Derek “Bozy” Ennis believes that the key to victory for Terence Crawford against Errol Spence lies in him making a fast start.
The 35-year-old Crawford on Saturday enters his defining fight against Spence at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where they will contest the undisputed welterweight title.
He has previously been guilty of starting slowly and even at times of appearing vulnerable in the opening rounds, and for all that his remarkable talent means that he has regardless won each of his 39 fights, Ennis believes that the considerable threat posed by Spence means he cannot risk doing so again.
The experienced Ennis, owing to the admirable progress of his talented son Jaron “Boots” Ennis and Andy Cruz, has a growing reputation. He is among those convinced that “Boots” will succeed the winner of Saturday’s fight as the world’s leading welterweight, and he told ProBox TV: “Crawford can’t start off slow. Crawford’s gotta come out there – he’s gotta be on his Ps and Qs, because you got a guy like Spence.
“See, both of them are great fighters, man. You got a guy like Spence, that’s coming out there with his hands up high, and working behind the jab – basic, but a good basic. Once he sets you up behind that jab, he’s putting combinations together – he throws a lot of punches, man.”
Among those who make Spence, 33, the favourite are those who do so because they believe that in the in-demand Derrick James he has the superior trainer. Crawford is trained by Brian McIntyre, increasingly known as “BoMac”.
“You gotta be ready; you gotta be smart when you’re fighting [Spence],” the Philadelphia-based Ennis continued. “You can’t be lackadaisical, or nothing like that. You gotta be on.
“Up here [points to his head]; your mind; your body; your soul. You gotta be ready for this man. It’s gonna be a hell of a fight. I’ll say 50-50.
"When it comes down to it, if I had to give the edge, I would give it to Spence.”