‘I’m coming for his f****** strap’ – Spence aiming to take Crawford’s title before moving up

Errol Spence has promised that his eagerly-anticipated showdown with Terence Crawford will be talked about for years to come.

The welterweight stars collide at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday in a huge fight that has the sport talking.

“I’m definitely ready to put on a great performance on Saturday night and whatever it takes to win, that’s fine,” Spence said. “It’s definitely going to be a great fight. His mentality, my mentality, if I push harder, I know he’s going to push back even harder, if he pushes me, I’ll push back even harder, too. It’s definitely going to be an action-packed fight. I’m going to put on a great show and a great performance and he’s going to try and put on a great show and great performance. It's going to be one for the history books. It’s going to be one they’re talking about for a long time.”  

The fighters are in the midst of their fight week obligations. Errol has been flanked by his young son, Errol III, but his daughters Ivy and Violet are at home in Texas as he spins plates of media events in Las Vegas.

Asked whether that gives him a mean edge, Spence, who said he wants to move up to 154lbs to start winning belts after fighting Crawford, said: “Making weight makes me mean in itself, but being away from them, too, [has] made me more focused.”

Spence is part of one of the sport’s most fashionable stables. Derrick James also works with Jermell Charlo, Anthony Joshua, Frank Martin and Ryan Garcia, and he mentioned that James could be up for Trainer of the Year honours if they keep getting results.

“You’ve got another fight coming up, Jermell Charlo, an undisputed champion fighting an undisputed champion two weights up [in Canelo], at 168, that’s a fight… So this is a great year. He’s going to be coach of the year, but I know in my mind I’m just going to line them so as soon as I take care of Crawford on Saturday night…”

Spence has a couple of sayings he’s used with regularity over the years. He talks about winning titles as Strap Season, and of his opponents he refers to his victims saying or predicting, Man Down. He’s used both today discussing Crawford.

“Strap Season is something I’ve been pushing since the beginning. It started with Kell Brook, then Shawn Porter, then I had a little hiccup – something happened where I had a crazy little thing [a car crash] – then I fought Danny Garcia, got the strap against Ugas and now, like I tell everybody, after I get them belts, I’m coming for his fucking strap, too. Terence Crawford is going to be 39-1 and it’s going to be man down.”

In the other camp, Crawford said he’s feeling great, and observers have cited that Spence is looking as though he’s struggled at the weight, while no one is saying that about Crawford.

He’s also happy spending time on his own, only doing what has to be done this close to the fight.

“I just isolate myself from the world, I don’t leave unless I have to,” he said.

His favourite part of fight week?

“Nothing. Fighting. Let’s fight. That’s the exciting part. Let’s fight.”

The common consensus is that the fighters will share something spectacular on Saturday, and Crawford believes that.

“You can expect fireworks,” Terence said. “You can expect the best Terence Crawford that you guys have seen yet. I’ve trained tremendously hard. I’m pretty sure he’s trained hard. He’s going to try to knock me out, I’m going to try and knock him out and it’s going to lead to an exciting fight.”

Yes, Crawford has a huge following in Nebraska, but he has fans here in Las Vegas. 

“I’d like everyone to know that I’m undefeated in Las Vegas,” he smiled.

They both are, but perhaps not for much longer.