Tim Bradley worried Crawford can’t win decision in Vegas against Spence

By Boxing News - 06/26/2023 - Comments

By Chris Williams: Tim Bradley has concerns about whether Terence Crawford can win a decision in Las Vegas for his fight against Errol Spence Jr on July 29th at the T-Mobile Arena.

Bradley says he’s noticed that the Nevada judges are now scoring fights in favor of fighters that throw more punches, are busier rather than for scoring for good defense like they did during the Floyd Mayweather Jr era.

Considering that IBF, WBA & WBC welterweight champion Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) is a high-volume puncher, who is always on the attack, pressuring his opponents, Bradley, an ESPN analyst, worries that the judges will give rounds to him because he’s outworking the low-volume puncher Crawford.

It’s unclear why Bradley would get worked up about this issue because it’s common sense that if Spence throws 80-100 punches per round with huge power while Crawford is averaging in the low 20s with less power, the judges will score rounds to Errol.

If Crawford doesn’t want to fall behind early, he needs to let his hands go to try and match Spence’s output and not start slow like he always does.

WBO welterweight champion Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) starts too slowly in his fights, downloading information for five or six rounds before he starts letting his hands go.

Terence has been able to get away with this because his opposition has been mediocre through most of his career, but he can’t do this against Spence because he’s too talented and will run away with the fight with a big lead in the first half.

Can Crawford win decision in Vegas?

Max Kellerman: “Tim, Terence Crawford, and Errol Spence compete in your old division, welterweight, one of your divisions. They’re finally going to fight on July 29th. Who wins and how?” said Max on Boxing.

Tim Bradley: “Oh man, that’s a great question. They’re fighting, Max. That’s how you’re going to know who’s going to win the fight. They’re fighting, but I have some concerns, I really do, and the first thing that came to mind was can Crawford win a decision in Vegas?

“You have to understand this. Look at the history of Crawford and the way he starts fights. He’s a bit of a slow starter, and you think about the way Spence starts fights. He’s quick; he’s quick out the gate.

“He’s consistent with his offense, and going down the stretch, if he gets behind on the scorecards, Crawford, he’s going to need to knock out the win in Vegas.”

If Crawford doesn’t want to have problems, he’s got to stop being lazy in the early going against Spence and get to work like normal fighters do. You can’t expect the judges to give Crawford rounds in the first half of the fight if he’s shiftless and letting Spence do all the work.

As I mentioned earlier, Crawford has gotten away with starting slowly in his fights because he was primarily matched against weak opposition by his former promoters at Top Rank, who did it with good intentions.

Against Spence, Crawford can’t count on making up all the early rounds he gives away by coming back to score a knockout because that’s not going to happen.

Spence’s chin is too solid for him to fall apart when Crawford finally starts throwing punches in the second half of the contest.

“You got to understand that the judges, the history of the judging in
Vegas” said Bradley. “I remember the Floyd Mayweather era, where defense was thought to be great. You were getting points for defense, but now, it has shifted.

“Now it’s more about the aggressive fighter, the fighter that throws more punches. That’s what I’m seeing from Vegas judges now, guys that are in your face, pressing the action, being the aggressor.

“We know Spence is that guy. So that’s my concern moving forward in this fight, but my pick has always been Terence Crawford. I think he’s more versatile.

“I think he brings so much more to the table than Errol Spence, and I think he’s going to take advantage of some of the holes that I see in Spence’s offense. So my pick is Terence Crawford.”

Kellerman: “I agree with your analysis. The whole key to this fight is that Crawford usually studies his guys, but Errol Spence is a high-volume puncher; he throws punches with bad intentions, and he throws a lot of them, head & body. He’s shown the ability to box behind a southpaw jab and not get hit if he wants to.”

How Spence puts Terence in hole

“He has a lot going for him where if Crawford takes too long to get going, he could be down 4 to 2 or 5 to 1. He may have even been hurt at some point and is going to likely need a knockout at that point. Can he stop Spence?

“On the other hand, something Andre Ward says about fights occasionally has stuck in my mind. In an even fight, a super fight between two evenly matched guys, who has lived better, who’s been more about the fight game and taken better care of himself?

“In the moment of truth, that can really come through. In my view, when you look at them, that would be Terence Crawford. You said, though, that he could take advantage, Crawford could, of holes in Errol Spence’s offense. What are they?”

Bradley: “Well, some of the holes are, he lunges. Sometimes he takes chances when he shouldn’t have. He’ll lunge forward; he’ll get himself out of position. He comes back to position straight on the line most of the time, and he’s pretty predictable with his offense.

“It’s definitely prolific. It got him [this far]. He’s undefeated. He has three World Championships, and he was able to earn it fighting the way he fights.

“Crawford being as so cerebral as he is in reading fighters and understanding and seeing weaknesses, I think he’ll be able to figure out the pattern at which Spence likes to approach these fights and take advantage again of guys that launch, strictly lunge towards his opponents with his great countering ability.”