crash, and Spence vs. Crawford fight

Image: Teddy Atlas talks Errol's car crash, and Spence vs. Crawford fight

By Allan Fox: Teddy Atlas has some serious concerns about Errol Spence’s mental and physical health in the aftermath of his October 10th car crash in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, Atlas worries that fans might not get a chance to see WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s greatness by him facing talented guys like Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) if this fight is never made.

Spence reportedly was traveling at a high speed when he crashed his Ferrari 488 Spider at 2:53 AM on October 10, and was violently thrown from the vehicle on impact. Some believe that Spence’s vehicle was traveling at an estimated speed of 100 mph at the moment of the crash. Whether that’s true or not is unclear.

What’s known is Spence wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the car crash, and he was later charged with DWI by the Dallas police department.

Spence may not be ready for a tough fight now

“You don’t know how he [Spence] is mentally and emotionally, seeing your life pass in front of you,” said Atlas on Spence at THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas. “Think about it. You get back in the ring after seeing your life pass in front of you, and you’re not going to think nothing of it?

“No, you’re going to think of it. It’s not just the physical component of it; you don’t know where he is emotionally,” said Atlas.

“If Don King and Arum could work together, anyone can work together, you know?” said Atlas about Crawford and Spence fight. “Because there was money involved. Of course, you had [Manny] Pacquiao and [Floyd] Mayweather coming up with crazy, life-altering numbers.

“The only reason that fight happened is because it became so big. Both sides, both networks had to come together to make concessions to come together, and it can be done,” said Atlas.

Only Spence knows how he is mentally and physically. Errol may not find out until he starts sparring. If there’s lingering problems from the car crash, they’ll be sure to surface when he starts sparring.

As far as the Spence-Crawford fight goes, it’s not as big as it could be right now, because neither fighter has had enough high profile fights in their respective careers for the casual boxing fans to get excited about this match.

Spence’s face still doesn’t look healed

The fight side of Spence’s face still looked bruised and slightly swollen last Friday. It’s been over  2 months since Spence’s car crash, and his face still doesn’t look right. In addition to that, Spence’s speech sounded slightly slurred, and talked slowly like he wasn’t fully recovered. If Spence is going to jump back into the ring soon, for his sake, he needs a tune-up.

IBF/WBC 147-lb champ Spence was interviewed by Fox last Friday, and he said he’s been given a clear bill of health by doctors to resume his career. He plans on fighting in the first six months of 2020, and he doesn’t want a warm-up fight.

What Spence wants and what his management at Premier Boxing Champions want for him in 2020 could run counter to each other, as he needs time to make sure that he’s ready mentally and physically to return to the ring.

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Atlas wants to see Crawford show his greatness against the best

“It would be a shame if we didn’t get a chance to see Crawford show his true greatness against the greatest fighters,” said Atlas in complementing Crawford. “That would be a shame. It would be, and right now it’s not going to happen, because he’s on the wrong side of the street,” Atlas said about Crawford not being with the same promoter as Spence and the other PBC fighters.

“He’s [Crawford] not on the other side of the street with the promoter [PBC] that has those fighters. So something has to give. The first thing that has to give is it need to be a financially big enough fight for both sides to come together to start talking about it, and to figure it out,” said Atlas.

It’s pretty obvious listening to Atlas compliment Crawford that he thinks very highly of him, but he turned down the Shawn Porter fight this week. So if anyone is to blame for Crawford not getting a chance to show his greatness, it’s him.

Additionally, Crawford re-upped with Top Rank, and he could have moved on and signed with Premier Boxing Champions to get big names at 147 to fight him. If the Spence vs. Crawford fight is NEVER made, you can argue it’s Terence’s fault. If Crawford wanted to become a superstar, he could have made better moves with his boxing career.

Crawford knows himself more than other people do. Perhaps, Crawford doesn’t trust his ability to beat the best fighters like Spence, Porter, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia. By turning down Porter, and re-signing with Top Rank, Crawford ensured himself he wouldn’t have to worry about losing to them.

Spence needs to recover mentally and physically from car crash

“Again, the stakes have to be there for them to want to do it,” Atlas continued on Spence vs. Crawford fight. “But again, I don’t know if it’s too powerful a word to say travesty, but it would be a damn shame not to see Crawford’s true greatness against the best, the very best.

“Don’t forget the physical part,” said Atlas about Spence’s horrific car crash. “He lost teeth, and it’s a miracle. He should be thanking God.  I don’t tell anyone how to behave their life, but he should be thanking God that he’s alive.

“Really, I’m thanking God he’s alive, but he lost teeth and got a few abrasions but minimal. Think about it what could have been. But you can’t dismiss the emotional aspect of what we’re talking about. This guy saw his life pass in front of him, and he made not be ready to get back [into the ring].

“I’m not saying that I know anything. I don’t,” said Atlas about Spence’s condition. “But I know what being a human being means. ‘Let me think about it. My life was given back to me. Let me think about what I’m doing next,” Atlas said on Spence.

Ideally, Spence should take it easy for the first half of 2020 before looking to defend his IBF/WBC welterweight titles. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen though, because he’s saying he wants to fight in April or May.

Spence needs 1 or 2 tune-up fights

A tune-up fight for Spence is what needs to happen when he returns to the ring, and no one would blame him for doing that. Given how bad Spence’s car crash was, he’s not being pressured to jump into the ring immediately with Crawford in his first fight back.

What Spence need is to take one or two tune-ups in 2020, as long as the IBF and WBC allow him to do so. If not, then he should vacate one of the belts so he can ease back in.

Spence should fight one of these fighters in a tune-up in early 2020:

  • Amir Khan
  • Josh Kelly
  • Ray Robinson
  • Jamal James
  • Josesito Lopez
  • Thomas Dulorme

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