Torn Trout excited to see Spence and Crawford release some tension – on each other

Former world super-welterweight champion Austin Trout has spent two years going back and forth over who might win if Terence Crawford and Errol Spence ever met.

Now, on the eve of the most meaningful boxing fight of 2023 with Spence and Crawford finally set to lock horns, Trout remains torn, but is sticking with his early gut feeling from when the fight first started to marinate.

“I’ve got Crawford, but I’m not putting money on anybody,” Trout said. “Man, it’s an even fight. I picked Crawford when we first started talking about it and I don’t want to be a flip-flop – although my opinion has flip-flopped many times over this last year and a half or two years. I’m going to stick with Crawford, but I don’t fully believe that. Spence is a dog. He’s a big boy. It’s just going to be a good fight.”

Trout lights up talking about the contest, years in the making and after months and months of speculation. Slender underdog Spence has closed in on the bookmakers’ odds today, and many in the sport are calling it a 50-50.

Not only that, but the last 48 hours has seen animosity between the camps brimming to the surface, and here in Las Vegas, Trout – who had back-to-back fights with Miguel Cotto and Canelo in 2012/2013 – has seen it and felt it.

“The tension is thick,” Trout said. “Everywhere, through the MGM, that’s Team Crawford [on one side], that’s Team Spence [on the other]. It’s a matchlight away from exploding. It’s going down.”

The fighter in Trout then said how he thought Spence would be deployed by trainer Derrick James.

“Grind him down, don’t let up,” advised Trout. “He [Spence] already knows. He’s going to go to that body, he’s going to stop that [Crawford] footwork. He’s going to grind him down. “Don’t let up, and we’ll see if Bud is That Guy.”

On the flipside, Crawford’s ability and footwork has often played a major role with him getting on top in fights. That’s what Trout says Crawford needs to do at the T-Mobile Arena.

“Turn him and don’t let up,” Trout stated. “As he [Spence]’s grinding, turn him and don’t let up. Turn him and get on it. It’ll have to be a dog fight. You can’t just run from Spence. He’s coming. You’re going to have to hurt him. I don’t know if Bud can hurt him.”

You can sense the excitement everywhere. You can certainly see it in Trout.

“They’ve got good engines but we’ve seen Spence go 12 rounds with better opposition,” Austin added. “[But] this is not a Mayweather-Pacquiao situation. This is both of them in their primes. They both looked good in their last fights. It’s time for them to go.”