Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford NYC Press Conference Observations

Day two was an extension of day one as neither Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. or Terence “Bud” Crawford went outside of their typical mild-mannered personas. Yet, it revealed a bit more about each. 

On Saturday, July 29th, available on SHOWTIME PPV, for $84.99, the bout will occur at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as Spence will put up his WBC, WBA and IBF world titles against the only remaining welterweight champion in the division, Crawford, who holds the WBO title, for the first four-belt undisputed world champion.

Here are some observations from the New York press conference today.


The press conference has some elite energy that we haven’t seen at many press conferences prior. Both fighters exude a presence in which they seemingly feel and know they are the best welterweights in the division. This is the moment they knew inevitably would happen - and now it is here they might bicker for a moment or two, but honestly - the takeaway is the respect between the two fighters. 

While most press conferences are filled with trash-talk, nerves disguised as threats, and outlandish behavior. The two sat onstage unphased. It looked more like a summer blockbuster buddy-cop movie than it did a boxing press conference as when they bickered in seemed more to be in good nature and good fun. 

The level of professionalism shown by all parties is something we expect from other sports, and sadly, sometimes we come to boxing to see chaos. On day one, I thought the press conference was a tad bit boring - on day two, I learned that they are both setting the tone.

In an era of thirty-second attention spans, we have two fighters who can’t have their life or achievements defined by thirty seconds. Not unlike a great wine, the longer we spend time with these two the more we start to learn about the competitive nature of the two. 

Uncle Frank Lucas once told us 'the loudest man in the room was the weakest," but in this press conference neither was loud. They picked their shots like how they fight, slow-and-steady. Nothing was emotional and nothing was rushed. 

Spence Has A Lot Of Charm

As Terence Crawford started to open up more and more, it was clear the personality of Errol Spence Jr had never truly gotten to shine through fully until today. As Crawford went on a tangent about gutting a fish, one could say the story was an allegory for what he thinks he will do in the ring to Spence on July 29th, playing off Spence Jr.’s ‘big fish’ nickname. Spence Jr quietly and discreetly exclaimed 

“We are Jamaican, we smoke bud,” said Spence. 

The response even got a chuckle from Terence Crawford as it was clever. Crawford’s nickname is Bud, and bud is also a nickname for marijuana which has been often, for better or worse, associated with Jamaica. The country twang of Spence Jr. has often had him underestimated as he is a rather mild-mannered person who hasn’t gone out of his way to word-fight many of his opponents. 

On day two, Spence Jr., shined as his responses seemingly got the most chuckle and smiles from those around. 

“He can show what he wants to show,” said Spence Jr. “It might be his era after I beat him…"

Spence Jr. didn't just have the one-liners, he also spoke up about fighter pay and his frustrations around the sanctioning bodies taking three percent from the fight purse but having no accountability. In Spence's biggest moment as a pro, he did something we rarely see- he didn't talk about money, or glorify his wealth, instead, he was the voice for the voiceless, something we have rarely ever seen in the sport. It is the sort of thing that made Muhammad Ali so beloved. 

Spence Jr., by the end of day two, had left with the most quotables and also steered the conversation of discourse around this fight.

Two different paths

You look at the journey to this point and it sums up how both fighters are. Errol Spence Jr. has been a blue-chip prospect since his first day as a professional. His rise and at times fall have all been public knowledge. The jacket he often wears fight week looks like that of a high-school varsity quarterback, and Spence is that - a leader with a team sport mentality in an individualized sport. 

Crawford, on the hand, has been the one with a chip on his shoulder. Having issues in the amateurs losing close decisions costing him a shot at the Olympics. Crawford has emerged as a three-division world champion based on his talent. He emerged as a late-replacement opponent on HBO Boxing and made such an impression that he fought his way to becoming a main-event fighter for a decade. 

Crawford is the epitome of a one-track mind, competitor, 'a win-at-all costs guy’, who we really see in the modern era. Seeing Crawford speak at the press was similar to seeing athletes prior like Michael Jordan, who didn’t give memorable speeches, but rather memorable performances. Crawford wants to be defined by what he does in the ring, and Spence seems to want to take a portfolio approach to the sport as you sum up his career based on achievements in the ring and outside of the ring. 

They took two different paths, but both became modern welterweight greatness. 

They are spiritual opposites, in a sport in which opposites attract the most attention and make for the best fights. 

The fight now comes down to who performs better on that given night. Anyone without bias sees the greatness in both fighters, and after watching two days of press conferences from start to finish, it is safe to say they understand it, too. The fight feels like it truly has high stakes and is the rare fight in which the training camp footage will matter in the build-up, the storylines of the fight will be sincere, and we the fans will get a real-life sports drama over the next month-and-a-half in the build-up to this bout. 

What a time for the sport of boxing.