Stephen Espinoza believes Spence vs. Crawford still happens

By Boxing News - 03/05/2023 - Comments

By Chris Williams: Stephen Espinoza of Showtime believes the Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford fight will happen and he’s not giving up on it.

Like the hard work that went into making the Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis vs. Ryan Garcia mega-clash in April, it will take a lot of work to get the Spence-Crawford fight to put together.

It probably would have been done if not for Crawford getting a huge monetary offer from BLK Prime to defend his WBO welterweight title against David Avanesyan.

The people at BLK Prime likely regretted the move because there was next to no interest from boxing fans in that dreadful fight. The chances are high that in the next round of negotiations, Crawford will stick it out, especially with him about to turn 36.

He’s getting old, and the Spence fight won’t be there for him at some point if he keeps bailing out on negotiations to fight obscure fringe contenders.

Spence vs. Crawford will happen

“With Crawford, it looks like he’s trending towards some kind of deal with Golden Boy that involves Alexis Rocha, his mandatory. Golden Boy also has Vergil Ortiz if he can beat Stanionis at the end of April,” said Chris Mannix to The Volume.

“On the subject of Spence-Crawford, if right now, 10 is your overwhelmingly optimistic that fight is going to happen, 1 being, ‘Hell no, done, bury it six feet under. Where are you right now with Spence against Crawford?”

“In the next fight or ever?” said Stephen Espinoza.

“Ever,” said Mannix.

“I would say 6 1/2,” said Espinoza on his belief that the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fight does happen. “I think it happens. I’m more optimistic than not that it still happens. I know there’s still interest, and I know there’s still desire on the Spence side.

Crawford wants the Spence fight

“I believe when Crawford says he’s interested as well. As long as no one has given up and I don’t think no one has. There are certainly obstacles. Rocha, the sanctioning body ordered, is one of them.

“Still, I’m not going to give up until one of them are both of them are retired,” said Espinoza.

“Do you think Spence is done at 147?” said Mannix.

“I understand that it’s difficult for him to make the weight. It’s not impossible,” said Espinoza. “He can continue to do it. I think the question is, Crawford, Thurman, Ennis. Those are all good opportunities at some point in the future.

“Beyond that, I think it’s as much wanting a new challenge.”

“We wonder about the future of Gennadiy Golovkin. A couple of weeks ago, he vacated his IBF title at 160 pounds,” said Mannix to The Volume. “It sure sounds like or seems like his WBA belt is going to go the same way. There’s going to be a purse bid for a fight against Erislandy Lara, who is the secondary title holder.

“I don’t think Golovkin would shy away from that fight if they pay him, but I don’t think the money is out there for a showdown with Erislandy Lara. What’s your read on Golovkin’s future?

“I’ve talked about this with other people before he vacated the IBF title, and here we are with Golovkin about to be or being a non-title holder,” said Mannix.

“He’s in a weird position because he’s accustomed to making x-amount of money because DAZN has overpaid him throughout his partnership with the company,” said Keith Idec about Golovkin.

“They really did want a third fight with Canelo, and they did get it. It took four years for it to happen, and it did happen. He’s accustomed to making huge purses, and those huge purses, especially with the company that he’s done business with and made all those money with, he’s basically said, ‘I don’t want to work with them anymore.’ So I don’t know where he goes from here.

“There’s no one else to fund his fights. As he gives away these middleweight titles and the fight with Charlo, which I don’t foresee happening. But if he were, if he gives away all these middleweight titles and it’s not a unification fight, and it becomes less attractive to Charlo.

“Is Al Haymon going to guarantee? He wouldn’t guarantee to Terence Crawford to fight Errol Spence. Is he going to guarantee money to a 41-year-old man? What would the purpose of that be? He’s not his guy, just like Terence Crawford wasn’t his guy.

“So he’s not going to do it, and ESPN certainly isn’t going to guarantee Gennadiy Golovkin enormous amounts of money. Then you would have to hope that if your him that some situation arises like the Murata situation where he went to Japan, and he was paid very well to go fight in a unification fight in Japan, and he was well compensated.

“But I think all those avenues have been explored and exploited. He’s either going to have to lower his asking price for these fights or retire. From a pride standpoint, he’s going to want to be paid a certain amount and he thinks he’s worth a certain amount, which is fine.

“If there’s nobody that wants to fund it, what are you supposed to do? He can’t hold that title hostage, which they’re not allowing him to do because he already gave up the IBF title, and it looks like he’s on his way to giving up the WBA title.

“So does he fight a 168-pounder? He just fought at 168 and, of course, lost to Canelo. Does he go up to 168 for a fight? I guess, is it worth it to him too? Because I’m assuming he’s done well with his money. He’s made a lot of money in the last ten years, so he doesn’t really need to fight.

“So maybe he ultimately decides, ‘This isn’t worth it. I don’t want to fight whoever is ranked high in the ratings. Zerafa or Falco or whoever’ and he just decides to call it a day. I can see that happening,” said Idec.

“Every time I talk to someone in Golovkin’s orbit about what the plan is, there isn’t one,” said Mannix. “They’re unable to articulate what the end game is in the first half of this year for Gennadiy Golovkin.

“I keep harkening back about how enthusiastic Golovkin was after the Canelo loss about returning to 160 to defend his titles. He seemed really adamant at the time that his career was going to continue, and I don’t see Gennadiy Golovkin as the kind of guy that wants to go out with a loss, especially one to his archrival Canelo Alvarez.

“I’m with you. There’s got to be a course correction to accept that the landscape has changed. The guarantees are not going to be there. If he wants to fight in a marketable fight, he’s going to have to take less or no guarantee against Jermall Charlo. Less or no guarantee against Jaime Munguia.

“You’re not going to make big money to go fight Liam Smith in the UK. The Japanese avenue is closed. Eddie Hearn is not putting him in the Middle East to make big dough, and the options are just not there.

“He seemed to proud justifiably of being a unified champion at middleweight at 40 years old, and now he’s on the cusp of losing both of those titles.

“It just feels like there was some delusion with Team Golovkin after the Canelo fight, or they’re just no coming to the realization that this kind of money isn’t out there.

“The Charlo fight makes sense, but to your point, Al Haymon isn’t going to guarantee him real money to fight for Charlo’s middleweight title,” said Mannix.