By Jeff Aronow: Welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have been trading words on social media since last weekend in letting each other know that they want to fight. Spence doesn’t like the tone that Crawford is using in him acting like he’s the boss, and coming from up high.
Spence is training for his next fight in April or May, and it’s important that he show that he’s fully recovered from his car crash from October 10. Crawford doesn’t want to wait for Spence to take a tune-up, as he’s been waiting for years to get this fight. He’s tired of waiting.
Should Spence fight Crawford BEFORE Pacquiao?
At the same time, boxing is a business. PBC and Spence don’t owe Crawford and Top Rank a fight just because they want it to happen. Spence has a big pay-per-view fight available in 2020 against PBC fighter Manny Pacquiao.
The question is, should Spence ignore the Pacquiao fight, and take the smaller Crawford first? Spence-Crawford would do big PPV numbers, but it wouldn’t likely rival the buys a fight between Spence and Pacquiao would do. Moreover, Spence vs. Crawford would do better numbers if it takes place AFTER Pacquiao-Spence, not before.
It doesn’t make sense for Spence to face a rival promoter’s best guy before he’s fought all the top fighters with his current management. Spence has five or six good fights available to him against fighters signed to Premier Boxing Champions.
It’s a match that will easily be the biggest of their respective professional careers to date, but it’s also one that has a slim chance of happening in the first half of 2020. Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) is coming back from a car crash that almost took his life last October in Dallas, and he’s expected to take a tune-up of sorts in his first fight back.
What’s clear is the 32-year-old Crawford needs the fight more than Spence does. Unfortunately, ‘Bud’ Crawford has drifted through 10 years as a professional and his biggest fight thus far was against Amir Khan.
Crawford’s promoter knows how to make fight
“It sounds good. [The] Only time I hear your s— is social media,” Spence said to Crawford on Monday in talking on Twitter. “Don’t act like a boss now. Like he [Top Rank promoter Bob Arum] don’t handle your s—. We’ve been told your handler Bob what it takes to make it happen. I don’t choke off smoke, dude.
“[The] Fight not going get made on here 🙄,” said Spence in letting Crawford know that trash talking on social media won’t make the fight between them happen.
What the conditions are to make the fight happen between the two is likely Spence getting the bigger purse split against Crawford. In the past, Spence has talked about wanting a 60-40 split. Top Rank likely wouldn’t agree to that, which could keep the fight from ever happening.
It’s easy for Crawford to complain about the fight with Spence not taking place, but it might come down to finances. If Top Rank insists on Crawford getting parity against Spence, then the match may never happen between them while their in their primes.
Spence and Crawford are in the zenith of their careers right now, but if they wait too much longer things could change. Crawford looked beatable in his last fight against Egidijus Kavaliauskas. For his past, Spence almost lost to Shawn Porter last September in winning a close 12 round split decision.
y’all can believe the bs if you want ion 🦆 nothing
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) January 5, 2020
Spence needs a tune-up fight
After the terrible crash Spence was in on October 10, he needs a tune-up fight to make sure he’s still firing on all eight cylinders. Crawford is thinking of himself, and wants the Spence fight regardless of what he just experienced. Since Crawford isn’t showing signs of empathy right now, he’s going to have to be ignored by Spence so that he can make sure that he still fight at a high level.
If Spence and Crawford decide that they’ll fight after an April or May tune-up, then they need to let the boxing public know ahead of time. That way there will be interest in their next fights. Of course, fans could be in for a disappointment if Spence struggles in his tune-up, and then decides he doesn’t want to face Crawford.
Porter would be great fight for Crawford
Terence is chasing the fight with Spence, but he’s picked a bad time to demand it. Crawford looks bad in the fact that he turned down a fight with Shawn Porter recently. That would be the perfect lead up to a match against Spence, because Porter would give Crawford the biggest test of his 12-year pro career. It’s easy to understand why Crawford has decided against the Porter fight. He’s likely seeing it from a business perspective.
A match against Porter would be a likely a 50-50 fight for Crawford, and he would less money fighting him than he would in facing Spence. As such, the risk isn’t worth it for Crawford to fight Porter, when he can make more money in a near 50-50 fight against Spence. Crawford would almost surely be the underdog against Spence, but he might be able to pull out a win if he uses movement, and stays away from him.
There’s little chance Crawford would beat Spence if he battled him in the trenches. As we saw in Crawford’s last fight against Egidijus Kavaliauskas, he’s not designed for trench warfare against strong punchers. Porter is the fight that Crawford should take to build interest in the Spence contest, but he doesn’t want that match.
If the two don’t fight while they’re in their prime, they lose, and the boxing public will lose out. It would be a shame if the bad blood between the management of Spence and Crawford keep the fight from taking place.