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Teddy Atlas says Spence will fight Crawford in 8 to 9 months

Image: Teddy Atlas says Spence will fight Crawford in 8 to 9 months

By Matt Lieberman: Teddy Atlas predicts that fans won’t see the long-anticipated fight between the talented welterweights Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford for another eight to nine months.

Despite the huge amount of interest from boxing fans, Atlas says the Spence-Crawford fight won’t happen until Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) leaves Top Rank in 2021 after his contract expires in October.

The management won’t let the Crawford vs. Spence fight occur next year while the two 147-pound champions are on rival networks and other promoters.

It makes sense for the fight mega-fight between unbeaten IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) and WBO champion Crawford to continue to build, considering they wouldn’t be able to take advantage of fighting in front of a large crowd.

With the pandemic still preventing large crowds from attending sporting events, Spence vs. Crawford will need to wait until a vaccine is released to the public next year before they can potentially fight.

Image: Teddy Atlas says Spence will fight Crawford in 8 to 9 months

Atlas: Spence vs. Crawford possible in 8 or 9 months

“I saw a very high level of concentration, and I saw an exorcism,” said Teddy Atlas to ESPN. “What I mean by that is he got rid of all the ghosts that could have been in his belfry, and that could have thrown him off and derailed him.

“He looked like one of the best fighters pound-for-pound or at least one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” said Atlas about Spence. “Now, you want to see him fight the other best pound-for-pound welterweight, Terence Crawford.

“No, not now,” said Atlas when asked if we’ll see Spence vs. Crawford now. “Maybe in eight or nine months next year.

“Quite frankly, Crawford is with Top Rank, and he’s made it very public that he doesn’t want to be there, and Spence is with PBC. They’re not going to fight each other.

“Those promoters are going to stay away from each other and not let them make that fight, even though that’s the fight the public wants.

“So it’s really going to be up to, ‘Does Crawford walk from Top Rank when his contract is up in 2021.’ I think he will walk, and I think that fight will be made.

“It’ll be a mega-fight for the best welterweight in the world. It’ll be back like in the 80s when you had Sugar Ray Leonard fighting Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran. It’s that kind of intriguing match-up,” said Atlas.

Image: Teddy Atlas says Spence will fight Crawford in 8 to 9 months

If Top Rank promoter Bob Arum can convince Crawford to re-sign with him for another two to three-year hitch, we might not see him and Errol fight until 2024. By that time, Crawford will be 36, and he may be past his prime.

Spence took away Danny’s counter-punching

“The memory of his life passing in front of him. He [Spence] came in there and dominated, and we already know he’s a physically gifted guy. But he’s technically, very solid.

“He had the right game plan. he understood what he had in front of him. Danny Garcia is really a counter puncher. That’s his temperament and that’s his style. If you use your jab, and Spence being a southpaw, your right jab.

“You use your jab and guess what, you keep them at the end of it. There’s nothing there to counter. You have to cooperate with a counter puncher, you have to come close for them.

“He [Spence] came from behind a jab, and he kept Danny Garcia from doing what he does, looking for you to make mistakes where he can pick up them with a counter punch.

“He fought a brilliant fight, a consistent fight behind the jab. And he set the table with the jab, and he ate with his left hand all night long.

“He went downstairs to the body, and he put water in the basement of Danny Garcia to slow him down so he couldn’t make a run late,” Atlas said.

Spence didn’t entirely take away Danny’s counter-punching last Saturday night, from what I could see. Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) landed a high amount of left hooks and right-hand counter shots on Errol but was getting outworked.

Danny did as he always does in landing counters, but he was getting badly outworked by Spence. Spence’s power further reduced Garcia’s work-rate, as he was afraid to let his hands go and leave himself open.

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Spence held onto his IBF/WBC welterweight titles in beating Garcia by a 12 round unanimous decision at the AT& Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Porter: Errol showed he’s a complete fighter

“I think one of the things we didn’t talk about that pertains to Danny Garcia is his heart and his will, and he showed that tonight,” said Shawn Porter.

“I saw a game plan early on, but the consistency of Errol Spence Jr just broke him away. It broke down his game plan, Danny Garcia’s, and he broke away.

“He did what he always does; he dominated. I had him [Spence] winning eight of the twelve rounds.

“I gave Danny Garcia four of those rounds, but I thought those were rounds that Errol Spence Jr took off.

“Even the rounds that I thought he took off were close rounds that could have gone his way as well. I had it 8-4. I thought Errol Spence looked amazing, and congratulations to his team too.

“For him to come back from something that they had to come back from, and, of course, Errol Spence Jr. You have to take your hat off to every single one of them around Errol Spence Jr.

“I agree with Joe Goosen. Joe says that he needed to get this one out of the way, and he also said he’s going to be better than he was before. I agree with that as well.

“When you go through the calamity that he went through and you come back from it, it only builds you up and makes you stronger.

“I am very humbled to say that Errol Spence Jr is a complete fighter. It’s not about him becoming a complete fighter. Errol Spence is a complete fighter,” said Porter.

Image: Teddy Atlas says Spence will fight Crawford in 8 to 9 months

Spence fought largely the same way he did against Porter in going to war with Danny Garcia, but it was easier this time. Garcia didn’t have the ability to throw as many punches back at Spence as Porter.

Danny Garcia needs to rebuild now

“As I said on my Podcast, it’s not about him winning or losing this fight, it’s how he loses this fight,” said Porter of Danny Garcia.

“If I seen the same Danny Garcia that’s waiting and not punching and he wastes the entire fight, and you want to fight strong at the end, I can’t respect that. He didn’t do that.

“He tried to punch in between Errol Spence Jr. I saw his game plan early on. He wanted to counter immediately, catching Errol Spence Jr.

“He wasn’t able to slow down a little bit, and it wasn’t there for him, but he gave a very valiant effort and looked very good in the fight.

“They were close rounds, a lot of the rounds I felt Errol Spence controlled the fight, but they were close rounds as well.

“In saying that, he doesn’t go all the way back of the line. However, he is in a bit of a rebuilding stage. You have to put him in the top five because even with the way he came out tonight, he lost a close fight to me.

“He lost a close fight to Keith Thurman, and he lost a wider margin fight to Errol Spence Jr. But you can still see that he has a lot left in the tank, and that’s why you would give him another shot,” said Porter.

Garcia, 32, needs to rebuild, but he won’t have much time to do it. If he wants to use two years of rebuilding, that’s not going to work given his advanced age.

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