By Sean Jones: With few options available to him for important fights, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford has suddenly started applying pressure to Errol Spence Jr. by mounting a social media campaign to try and force a unification fight. Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) posted a series of Tweets last weekend, letting his boxing fans know that he wants the unification fight with IBF/WBC champion Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs).
Spence has options at 147, but Crawford doesn’t
Crawford wants/needs a fight with Spence, because his promoters at Top Rank have nothing for him. For example, Crawford’s last three fights at 147 have come against these less popular fighters:
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Amir Khan
- Jose Benavidez Jr.
- Jeff Horn
Those fights have eaten up 2 years of Crawford’s career, and that’s all he has to show for himself in 2018 and 2019. Now approaching his 33rd birthday, Crawford has no prospects for compelling fights. He just took care of little known Kavaliauskas in stopping him in the 9th round on December 14, and his next fight could be against #8 WBO Kudratillo Abdukakhorov. That fight won’t interest casual boxing fans. Crawford was called out recently by former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter, but he didn’t accept the offer to fight him.
Crawford to Spence: “I’ll SMOKE you”
“So what’s been the hold up, homie? When I came to the division y’all all said I had to get a title first,” Crawford said on social media to Spence. “Now you changed your mind and talking about the wrong side of the street. So I’m just here for another excuse what’s up.
“I’m ready when you ready. Matter of fact, I have been ready before. I even had a 147 LB fight. Like I said, you got these people fooled but not me. Whenever you get back right, I’ll smoke you. All you gotta do is sign the contract next and I’m on yo head,” said Crawford to Spence.
It doesn’t look like Crawford is in position to get the fight he wants against Spence or any of the PBC fighters for that matter. Crawford is on the wrong side of the street than Spence, and he’s at the end of the line when it comes to options. If Spence didn’t have five excellent opponents available for him to fight with PBC, he quickly arrange a fight with Crawford.
Spence vs. Crawford needs to marinate more
The fact is, Spence DOES have options, and he’s better off exhausting all of them before he looks to face Crawford. Besides, the Spence vs. Crawford fight isn’t big enough yet. It still needs to marinate for it to be a huge money-maker that it could be down the line.
If Top Rank can do a better job of finding opponents for Crawford to fight, his popularity could increase over the next 2 to 3 years, but right now he’s not popular enough for a fight against Spence to be huge.
Crawford could help himself greatly by not being so picky when it comes to his opponents. He recently turned down a fight against Shawn Porter. That was a mistake. When you’re trying to put pressure on fighters like Spence, you can’t be turning down fights against guys like Porter. It looks weak.
Crawford needs to consider moving up to 154 in search of fighters willing to face him right now. If he Crawford moves up to 154, he would have these fighters available to him:
- Jermell Charlo
- Tony Harrison
- Jarrett Hurd
- Erislandy Lara
- Liam Smith
- Bakhram Murtazaliev
- Patrick Teixeira
- Brian Castano
- Erickson Lubin
- Kell Brook
- Israil Madrimov
Crawford’s issues with him not having opponents available would be a thing of the past if he moved up to 154.
Spence not in a hurry to face Crawford
Unlike Crawford, Spence isn’t in a hurry to make the fight with Terence for a couple of reasons. First off, Spence was just involved in a bad car crash on October 10, and he was hurt in the accident. He spent 6 days in the ICU recovering from the crash, and he’s just now getting back into training. Secondly, Spence has plenty of options for big fights with his management at Premier Boxing Champions. These are the big fights that Spence has available to him:
- Shawn Porter – rematch
- Danny Garcia
- Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman
- Manny Pacquiao
- Vergil Ortiz Jr.
For his part, Crawford has no one in terms of interesting opponents. These are Crawford’s options:
- Kudratillo Abdukakhorov
- Regis Prograis
- Jose Ramirez
- Josh Taylor
Prograis, Ramirez and Taylor aren’t sure things for Crawford. There’s a good chance that none of those fighters will agree to fight Crawford, because it wouldn’t likely be worth it for them.
Crawford even had one of his friends create a video trashing the Premier Boxing Champions welterweights, which included Spence. The behavior by the 32-year-old Crawford suggests that he’s unhappy at not being able to get the fights that he wants against the better known 147-lb fighters in the division.
It’s not that Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank Boxing haven’t been keeping him busy. They’ve done their part in scheduling two fights a year for Crawford, but the main issue is the quality hasn’t been there. Even at 140, the quality wasn’t there for Crawford. Fought a bunch of lesser fighters, and although he unified the division, he didn’t fight anyone that was considered a popular fighter.
Crawford fights on a different platform than Spence
With Crawford fighting on ESPN, and Spence on Fox, it makes it untenable for the two to face each other. This is Crawford’s own doing though. He could have signed with PBC, and put himself in line for fights against all the guys that are with them. Crawford chose to sign with Top Rank, and only now he seems to be aware of the end result of his decision.
Crawford wants Spence to STOP making excuses for not fighting him
“And stop using the f—ing promoters, managers and advisors for that weak ass excuse y’all doing,” Crawford said on his Twitter. “They work for us y’all dumb mf if you really want a fight you tell them. I don’t give two f—s that’s who I want to fight. let yo nuts drop you say you yo own boss Errol Spence Jr.”
The fact of the matter is the management for Spence have a lot of great fights that they want to put him in, and he doesn’t need to deal with fighting someone on a different platform than him. It’s the best possible world right now for Spence, and a lot of those fights will bring in massive money.
Crawford might not like it, but the reality is that Spence can make good money fighting the PBC fighters like Pacquiao, Thurman, Porter and Danny Garcia. If the shoe was on the other foot, Crawford would likely be more than happy to fight those guys if he were with PBC.
If Spence was on the other side of the fence in being signed with Top Rank, would Crawford be in a hurry to fight him. You can’t blame Spence for wanting to fight all the great fighters signed with PBC, because he can make good money against them, and those are fights that are easy to make. Spence vs. Crawford will likely happen someday, but it probably won’t be soon.