Errol Spence should hold off on Terence Crawford rematch until 2024 says Stephen A. Smith

By Boxing News - 09/03/2023 - Comments

By Jim Calfa: Stephen A. Smith believes that Errol Spence Jr. should delay taking the rematch with Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford until mid-2024 during the summer to recover from the “beatdown” he took in their fight last July.

The 33-year-old Spence has already activated his rematch clause to face Crawford again, but this time at 154. What’s unknown is when the contest will take place.

Smith thinks the former IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight champion Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) absorbed too much punishment from Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) in his ninth round knockout loss on July 29th and feels that he needs as much time a possible to physically recover from that fight.

Spence was slurring his words during the post-fight press conference, making some fans believe that he’s washed up from the beating he took from Crawford.

There’s a lot of speculation about why Spence looked so bad in the fight with Crawford because he appeared weak from the get-go. These are possible reasons to explain why Spence wasn’t at his best:

  • Weight drained:
  • Car crash
  • Running hills a week before the fight
  • Too heavy at the start of camp

Spence shouldn’t fight Crawford again

“I need to address something that’s very, very important to me. It involves former welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., who exercised his right to a rematch clause with the reigning undisputed two-division champion that is Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford,” said Stephen A. Smith on his Youtube channel.

“I’m not cracking jokes; I’m not laughing. I don’t think it’s funny. It was just bad. He does not need to get back in the ring with Terence Crawford this year. Me personally, period, but especially this year. He don’t need to get back in the ring before next summer, but he had a rematch clause he exercised,” said Smith.

Ultimately, the money that Spence can get from a rematch with Crawford is too much for him not to take the fight. If Spence were to walk away from the rematch, he wouldn’t get nearly as much money fighting someone else at 154.

“It most certainly will take place at 154 pounds, and Spence has indicated he plans to move up in weight. So there you have it,” said Smith.

“Crawford has to honor the rematch clause, even though he’d rather fight people like Jermell Charlo, who’s about to fight Canelo Alvarez, or he’d like to move up and fight Canelo Alvarez, even though Canelo Alvarez is not really entertaining that.”

Crawford won’t likely get a chance to fight undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez because the Mexican star knows he’d be heavily criticized.

The reality is that Errol Spence Jr. doesn’t need to be back in the ring,” said Stephen A. “You saw him; you heard the slurring of his words. I know it was in the immediate aftermath of the beatdown, but my goodness. We know what we saw.”

Spence hasn’t looked right since his car crash in 2019, and you can argue the only he won his next two fights after that is because he didn’t fight anyone dangerous.

“Crawford’s trainer Brian McIntyre has said no specific date has been discussed, but he hopes it’ll happen before the end of the year. My response to that would be, how could you possibly hope that?” said Smith.

If the Crawford vs. Spence II rematch does take place this year, it’ll be in December, which means training camp will need to start next month in October. We haven’t heard anything yet about either of them starting camp, which could mean the rematch will occur next year.

Crawford has been busy taking a long victory lap since his win over Spence, and he might not be eager to return to the ring to begin the grueling preparation for a second fight.

Errol needs to recover

“You want to buy as much time as you possibly can for Errol Spence to fully recover looks-wise, just the scars,” said Stephen A. “Listen, if you think I’m exaggerating, go look at that episode of Martin Lawrence when Tommy ‘The Hitman’ Hearns was on the show, and he said to Tommy, ‘I heard they did you easy. You call yourself ‘The Hitman.’ When I spoke to ‘Sugar’ [Ray Leonard], he called you ‘The Get Hit Man.’

“It was funny, but look at the end of the show how Martin Lawrence had on that mask, looking like he was all beat up, and then go look at Errol Spence Jr. Just an eerie resemblance. It was bad, y’all, and I love Errol Spence Jr.

“He is a stud; he is a big-time fighter. It was a struggle for him to meet the 147-pound weight limit. I heard in the days leading up to it; he found himself in a sauna and other places just fatigued, and what have you, because he was trying to sweat off the weight,” said Smith.

It’s pretty obvious that Spence was weight-drained for the fight because you could tell that the power on his shots wasn’t there. During fight week, Spence was emaciated, looking weak, and talking slowly, as if the effort that it took to speak was difficult for him.

Spence’s appearance was that of someone you would see in a hospital, not someone getting ready for an athletic competition. He looked sickly and pushed to the limit due to insufficient water and food. A fighter can’t expect to be at their best when they’re as drained as Spence was for the Crawford fight.

“I get all of that, but an a** whipping is an a** whipping, and when you take as much punishment as he was taking and you saw the way that he looked after the fight, that was just hard to see,” said Smith. “It really was. Spence was in bad shape after the fight.

“It was a spectacular beat-down in July of epic proportions, beat down the likes of which I’ve rarely seen in boxing history. Maybe I was being a bit hyperbolic when I talked about retirement [for Spence]. The man is 28 and 1. It was the first loss of Errol Spence Jr.’s career,” said Smith.

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