After an extremely slow start to the new year, boxing is on the upswing, and barring any more injuries that postpone or cancel fights, we are in for a big year. One of the biggest commercial fights that could be made here in the U.S. occurred about a month ago, and there are plenty of casuals that still talk about that fight and what they were doing that night in the lead-up to the main event.
When it comes to the purists of the sport, there are only two fights they want to see, and that’s Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) vs. Oleksandr Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) and Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs) vs. Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs). Ironically enough, both fights would be for the undisputed title in their respective divisions, and both have become almost impossible to make. Why is that? There could only be one answer to that, but I would argue that there are two: Money and Ego. Both intertwine when dealing with guys at this level who bring something to the table. No one wants to give an inch, and when they do, it leads to a tug of war in another part of the negotiations.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TECHNICAL THINGS THAT CAN BE HOLDING UP SPENCE JR VS. CRAWFORD?
I imagine a million things could be holding an undisputed welterweight fight up, like which side of the fight posters they are on, who walks out first, the type of gloves worn, etc. It’s an endless amount of details, and we haven’t even gotten into the money part of it, so yes, it gets really complicated. One thing that hasn’t been discussed in this fight is the weight. Many assume it’ll be for the undisputed title, but what if it isn’t?
When news came out a few months ago that Spence Jr. was going to fight Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs), it was rumored to be at 154 lbs, a weight class above where Spence is a unified champion. Could the discussion be whether the fight is at welterweight, super welterweight, or at a catchweight? This part has flown under the radar and could be what’s keeping this fight from being made. Fighting at a catchweight or 154 benefits both guys as they will have the fight that everyone wants to see but don’t have to risk their titles when they finally get in the ring. It’s not something fans want to hear, but it has to be considered when trying to figure out the holdup of such a significant fight.
IS THIS THE NEXT RIDDICK BOWE VS. LENNOX LEWIS WHICH NEVER HAPPENED, OR FLOYD MAYWEATHER VS. MANNY PACQUIAO, WHICH HAPPENED FIVE YEARS TOO LATE?
For fans who fall under the bucket of Gen Z, you were lucky not to have gone through the shenanigans that were Riddick Bowe vs. Lennox Lewis. It was the mega fight of all mega fights that everyone wanted to see for the undisputed heavyweight crown, but it quickly became one of boxing’s biggest “What if’s.” Both of them were on “different sides of the street,” and the last straw was when Bowe dumped the WBC belt in the trash can, which to this day is one of the most iconic scenes in boxing history. We never got to see both of them fight, and fans were left with an empty feeling about what would have been the most significant heavyweight fight at that time.
Fast forwarding to the fight we got, but it was about five years too late. Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao was a blockbuster event that brought a rumored billion dollars to the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada over that fight week. Although it was late, the world was tuned in to see who would be considered the best of that era. You couldn’t walk anywhere in the world without people asking about the fight, but when the two got into the ring, there was no magic, and the fight fell dramatically short of the expectations that everyone had set. Many fingers were pointed as to why it fell flat, but the one consistent thing is that it occurred later than it should’ve.
ERROL SPENCE JR. VS. TERENCE CRAWFORD FIGHT NEWS CHANGES BY THE SECOND
First fight poster for Spence vs Crawford! pic.twitter.com/uJLCznbcJx— Boxing Kingdom (@BoxingKingdom14) May 12, 2023
There is no certainty when this fight will occur or if both men will sign the contract. There was a report from ESPN that they had both verbally agreed to the deal and that it would take place in June. Then during Davis vs. Garcia fight week, Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza put the kibosh on the June date and said that was never the date, but he was “optimistic” a deal would get done. Then The Ring published an article about a date in July, but there is no certainty with that rumored information as we still don’t have an official announcement. While all this is happening, Crawford has been quiet, and Spence Jr. recently sent out a cryptic tweet that could be referring to the Crawford fight negotiations.
I’m starting to feel played .. ..— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) May 13, 2023
AS TRIPLE H ONCE SAID, “WHAT’S BEST FOR BUSINESS”
Honestly, what’s best for business is that Spence Jr. vs. Crawford happens this summer and that they don’t sell everyone short by making the fight anything other than for the undisputed crown. This fight needs to happen now, or don’t even bother discussing it at a date that has 2024 at the end of it. I start having doubts when I see Thurman videos popping up again, as that can only mean that he isn’t entirely out of the talk for a fight with Spence Jr. Let’s hope Thurman isn’t the reason we don’t get Spence Jr. vs. Crawford. Boxing is on a roll. Let’s keep the momentum going and give the fans what they have patiently been waiting for; an undisputed welterweight champion.