Terence Crawford needs to build his starpower before Errol Spence fight can happen
By Chris Williams: Tim Smith of PBC says Terence Crawford and Errol Spence are at different stages in their careers in terms of popularity. Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) has talent, but he’s not been tested yet due to the way he’s brought along by his promoters at Top Rank. They haven’t thrown him in with the best, and that’s hurt his popularity.
Fights don’t get made on social media
Crawford recently tried to trash talk his way into a unification fight against IBF/WBA welterweight champion Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) by posting a lot of hyperbolic stuff on Twitter, looking to pressure Errol into fighting him. Tim Smith says that fights aren’t made on social media. He says when the moment is right for the Spence-Crawford fight to get made, it will.
Smith suggests that Top Rank and ESPN need to build the 32-year-old Crawford in the same way they’re TRYING to do with heavyweight Tyson Fury. The British heavyweight is giving a lot of interviews, facing weak opposition, and acting in a theatrical way to endear himself to U.S fans.
Crawford and Spence are at different stages says Smith
“I didn’t make much of it because you can’t make a fight on Twitter,” said Tim Smith to PBC Podcast on the Crawford and Spence trash talking on social media. “That’s not the way you make a fight. The people that represent Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, they know how to make a fight. So when the time comes for them to make the fight, the adults in the room will step up and make the fight.
“That’s basically what it comes down to. Each side has a different view of where they are in the stream of wanting and needing this fight,” said Smith. “Errol Spence, I think, wants to go through the gauntlet of what’s in front of him on the PBC side. So why wouldn’t he? He’s got Manny Pacquiao who has a title. That’s a world title unification fight. And then he’s got major match-ups with former champion like Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and he’s got great rematch with [Shawn Porter].
“So I think both of those guys are at different stages of where they are,” said Smith on Spence and Crawford. “I know everyone wants to see it, because they’re both very skilled. I’m not sure how Terence Crawford would faire at the very top of the welterweight division. That’s something that he’s going to have to make it there,” said Smith on Crawford.
There’s no doubt that Spence is perched at a higher spot than Crawford right now as far as popularity goes with fans in the States. It’s going to get more pronounced as Spence faces goes through the PBC gauntlet in fighting these killers:
- Shawn Porter – rematch
- Manny Pacquiao
- Danny Garcia
- Keith Thurman
Those are four big fights that Spence has available to him.
Top Rank needs to build Crawford like they did with Fury
“I see his promoter [Bob Arum of Top Rank] has signed Josh Taylor, and maybe they can make that fight at 147 pounds,” Tim said about a possible Crawford vs. Taylor fight. “Maybe he can get some good competition, you know?” said Smith on Crawford. “And then take some time to build his name up, and make himself into a star. That’s what we’re trying to do with Errol Spence. We’re trying to build Errol Spence into a star.
“He’s fought twice on pay-per-view last year, and he’s building his stardom,” continued Smith on Errol. “He’s had very nice traction at the gate, and then I think Terence Crawford needs to get himself into that position, and the people around him need to get him into that position. They need to explain to him about everything that goes into getting into that position, and they need to go out and start working on that kind of thing to get him into the stardom that he needs to match his talents.
“One thing I think they need to do is take a page of what they did with Tyson Fury. They set out, had a plan, and they set out to do all they could do to make Tyson Fury into a star so that when he got back in the ring with Wilder, that would be an attraction.
“His [Top Rank] promoters need to take a page from Tyson Fury, and apply it to Terence Crawford. Find ways to make Crawford into a star like they tried to make Tyson Fury into a star,” said Smith on Terence.
The things that Top Rank and ESPN did with Fury, I don’t think it’s possible for them to do the same thing with Crawford. He’s not as outgoing as Fury.
Spence could fight in May
“His whole thing is late Spring, so I would think May,” said Smith about when Spence will fight again. “He’s certainly on track for that. What I’m hearing is that he’s in the gym, and he’s working hard and it doesn’t look like he’s going to miss much of a beat. You have to kind of take people at their word that they’re feeling great, and that there’s no problems or issues or anything. But as long as he doesn’t have any setbacks, I think he’ll be ready to go in May.
“I think it’s feasible,” said Smith when asked if Manny Pacquiao or Danny Garcia are possibilities for Spence’s next fight. “If you were either one of those guys, and your on the outside looking in after that horrific accident that Errol had, you’re thinking if you’re going to get him now is the time to get him coming off something like that. He’s not going to be 100%.
“So maybe it changes Pacquiao’s mind a little bit,” said Smith on how Spence’s car crash could change things. “I know everyone has always said on behalf of Pacquiao, ‘Oh, he’s too big. Errol Spence is too dangerous.’ I’ve never heard that from Manny’s mouth. I never heard Manny say that. So now maybe the thinking is that maybe this is the correct time to try and get Errol Spence while he’s coming off this accident. But I guarantee you that whatever occurs in the ring is going to be special.
If Spence takes on one of the top PBC guys like Pacquiao or Danny Garcia in May, that would be showing a lot of courage. Spence is coming off that big car crash from last October, and he we don’t know how he’s going to react.
Pacquiao is probably eyeing Spence for May
It’s going to be fantastic, because Manny looks like he’s reborn,” said Smith about Pacquiao looking good lately. “That’s a tremendous fight [Spence vs. Pacquiao]. Everytime I ask about Manny, they tell me he’s traveling with his basketball team. The last time I talked to Sean Gibbons, Manny was in Saudi Arabia with his basketball team. So maybe they’re the Harlem Globetrotters.
“They’re the Manilla Globetrotters or whatever. I think he’s got congressional duties. His schedule is always wrapped around that, and I think he plays basketball to stay in shape. He enjoys that. When it’s time for him to get back in the ring, he’ll make his announcement. He runs his own ship basically. He’ll know when it’s time to get back. He’s probably eyeing Errol and thinking, ‘Let’s do something in May,'” said Smith in talking about Pacquiao and Spence.
Pacquiao has got some soft options available to him in May, like Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia. Those two are very likely going to get a fight with him. Spence will probably wind up facing Danny Garcia or maybe Porter in May. Pacquiao will look to take an easy fight because he’s coming off of a grueling one against Thurman last July.
Spence’s popularity is going to increase after his next fight, it could make it tough to put together a future fight with Crawford.