Teddy Atlas talks Spence vs. Crawford or Canelo
By Barry Holbrook: Teddy Atlas believes that a fight between Canelo Alvarez and Errol Spence Jr is possible in the short term, but not so much with a match between ‘The Truth’ and Terence Crawford.
WBO 147-pound champion Terence might be out of luck for fights against Spence and Manny Pacquiao until he leaves Top Rank in another nine to ten months and possibly signs with Premier Boxing Champions.
For Crawford vs. Spence to take place soon, it would need to make an “astronomical” amount of money, according to Atlas. If Crawford is still signed with Top Rank, the Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) fight would need to bring in monstrous revenue.
Atlas sees the Crawford – Spence fight as being in the same boat ast the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao mega-fight.
That contest didn’t take place fro many years until there as so much money and interest at stake that it didn’t matter that they were with different promoters.
Spence can retire rich with Canelo money
“Some of the fans out there are going to say that by doing that, he doesn’t want the fight because he’s going to make it difficult,” said Atlas to THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas about Spence saying he wants a 60-40 or 70-30 split for a fight with Crawford.
“Fans on Crawford’s side are going to say, ‘Instead of 50-50, maybe he [Spence] doesn’t want the fight.’ Then he mentioned, of course, before he got off, that he wants to fight Canelo.
“So that adds even more fuel to the fire that maybe he [Spence] doesn’t want the Crawford fight, or he doesn’t think it can be made when he wants it to be made, and he’s looking at his options, and he’s trying to build his options,” Atlas said.
“Talking about a Canelo super-fight where he can retire if he can get that fight,” Atlas continued. “Canelo is too big for him, but if you start playing with it and you start talking about it enough, the fans start believing it.
‘Oh, I walk around at 160 or whatever,’ and they start saying that. ‘I crunch down to welterweight; I’m a huge welterweight; I could easily fight at middleweight.’
“Then yeah, all of a sudden, who knows? Some people could start to buy into it.:
“[Canelo vs. Spence] that could be a feasible fight, that could be a fight, and then you forget about Crawford,” said Atlas.
With Canelo having so many possible dance partners in 2021, he might not have the time to face Spence.
Realistically, we probably won’t see Spence and Canelo fighting until 2022 at the earliest, and that will depend on Errol’s continuing career success.
IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence does want the Crawford fight, but he wants the purse split to be in his favor. Spence has floated the idea of facing Crawford with a 60-40 or 70-40 split, which he’s totally against.
Crawford feels that he should have the split in his favor, and he’s talking about wanting 60-40.
That obviously isn’t going to fly with Spence, so it doesn’t look like it’s feasible for the welterweight champions to meet inside the ring soon.
Will the money be there for Crawford – Spence?
“So he’s [Spence] doing business there, he’s looking out for himself,” said Atlas about Spence trying to get a fight with Canelo.
“Who knows who else is advising him in that direction, and ultimately, Crawford is not free right now. Really, if you’re going to be fair, neither one of them are free to fight each other because Spence is with [Al] Haymon at PBC, and Crawford is with Top Rank and ESPN.
“I don’t know if the fans know this, but Haymon and Arum don’t like each other at all. Maybe hate might be fair; I don’t know.
“But for that fight [Spence vs. Crawford] to happen, it would have to be such an astronomical fight for both promoters to say that they would allow them to fight each other without having full control where they could make enough money where if they lost the fight, it would still pay off for them.
“It would be kind of like a Pacquiao – Mayweather scenario, where there was so much money in the universe that you couldn’t say no to it,” Atlas said.
It’s still too early for Spence vs. Crawford being on the level of a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.
Neither fighter has the kind of fan base that Mayweather and Pacquiao had back in 2015, and it’s unknown if they ever will.
Crawford, 33, is the one that needs to make major improvements in his popularity, and his visibility with fans.
Sad to say, Crawford is still facing mostly middle of the road opposition despite being the WBO welterweight champion, and having been a professional since 2008.
Whether Top Rank is having problems getting popular welterweights to face Crawford or if the money isn’t there, the fact is, he’s not facing the right guys.
For Crawford to become popular enough for a ight between him and Spence to be worth putting together, he’ll need to start facing the household names in the welterweight division.
That means Crawford needs to face at least ome of the PBC welterweights like Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia.
If Crawford can’t get any of those fighters to face him, he absolutely must take risks with his career by going down to 140 and up to 154 to face the best available fighters.
Spence vs. Crawford won’t happen soon
“Either that, it’s more on Crawford’s side, I guess because he has x-amount of months left on his contract with Top Rank,” Atlas continued.
“The last one he signed where he got paid extra money to renew the contract, and that’s going to run out at some time in 2021.
“Whether it’s seven months, eight months, nine months, whatever it is, he [Crawford] would have to wait, it seems, for that to run out [with Top Rank] to where he can walk across the street to PBC [Premier Boxing Champions], and make a deal with Haymon where one of the fights as part of that deal would obviously be the Spence fight.
“So right now, that’s pretty much where it is,” said Atlas.
The situation looks possutively bleak for a fight between Spence and Crawford, but that’s okay because there are other good fights that can get made involving those two.
In 2021, Spence has the chance of facing Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman and Shaawn Porter. Those fights will keep Errol busy while he waits for a chance to fight Canelo in 2022.
As for Crawford, he can face his #1 mandatory Shawn Porter, and maybe the 140-pound champions Josh Taylor or Jose Ramirez if they move up to 147.
Again, it would be helpful if Crawford is flexible with his career by moving up or down to face top guys in different weight classes.
He’s kind of in the same position that welterweight Paul Williams was in many years ago.
Williams couldn’t get fights either, and he was forced to go up to 154 to expand his horizons. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out well for Williams, but at least he tried.
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