Tim Bradley says Crawford vs. Spence won’t happen

By Boxing News - 11/15/2020 - Comments

By Barry Holbrook: ESPN commentator Tim Bradley says Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr won’t be happening anytime soon, if ever. Bradley predicts that WBO welterweight champion Crawford will need to wait as long as three years before he eventually gets a fight against Spence.

By the time Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) does face Spence (26-0, 21 KOs), he will no longer be in his prime, and he could be around 37 or 38. Crawford will be turning 34-years-old in September 2021, and he’s going to start showing signs of deterioration.

Crawford’s performance last Saturday night against the washed-up 34-year-old Kell Brook (39-3, 27 KOs) showed that he’s starting to fade. Terence got hit a lot by Brook, who looked like the better fighter for the first three rounds before getting clipped in the fourth.

In looking at that fight, it’s obvious that Crawford is starting to show signs of aging. He’s getting hit a lot more now than three to four years ago when he was dominating Julius Indongo, John Molina Jr, and Viktor Postol.

Spence, 30, has many options still at 147 against Manny Pacquiao, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter [rematch], and Yordenis Ugas before needing to look across the pond for a fight against Crawford.

Image: Tim Bradley says Crawford vs. Spence won't happen

Bradley: Spence vs. Crawford isn’t happening

“It’s not going to happen. I’m honest with you,” said Bradley on a fight between Crawford and Spence. “I see it. Check it out. Manny Pacquiao, he leaves Top Rank and goes over there [to Premier Boxing Champions].

“What do you think he was chasing? He was chasing the rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Did he get it? He ain’t never going to get it, okay? Yeah, he got suckered to go over there to be basically to be an opponent.

“I wouldn’t even call him an opponent because he’s a champion right now, but to fight those young guns. The guy hasn’t faced Spence, [Shawn] Porter, or anyone else. He’s looking to cash out against that boy.

“Mikey [Garcia], that’s a good little fight, that’s a good little scrap. I like it; it’s cool. This is what I see happening. They’re doing the same thing as they did with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

“They see, man. I’m not saying that Spence is scared. I’m just saying that they see that Crawford is no joke, but he’s also hittable, as you can see with Kell Brook.

“He’s also hittable at the same damn time, but when you think about it, how often do those guys [PBC welterweights] fight over there?” Bradley said.

Spence will eventually fight Crawford, but probably not soon. Bradley should focus his energy on trying to encourage Crawford and his promoters at Top Rank to step up the competition from the washed-up fighters he’s been facing and focus on the talented guys that have been calling him out.

Yordenis Ugas and Shawn Porter both called out Crawford in 2020 for fights, but Top Rank chose not to make those matches. Instead, they picked Brook, who looked weakened after coming back down to 147 for the fight.

Image: Tim Bradley says Crawford vs. Spence won't happen

Why Top Rank didn’t agree to match Crawford against Porter or Ugas is the big question? The only thing you can think is they might have viewed those guys as too dangerous for Bud, so they went with the past his prime Brook instead.

Crawford may need to wait 3 years to fight Errol

“I know Spence is coming back. How many times has Porter fought this year?” said Bradley. “Once? Is he fighting again this year? So it’s going down once a year, maybe twice a year.

“But when you really think about it, it makes so much sense. Spence, if he beats [Danny] Garcia if he beats Garcia; who is Spence supposed to fight next? You’re smart, you know.

“Supposedly to be Porter. Okay, Porter. So they have a big fight, and he [Spence] may fight at the end of the year or maybe not. But then you go, who else is over there? He [Spence] can fight [Keith] Thurman. What is that? A year and a half, two years from now?

“Wait, one more, and then possibly Pacquiao after that if Pacquiao is still in the game, and then Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford in three years or two and half years from now,” said the highly emotional Bradley.

Crawford may need to wait three years before he gets a fight against Spence, but who’s fault is that? If Crawford had built his name up a long time ago, he wouldn’t be forced to wait on the fight with Spence and Pacquiao.

What Crawford should have done is insisted from day one that he only wanted to fight the best. So instead of Crawford fighting the washed Brook, Amir Khan, Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez Jr, and Egidijus Kavaliauskas, he could have been fighting the likes of Porter, Ugas, and Vergil Ortiz Jr.

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Crawford-Spence still won’t happen even if Crawford signs with PBC

“If Terence were to end up over there [with Premier Boxing Champions], I still don’t see the fight [with Spence] happening,” Bradley said about the Spence vs. Crawford fight.

“Why do you think? What did I just say? More loyal to the guys, and then what? The list that I just told you, an ‘I’m [Spence] the big fish, I got two titles or three titles,’ because if he beats Manny Pacquiao, he’ll get the third title. ‘Alright, let’s make it happen.’

“It’s too long. Let’s say if Top Rank was to make it happen; I love it, I like it, that’s what we want to see. We want to see it in their prime, though. That’s all.

“Yeah, Terence wins that fight [against Spence]. He makes adjustments as he did here [against Kell Brook]. As I said, it’s going to be about making adjustments, and nobody makes better adjustments than Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford.

“But you saw that the timing from Kell Brook was phenomenal tonight. Hell yeah, he was strong, dude,” Bradley said when asked if Kell Brook looked good. “As I said before, he was super strong.

“Timing, it wasn’t an easy fight, as you could see. Terence got lumped up a little bit, but then he found the key, opened him up, landed the kill shot, and it was all she wrote.

“Terence, all he needs to land is one, and he landed it. He’s one of the best. He is the best finisher in the game, in my opinion. But we shall see,” said an upset Bradley.

Spence-Crawford will happen if Crawford signs with PBC, but that’s a big if, though, because he might not leave Top Rank. Bob Arum might entice Crawford to re-up for another three years, and that’ll take him to the end of his prime.

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Three years from now, Crawford will be more hittable than he is now, and his lack of power will make it necessary for him to go the full 12 rounds more and more.

Bradley may not have noticed, but Crawford isn’t even talking about wanting to fight Spence. In the post-fight interview with ESPN, the only fighter that Crawford was talking about wanting to fight was 41-year-old Pacquiao.

Spence’s name was not in Crawford’s vocabulary after the fight, so it looks like he doesn’t want to fight the Texas native.