Errol Spence could hurt Terence Crawford with his power – Vergil Ortiz Jr.

By Boxing News - 05/19/2020 - Comments

By Chris Williams: Terence Crawford could meet his match when he takes on Errol Spence Jr. in a unification match at 147 shortly. According to contender Vergil Ortiz Jr., IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) possesses the type of punching power that can put WBO champion Crawford down (36-0, 27 KOs).

Before the global pandemic ground boxing to a stop, Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank had hoped to put a fight together between him and the 29-year-old Spence in 2020. Arum felt that there was a good chance he could make the Spence vs. Crawford fight towards the end of the year, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.

The pandemic has changed those plans, and now Spence will be looking to take a warm-up fight against Danny Garcia in September on Fox Sports pay-per-view. That fight will depend on fans being able to attend live events, as it’s too big of a match to stage behind closed doors.

Image: Errol Spence could hurt Terence Crawford with his power - Vergil Ortiz Jr.

Bud Crawford won’t be able to count on his southpaw stance bailing him out against Spence as it did in his last successful title defense against Egidijus Kavaliauskas in December of last year.

The hard-hitting Spence is a southpaw himself, and he’s not going to be confused and thrown off if Crawford comes out fighting in the southpaw stance. Spence won’t be bothered by Crawford switching stances to orthodox.

Spence could put Crawford down

“I’m going to lean a little bit towards Spence because he does have the power to catch Crawford,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. to Fino Boxing when asked who wins in a fight between Crawford and Spence.

“I mean, if he does catch Crawford, I think he’s going to put him down, and he’s going to hurt him,” Ortiz Jr. said about Spence.

Crawford has never fought a power puncher before, and he may not be able to handle the shots that Spence hits him with. Against John Molina Jr, Crawford spent most of the running around the ring. In Crawford’s fight against Raymundo Beltran, he held most of the battle and made it boring to watch. Little 5’5″ Yuriorkis Gamboa shockingly staggered Crawford and was getting the better of him.

Ortiz Jr. has a good head on his shoulders with his analysis of a future Spence vs. Crawford unification bout. The only thing that could change the outcome of this fight is if Spence isn’t the same guy that he was previous to his October 10 car crash.

Spence’s glorified tune-up fight against Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia in September will tell us if he’s still cogent or not. If Spence struggles to beat Danny or if he loses, then it’s safe to say that the accident has changed him. Depending on how bad Spence looks against Danny, we’ll be able to give an estimate of whether he’ll return to his old form.

If Spence isn’t the same guy, Crawford will be the one that will suffer. Instead of him getting the mega-fight that he’s been waiting for his entire 12-year professional career, he’ll miss out. With Spence off the table, Top Rank will likely resume matching Crawford against no-name guys and fighters that are over-the-hill.

Image: Errol Spence could hurt Terence Crawford with his power - Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The smarter fighter wins

“Crawford, he’s very technically skilled,” said Ortiz Jr. “I think he’s the most technically skilled fighter in all of boxing. So they’re both southpaws and that kind of advantage kind of cancels out right there.

“So, at this point, it’s about who makes the smarter moves of who’s the stronger. Whoever plays the right cards is what it comes down to. That’ll be a good fight,” said Ortiz Jr. in talking about Spence vs. Crawford.

“Also, [Maurice] Hooker and Regis [Prograis], that’s going to be a bad a** fight too. They’re all postponed at this point, so we’re just waiting for dates,” said Ortiz.

Crawford is viewed as a highly technically fighter by some, but that’s a little overblown. He’s got excellent technical skills, but nothing that your typical counter-puncher has. Being that Crawford has been matched so carefully by his promoters at Top Rank, we don’t know how good of a fighter he is.

What we can say is fighters like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia would beat every fighter that Crawford has faced during his career. There’s no one on Crawford’s resume that those three wouldn’t beat and likely wind up with a better resume than him.

Judge for yourself. These are Crawford’s opponents during his 12-year pro career that he started in 2008:

  • Yuriorkis Gamboa
  • Amir Khan
  • Jeff Horn
  • Jose Benavidez, Jr.
  • Egidijus Kavaliauskas
  • Julius Indongo
  • John Molina, Jr.
  • Hank Lundy
  • Dierry Jean
  • Felix Diaz
  • Viktor Postol
  • Raymundo Beltran
  • Ricky Burns

Those are all fighters that Thurman, Danny Garcia, and Porter would likely KO without any problems. So essentially, Crawford is entirely untested, and so it doesn’t matter what some fans perceive him to be in terms of his technical ability.

YouTube video