By Allan Fox: Errol Spence Jr says he’s expecting Terence Crawford to start fast on July 29th because he’ll listen to the many people that have warned him about not starting slow like he usually does.
One of those people that are advising Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) to start quickly is ESPN commentator Tim Bradley, who is worried that Terence can’t win if he lets IBF, WBA & WBC welterweight champion Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) jump out to an early lead in the first four or five rounds.
As Spence says, if WBO champion Crawford uses the early rounds to slowly download information about him, “he’s going to catch a virus.”
Crawford starting fast will mean he’s going to need to stand in front of Spence. He’s not going to win rounds by throwing jabs and single shots in a hit & run style. That would look too much like Crawford is afraid of Spence and the judges won’t give him runs if he’s fighting timidly.
Spence says he’s not looking for a one-punch knockout of Crawford. Instead, he’s going to focus on knocking him out through an accumulation of blows, which he points out have a damaging effect on a fighter’s career.
Luckily for the 36-year-old Crawford career goes downhill after this fight; at least he’s old, made a lot of money, and he’ll be fine if he retires.
Crawford will come out fast
“I see him coming out coming out of probably a bit more assertive than he usually is just because everybody is saying that,” said Errol Spence to Fighthype about his belief that Terence Crawford will start fast against him on July 29th because of many people pointing out that he could fall behind early if he starts slow like he usually does.
Crawford started slowly in his last fight against David Avanesyan last December and took a lot of heavy shots to the head before coming on in the sixth to score a knockout.
You could see that Crawford’s hand & foot speed wasn’t the same as it had been four years ago when he moved up to welterweight in 2018. Age & inactivity has done a number on Crawford’s physical skills.
Can Crawford regain the speed & mobility that he lost? No, not without discovering the fountain of youth or taking a time machine back to 3,000 yesterdays ago.
Unfortunately for Crawford, there is no going back to the spring chicken he once was, and he’s just got to try and hold on the best he can. It’s a one-way trip. He’s on the wrong side of 30, and retirement is just around the corner for the Omaha, Nebraska native unless he wants to hang around into his 40s to take advantage of the weak 154-lb division.
“So I think he’ll come out a bit more assertive than he usually do. I’m not naive. I know everybody’s saying it,” said Spence. “He’s hearing it, and his coaches are hearing it. So they basically want to try to change stuff up and do something different, but yeah, I see him coming out a little faster.
“Definitely, I think my punch tolerance is definitely able to take it,” said Spence when asked if he thinks he can take Crawford’s power.
Crawford is more of a single-shot guy, and he’s not going to knock out Spence fighting like that. Can Crawford knock out Spence with a single shot? It’s not likely. Crawford will have to flurry on Spence and hope to get him out with a storm of shots.
For me, I just got to focus on what our game plan is and what we got to do, and the objective is not to get hit that much,” said Spence. “So, of course, you know he’s going to hit me, definitely going to hit me, and I’m going to be able to take his punch. I’m not trying to get hit that much and walking into punches and being a crash dummy, so to speak.
That’s not the goal at all, but I definitely think I can take his punch. I don’t ever just walk through punches. I try to keep my hands up and try to block the punches more than slip.
Spence to KO Crawford with an accumulation of shots
“Yeah, I think it’s definitely probably accumulation, and I feel like that accumulation is worse than getting knocked out because accumulation takes a toll on your body,” said Spence. “You’re getting beat for 10 to 12 rounds.”
Spence is going to need a good chin for him to beat Crawford by focusing on volume punching because he’s going to get countered a lot by him. Crawford will counter and move away, forcing Spence to chase him.
Those guys will never be the same. When you get knocked out, you’re okay,” said Spence. “But an accumulation of punches, your getting battered round after round, that has a huge effect on you.
“I don’t know if I’m going to take his prime [away by beating the daylights out of him]. I’m not going to say all that, but I’m just going to do what I always do.
“It could be, or he’s more set at the weight, so he’s not moving as much as needed. He doesn’t need to move that much,” said Spence when asked if Crawford is starting to slow down as he ages, not moving as much as he used to when he was younger.
“He feels like his power now carries to the weight class. He doesn’t have to move around the ring like he was doing at 140 and earlier in his career. When you get older, you’re not trying to move like that. Floyd wasn’t moving all crazy the older he got.
“If he wants to stand in front of me, there’s something I can do about it. If you want to stand in front of me, stand in front of me, and we’ll see what happens,” said Spence when asked what he’ll do if Crawford elects to stand in front of him on July 29th in the same way Yordenis Ugas did.