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Errol Spence’s trainer talks DUMB Terence Crawford fight

Errol Spence Jr Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: Trainer Derrick James says a fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford isn’t big enough right now for it to make sense putting it together. James calls it a “DUMB” fight because it won’t make enough money to turn a profit after Crawford and Spence get their money.


Spence vs. Crawford won’t turn a profit

James says Spence is getting $20 million and Crawford $15 million. After those two are paid, there won’t be enough money remaining for the promoters and networks to make a profit.

They’re not in the business to not make money, James says. What James suggests that could fix the problem would be for Crawford to raise his profile by taking on guys like Shawn Porter.

James thinks that would be an excellent fight, and it would help Crawford’s popular, win or lose. It doesn’t even matter if Crawford loses the fight to Porter. He’d still come out of the fight more popular than when he came into.

Unfortunately, Crawford hasn’t shown a desire to fight Porter for some reason. Some believe Crawford doesn’t want to fight Porter because he’s a friend of his, while others see it as Terence realizing it’s a bad style match-up.


Without Crawford taking risks with his career, his popularity isn’t growing. He’s fighting guys like Amir Khan, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Jeff Horn, and he’s not winning new fans.

Spence’s trainer says Crawford fight isn’t big enough

“His reaction time, punching power and defense is good,” said James to Fighthype about Spence. “Nah, he’s the same. He’s just not in shape. We’ll see. Only a fight will tell. It’s a dumb fight right now,” said James when asked about Spence and Crawford fighting each other.

“It doesn’t make money, so why would we make the fight? You can’t base a fight on boxing fans. Errol got 500 to 600,000. [buys]. What did Terence have? 30,000? You don’t know what he [Errol] got. I’m saying 600,000. Is that enough to make a fight? 60,000 and 600,000 buys?

Wheres the money going to come from? Add that up. Errol makes $20 million and Terence $15 million. So that’s $35 [million]. So you think two networks are going to pay that money? It’s a hypothetical fight, and it’s a dream fight, right? Promoters are in the business to make money.

“They are not in the business to not make money. A fight that big and of that magnitude, they want to make money,” said James.

It sounds like the networks would take a huge bath if they put on a fight between Spence and Crawford right now. Spence vs. Mikey Garcia brought in a respectable amount of pay-per-view buys last year, but you can’t say the same about Crawford’s fight with Amir Khan. That fight didn’t do well on ESPN PPV, and it was clearly a mistake asking boxing fans to pay to see it.

If Crawford doesn’t want to fight Porter, then he should fight some junior middleweights. Jeison Rosario, Julian Williams, Jermell Charlo, and Erislandy Lara would be perfect for Terence. If Crawford loses to those guys, he’d still be more popular than he was before he fought them. Crawford has got to do something to raise his popularity.

Crawford needs to raise his profile

“We sold 48,000 seats at Cowboys stadium. What country does he [Crawford] bring? It has to make sense” said James on a fight with Spence and Crawford. “Terence has to build his profile by building, building and building. Shawn Porter said okay.

“That would raise his profile. Would Terence Crawford beat the Shawn Porter that just fight Errol Spence? It’s a good question. I don’t know. I just think that would raise his profile win or lose. Just think about it. How many times has Shawn Porter lost? Three times? It’s not about the record. It’s about whether you performed to the best of your ability.

“Shawn Porter went out every time and fought and lost a close decision, but fought to the best of his ability. If they really liked Terence, they’d buy his pay-per-view fights, and that’s the only way they raise his profile. But if they like him so much, they’d buy his fights,” said James about Crawford.

Terence doesn’t want any part of Porter it seems. His promoter Bob Arum says his next fight could be against either Manny Pacquiao or Kell Brook. He also wants to match Crawford against Conor MacGregor. The reality is the only fighter those three that Crawford has a real chance of fighting is Brook, and that’s only because his career has bottomed out due to inactivity and injuries.

Crawford is about to turn 33, and he’s not fighting the right guys to increase his popularity. He seems to be under the impression that he’ll be able to get one of the big names to fight him sooner or later, but it’s not happening.

Fans would buy Crawford’s fights if they wanted Spence match

“Every time he’s fought on pay-per-view, how has his numbers been?” James said in questioning Crawford’s PPV numbers. “That’s beautiful,” said James when told that Crawford sells out in Omaha. “It’s not about what you do at home. It’s about what you do everywhere else. If they really wanted to see Terence Crawford fight Errol Spence, they’d buy his fights when he fights.

“If they really wanted the [Spence vs. Crawford] fight, then they’d buy his fights. They lost money when he fought Amir Khan. They’re not buying his fights. That’s the truth, and it’s not a lie. I’d love to see Errol Spence and Terence Crawford fight,” said James.

Top Rank and ESPN aren’t doing Crawford any favors putting his fights on pay-per-view or on the ESPN+ app right now because he doesn’t have the fan base yet. For Crawford to build his bar, he needs to be seen by the fans. That can’t happen if he’s on PPV.

It’s an endless loop. Crawford can’t get the top guys to fight him because he’s not a draw, and he doesn’t fight the big names. He needs one or two big-name fighters to face him in order to get the other popular guys to mix it with him. With Crawford’s lack of popularity, the talented fighters aren’t going to bother with him. That’s why it’s important for Crawford to move up to 154 or 160.


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