By Chris Williams:: Errol “The Truth” Spence and WBO 147-pound World Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford will loom large over Midtown Manhattan today at 11 a.m. ET when their New York City press conference streams live on two outdoor billboards overlooking Times Square. Their movements will flash across the Paramount Twins LED Billboards at 1515 Broadway between 44th and 45th street at the Paramount Global building as Spence and Crawford meet face-to-face today in the second leg of their coast-to-coast media tour to kick off their July 29 super fight for the undisputed welterweight championship. Today’s press conference will take place at the Palladium Times Square.
The two billboards, one facing south above the 44th street entrance, the other facing north at the 45th street entrance, will air highlights of Spence and Crawford’s best fights starting at 10:30 a.m., leading into the 11 a.m. press conference. The two video displays will then air more highlights of both fighters from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. following the presser. It’s the first time that SHOWTIME® has ever live-streamed a boxing press event atop a Times Square billboard.
Terence Crawford is saying that if he can get Errol Spence Jr in trouble at any point in their July 29th fight, he’s going to go for the finish.
The 36-year-old WBO welterweight champion Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) has too advanced in years, too inactive, and his opposition too bargain basement since moving up to 147 in 2018 for him not to try and finish Spence (28-0, 22 KOs).
If Crawford misses out on an opportunity to KO Spence, he could live to regret it because Errol will come back and take advantage of his age and his many years of fighting inferior opposition.
Fighters that are manufactured to look great due to the soft match-making done by their wily promoters tend to fall apart when they’re suddenly thrown in with quality opposition.
Unfortunately, Crawford could be a textbook example of a manufactured brighter, fed creampuffs opposition, made to look like the real thing, but in fact, is just a mirage. In other words, Crawford could be boxing’s version of Milli Vanilli.
Crawford warns Spence
Terence Crawford: “I assure you, it won’t be like none of the other fights. If I get him hurt, I’m going for the knockout,” said Crawford to Stephen A. Smith’s channel.
I don’t have a 100% ratio of knockouts in the welterweight division for nothing. Since moving up, I became meaner, stronger, and punching harder. ”
Errol Spence: “As soon as I get in the ring, I’m stepping, and I expect him to step too. We’re going to put on a great show.”
“Errol wouldn’t let his people stop talking. He wouldn’t take another fight. He said no to the Thurman fight eventually,” said former ESPN writer Dan Rafael to Boxing Social about Spence being vital to getting the Crawford fight done.
“This is as big as it gets. I try to keep the emotions, positive or negative, from getting the better of me when they’re going through the nonsense that I like to call ‘The sausage-making of getting a fight done.
“I would hear people all the time on my social media talking about this fight. ‘Will it happen? Why can’t it happen?’ All the back and forth about it. I’ll be like, ‘Let me know when it’s made.’ I report on things when they happen or when certain deal things come out or if you have people that are involved talking about different things.
“But I was never too concerned. If it did happen, I would be thrilled. If it didn’t happen, life goes on. There’s always another big fight to think about and report about. But sure, once the fight was made, I was thrilled to death. I can’t wait.
“It’s a huge, huge fight. I don’t know if it gets to the level in terms of commercial point of view in terms of the gate and pay-per-view and that type of stuff, which I don’t really care about because it’s not like if they get millions of pay-per-views, I get a bigger paycheck. That doesn’t really have an impact on me.
“What I think about more than the commercialization of the fight, yeah, I want it to be successful because it’s good for our industry. It’s good for the business that we make a living in. So you want to see successful events.”
Errol key to fight happening
“What I think more about is the historical context about this fight. When you’re talking about Terence Crawford against Errol Spence, you’re talking about a very, very historically significant fight,” said Rafael. “One of the biggest and most significant in a long time. They’re the top five in boxing pound-for-pound.
“He wasn’t going to leave the welterweight division without this fight taking place. He said, ‘I got to fight Crawford. This is a fight that I have to have, and he has to have before we leave this weight class.’ This is a legacy fight, and they know that.
“They’re competitive athletes. It took a long time to get done. I feel like we should be talking about a trilogy, not a first fight, but I’ll take the first fight. They may be a little older now in their 30s, but here’s the reality. Neither one of them has come close to losing.
“They’ve both looked extremely sharp in recent fights, even though those recent fights have been spread out because neither guy has been super active. Crawford has just the one fight [David Avanesyan] since the [Shawn] Porter fight [in 2021].
“Errol has had injuries and other issues, so he’s only had two [correction: one] fights since the Danny Garcia fight [in 2020]. It’s time, and I’m glad it’s happening. These guys are still at the top of their game.
Spence-Crawford to decide #1
“When this fight is over, the winner, assuming it’s a clean win, whether a decision or a knockout, this will be the first time since Canelo lost to Bivol that there will be unanimity in the boxing media and fans as to who the identity of the #1 pound-for-pound is because right now with Canelo having been defeated, most people don’t have him #1.
“Some might say it’s Bivol; some might say it’s Crawford; some might say it’s Spence; some might say it’s Inoue. There are guys in the conversation, but this fight [Spence vs. Crawford] is going to finally end that decision.
“Remember also, and people shouldn’t forget this. It is a two-fight deal from the standpoint that the loser will have the right to invoke the immediate rematch, which I am told must take place by the end of 2023. So we may get this fight [Spence-Crawford] not just once in this calendar year, but twice.
“Everything goes in cycles. I think the athletes recognize that if they want to make the biggest money in legacy, they’re going to have to do these kinds of fights. What inevitably happens is you’ll see a spate of these types of fights happen, and then when they’re over, it takes some time to build up what’s the next super fight.
“I think it’s a good thing. The athletes have to demand these types of fights to happen. Crawford being a free agent, everyone thought that when his contract expired, suddenly he was going to be a snap of the fingers, and they were going to be able to make Spence vs. Crawford.
“Everybody was inaccurately and unfairly blaming Bob Arum for the fight not happening. It took a year plus for the fight to finally happen, so clearly, it wasn’t just Bob holding up the fight. Crawford had certain things he wanted. It was hard to deal with. They were able to get over the hump.
“I want Spence to win because even though my son is fighting the undisputed champion of the world, which is Josh Taylor, he’s still doesn’t have the belts,” said Teofimo Lopez Sr to MillCity Boxing.
“Crawford winning that fight would make him the first back-to-back undisputed. So I don’t want that to happen. So I’m cheering for Spence to win.