By Chris Williams: Errol Spence Jr (28-0, 22 KOs) believes his determination to win will ultimately prove to be too much for Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) in their four-belt welterweight showdown this Saturday, July 29th.
Spence feels that his determination to win is going to break Crawford’s will, resulting in him either getting knocked out or mentally giving up, saying to himself internally, ‘You win. I can’t take this pressure anymore.’
IBF, WBA & WBC welterweight champion Spence & WBO champ Crawford headline this Saturday night in their $84.99 event on Showtime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The thing is, Crawford has never been in a war before, as he’s spent his 15-year career fighting guys like Amir Khan and Julius Indongo and shopworn old guys like Shawn Porter & Kell Brook.
The closest thing that Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) has come to being in a war was his fight with Jose Benavidez Jr. in 2018, and that was a close fight until Terence stopped him in the twelfth.
Benavidez is not what ‘Crawdaddy’ Crawford needed to prepare him to face the big fish, Spence. He needed a big game fishing tackle and has the wrong rod & line for the job.
When you get an old guy like the 36-year-old Crawford and throw him in the trenches, forced to fight hand-to-hand combat against an experienced vet who has been on the battlefield for years, it can end badly for him.
It would have been better for Crawford if he’d gotten his feet wet first to get a small taste of what he would be up against fighting Errol by taking on Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis to prepare himself.
Since Crawford didn’t do that, he could be walking the plank on Saturday, plunging into the water, taking on the equivalent of a giant 58-foot Megalodon shark in Spence, ready to rip him to pieces.
Spence says his determination beats Crawford
“It’s really the same as every fight. You don’t want to get too excited or too emotional,” said Errol Spence Jr to Manouk Akopyan about his fight with Terence Crawford.
“So for me, it’s staying focused, going over the game plan with my coach, doing it over and over in my head, and just playing out the fight and making sure that I left no stone unturned so I can be 100% prepared inside the ring,” said Spence.
Will the year out of the ring impact Spence’s performance for this fight? That’s a long time for a fighter to be inactive going up against a top-tier guy, even against an older boxer/puncher like Crawford. We’ll see on Saturday night how the inactivity will affect Errol.
“When you go through the fight in your head, a million different scenarios flow through your head. Basically, for me, it’s just winning the fight and dictating my jab and, you know, sometimes range, in and out, and just different types of scenarios because I know he’s a great fighter,” said Spence.
What’s important for Spence is to be ready in case Crawford starts running once he gets hit hard early on. Terence’s trainer Brian ‘BoMac’ McIntyre obviously come up with a plan B that involves nonstop movement if things are going badly for him early on.
BoMac won’t wait long before instructing Crawford to give up on the idea of fighting Spence in a one-on-one battle.
“So it has to be different scenarios and in different moves that are going to happen in the fight. “I believe my determination,” said Spence when asked what skill will win him the fight against Crawford.
Spence-Crawford rematch to be determined
“Probably nothing. I got enough friends and family putting the money on me,” said Spence when asked if he’s putting money on himself to win in the casinos in Las Vegas.
“It was a coin flip to see who walks out first and upping his percentage. It was a couple of things,” said Spencer when asked what concessions he had to give Crawford to get the fight made. “I don’t know,” said Errol on whether the winner has the right to determine if the rematch will be at 154.
We won’t know if there will be a rematch because if Spence destroys Craawford, it would be pure lunacy for him to put his career at risk by fighting Errol again. It won’t be the end of the world for Crawford if Spence knocks him out. He returns to fighting the type of opposition he’s always fought during his 15-year career and continues to make money.
“It’s cool and all, but it’s something I don’t really care about,” said Spence on whether he gets in the Boxing Hall of Fame. “My main objective is beating the best opponents out there and getting the most money I can.
“That’s the only thing they reimagine today because the fans, the promoters, the managers are not going to take care of the fighter after he’s beaten up and battered. I got to take care of myself. So for me, I want the most lucrative fights out there.
“So my thing is if I make it to the Hall of Fame, that’s cool, but I’m not the type of guy that’s all I want is getting the Hall of Fame.
“My main objective is to make sure my finances are in order, and I can leave this game with my head held high, and I don’t have to come back because I have to and come back and just get beat up. If I do come back, it’s because I want to,” said Errol.
That sounds like Spence has got his head on right. Making money is more important than worrying himself sick about whether he’s getting into the Hall of Fame or not.
Spence vs. Crawford = #1 vs. #2
“Because it’s the number one guy vs. number two guy, the best vs. the best, two undefeated guys,” said Spence on why his fight with Crawford is so essential.
It’s difficult to say for sure if Spence-Crawford is #1 vs. #2 because we don’t know if Crawford is better than the young killer, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis. You could argue that if Spence fought Crawford four or five years ago, it would be#1 vs. #2, but not anymore.
Boots Ennis is a beast, and he’s out there and hungry. I wouldn’t advise throwing an old guy like Crawford in with a young Murderer’s Row killer like Boots at this advanced stage of his career because bad things could happen to him.
“I know for a fact we’re one of the two best fighters in boxing. So, I feel like this makes it huge because we don’t always get this where you get two top pound-for-pound guys fighting each other,” said Spence.
“It makes it huge, and he has exciting fights where he gets knockouts, and I have exciting fights where I get knockouts, and we’ve both been on the top of the game for a long time.
“It might be. Hopefully, we put a little fuel on the fire to make these big fights happen, and the people [fighters] can see that it is more lucrative for you to fight another top guy, and hopefully, it can happen, but I don’t know,” said Spence on whether him fighting Crawford in a mega-fight will motivate other fighters to take risks with their careers to fight the best possible opposition so they too can be involved in the lucrative fights.
“People have different promoters who have different managers, and people have different incentives,” said Spence. “I only know that I wanted the fight, and Terence wanted the fight, and I don’t think people are going to wait around for a year or two years.
“Me and Terence is something that’s been going on for a while, trying to make the fight happen, and we both stayed on top regardless of what happened outside of the ring.
“I don’t think you’re going to get anything like that where you got a guy that is waiting two, three, four years, both opponents are waiting for you to fight each other, and they both on the top of the sport,” said Spence about his long-awaited fight with WBO welterweight champion Crawford.