By Huck Allen: Tim Bradley did a bit of gloating last Saturday night in saying I told you so after WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) stopped former two-belt 147-lb champion ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs) on ESPN+ PPV at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Bradley had predicted a victory for the 34-year-old Omaha, Nebraska native Crawford, and it made him feel happy that he turned out to be correct with his forecast of their fight.
Now, we’ll soon find out whether Bradley is correct with remarks about Crawford and Porter not doing the right things to sell their fight on ESPN PPV. Some believe that their fight is going to result in poor PPV numbers.
Indeed, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn stated last Friday that the Crawford vs. Porter fight organizers would take a bath in losing money, as he expects the event will only bring in around 100,000 PPV buys.
That will be a nightmare if the Crawford-Porter event brings in those types of numbers, which made it nearly impossible for Terence to get the fight that he wants against Errol Spence Jr.
Porter did everything possible
“I think both fights are great, but I think the fight that everybody wants to watch is Spence,” said Tim Bradley to Fight Hub TV when told that Bob Arum wants to match Crawford against Spence Jr or Josh Taylor next.
“Of course, that’s the fight that everybody wants, but there are a lot of things that can complicate things as far as Spence’s health, his eye,” said Bradley.
“I just want Crawford to get the respect he deserves. There’s no doubt in my mind,” Bradley said when asked if he thinks Crawford is #1 at 147. “Spence, Thurman, they all struggled with Porter, and they did, and Crawford did struggle with Porter a bit.
“The kid [Porter] had a great game plan, he had a ton of experience, and he used it quite well and his athleticism. But for the most part, Crawford was able to neutralize a lot of the stuff he did.
“He was taller, longer, and the one thing that I pointed out that he couldn’t do, he did late in the fight. When you get late in the fight and fatigue starts setting in, you start making more mistakes.
“When he [Porter] was patient, and he was outside and using his quickness coming in behind the jab, and I’m talking about Porter, he did very, very well.
“He was doing very well, and he was landing an occasional overhand right, over the top. He got inside, let one hand go when one hand was tied up.
“And he did everything he possibly can, but it shows you how great Terence is. The cream always rises to the top,” Bradley added.
Porter tried his best, but he’s been mostly inactive since his loss to Spence in September 2019, and he’s never proven himself capable of beating elite fighters. Kell Brook, Spence, Keith Thurman, and Yordenis Ugas all beat Porter.
Yeah, we know that Porter technically beat Ugas, but if you saw that fight, you’d agree with the judge that scored it 117-111 for Ugas.
Ugas did a better job against Porter than Crawford, Spence, and Thurman, apart from the knockout.
My point is, Porter has a history of failure when fighting the top opposition at welterweight, so it came to no surprise that he was stopped by Crawford last Saturday night.
Porter never was that good, and the punishment he took against Spence in 2019 took something out of him.
When you add to Porter’s inactivity since his loss to Spence, it was predictable that he would lose to Crawford by knockout after gassing in the championship rounds.
Tim says Crawford = #1 at 147, stops Spence
“I knew it would be tough. Nobody doubted the toughness of Shawn, but I just knew what Terence could do because I’ve been in the ring with him [sparring],” said Bradley. “I’ve been saying this for the last ten years.
“This kid [Crawford] is the baddest man on the planet. He’s my #1 pound-for-pound; let’s put it that way. After this performance, the welterweight division is the best division in boxing, the most talented in boxing.
“Shawn Porter has been in with that talent, and none of those guys stopped him. Based on what I saw, there’s no doubt about it. I’ve been saying that Spence gets knocked out [by Crawford], and I’ve been saying that Crawford does too many things.
“He’s going to find a way to knockout Spence,” said Bradley. “Different styles. Spence isn’t as quick as Shawn, he’s not small, and he’s a bit taller. I would say he’s real technical; he stays behind the jab. If Crawford gets past that jab, what does Spence have?
“That’s the thing. What does Spence have once he [Crawford] gets past that jab? I still want to see it, though. I wish the fight had happened a couple of years ago, to be honest with you,” Bradley said.
There are no arguments from anybody at this point on whether Crawford should be viewed as the #1 welterweight in the division.
No one is saying Crawford isn’t the #1 fighter at 147 because Spence lost any hope of being viewed as the top dog in the division due to his inactivity, injuries, weight problems, and his car crash.
Crawford gets the #1 spot at welterweight by default because Spence hasn’t been doing the right things lately to be seen as the top guy at 147.
When you’re fighting every 15 months, as Spence is, you can’t claim you’re the number one guy at welterweight.
Bradley doesn’t want excuses from Spence
“I wished it had happened a couple of years ago because before the accident and all that,” said Bradley. “So that way, there would be no excuses [from Spence]. If they do fight and Crawford runs through him, then everybody, ‘Spence got in a car accident.’
“When they [Crawford and Spence] fight, I don’t want no excuses. Do you know what I mean? I don’t want NO excuses from nobody. And tonight, it proved that he’s [Crawford] the #1 guy, it proves.
“He’s the #1 guy in the welterweight division, and I’ve been saying this all along. But hey, sometimes you guys have to witness and see it. Do you believe it now?” said Bradley.
The fact is, there WILL be excuses if Spence loses to Crawford, and there should be. Spence put his body through the wringer with his car crash, injuries, weight gain between fights, and eye injury.
The yo-yo dieting that Spence can’t be good for his health, and it’s disappointing that he lets himself do in the same way Keith Thurman does between contests.
It’s too late for Crawford to fight the 31-year-old Spence without excuses from boxing fans and Errol’s team.
The terrible witches brew of Spence’s horrible car crash in October 2019, his torn retina injury, and the inactivity that he’s dealt with in the last two years make it impossible for there not to be excuses given if Crawford defeats him.
Spence rarely fights nowadays
At this point, the excuses would be valid because Spence isn’t the same fighter he was 2+ years ago.
We saw in Spence’s last fight eleven months ago against Danny Garcia in December 2020 that he’d lost something from his game. Spence wasn’t as explosive as he’d been, and he was getting hit a lot by Danny with huge punches the entire fight.
By the time Spence does fight in February or March 20022, he’ll have been out of the ring for 14 to 15 months, and you can bet that he won’t be sharp.
Before Errol’s fight with Danny last December, he’d been out of the ring for 15 months since his bout with Porter in September 2019. So at this point, Spence is now fighting every 15 months, which is inactive for an elite-level fighter.
Spence has become the welterweight division’s version of Gary Russell Jr, with him fighting not even on an annual basis.
Assuming Spence wins that fight, who knows how long it’ll take for him to return to the ring for his next fight. Could it be another 15 months before we see Spence again? It wouldn’t be surprising.
If Spence will stay out of the ring for another year or more before fighting again, how do you expect him to be sharp for a fight with Crawford?