Fresh off of his victory over Kell Brook on November 14th, all eyes turned to what is next for Pound 4 Pound king Terrence Crawford. We heard all of the usual suspects Pacquiao, Thurman, Porter, and the obvious elephant in the room – Errol Spence Jr.
Spence vs. Crawford is the fight many of us have had our eyes on for the better part of 2 years now. Crawford was already a 2-division champion prior to joining the welterweight ranks in 2017, but there were some questions about his ability to compete at welterweight. Those questions centered mainly around his size. Were the guys at 147 too big? Would he be able to carry his punching power to another weight class? Both of those questions were answered emphatically when he stopped Jeff Horn in 9 rounds to claim the WBO title in June of 2018 – his first ever fight at that weight.
At the same time and on the other side of the aisle (promotionally speaking), you had Errol Spence Jr. making noise in the division. He was undefeated and winning fight after fight. It was not until he lifted the IBF welterweight title off of Kell Brook in May of 2017 that the world was put on notice that Spence was a force to be reckoned with in the division.
They were winning fightings parallel to one another, and you could clearly see they were on a collision course for a mega fight. Excitement and anticipation for the fight seemed to build more when a video posted by ESNEWS in November 2018, showing the two fighters face to face trash talking each other regarding who would win the hypothetical clash.
What’s The Hold-Up?
The problem with that? That conversation was over 2 years ago and it does not seem that we are any closer to the fight actually happening. With 2021 on the horizon, we are dangerously close to reaching the expiration date for the fans’ interest in this fight.
One roadblock that could derail this fight is one of them losing. Many fans will not like to admit it, but watching 2 undefeated fighters clash is exciting. One fighter taking another’s ‘0’ raises the stakes for both combatants and sells the importance of the fight. Terence Crawford took care of his end, and now we are waiting to see what Errol Spence will do. Errol Spence has no small task in front of him either. He has been out of the ring for over a year, and his comeback opponent Danny Garcia is no pushover. Garcia is a former light welterweight and welterweight champion, and if Spence is not at his best, Garcia is capable of defeating him.
The biggest hurdle as it stands now seems to be of the promotional variety. Currently, Terrence Crawford is represented by Bob Arum and Top Rank (although that may change after the recent comments made by Arum). Arum has been very vocal about his financial losses promoting Crawford’s fights. Arum boldly proclaimed “He may be the greatest fighter in the world, but, hey, I ain’t going bankrupt promoting him. “The question is, ‘Do we want to keep him?’ I could build a house in Beverly Hills on the money I’ve lost on him in the last three fights. A beautiful home.”
Spence is represented by Al Haymon and PBC. These 2 companies are notorious for their inability to work together to produce fights.. If Crawford decides to stay with Top Rank, he will be shutting himself out of potential fights unless hell freezes over and the 2 companies decide to do business. Should he decide to go to PBC, he would then have a plethora of marketable money making fights. He can fight Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, and of course, Errol Spence.
Naturally, we would want to see him sign to fight Spence immediately, but what if he doesn’t? If he chooses to fight any other of the aforementioned names, that could push a Crawford vs. Spence fight back possibly a year? Maybe 8 months? Now, you are potentially looking at a 2022 fight date.
Mo Money Mo Problems
Now let’s get to the root of it all, and to no ones surprise its all about the money. Despite being 41 there is no more recognizable name in the division, or even the sport than Manny Pacquiao. The all-time great is a title holder, and would provide the largest payday available to either fighter. Pacquiao may not be the fighter he once was 5-6 years ago, and should either of them get that fight and win it could put them at the superstar level in the same fashion similar to how Pacquiao ascended to megastar status after defeating Oscar De La Hoya back in 2008.
Although, recently both fighters have made it clear they feel they are the A-side of the fight and want a 60/40 split of the money, and neither of them seem to be budging on their stance. In fact, once Crawford learned of Spence’s demands, Crawford tweeted “Well look like that fight will never happen”. Crawford further elaborated on the potential fight saying “It’s not that important. I keep telling everybody It’s not that important. I don’t, I don’t need Errol Spence for my legacy. Don’t know why people tryna make it seem like I need Errol Spence. He needs me. I don’t need him.”
As boxing fans, we know what it looks like when fights occur long past the point of us caring. I know it’s odd calling the largest fight in boxing history a letdown, but Pacquiao Vs. Mayweather happened 5 years too late. Manny was still very good, but he was nowhere near the beast he was in 2010 as opposed to 2015. Riddick Bowe vs. Lennox Lewis, Roy Jones Jr. vs. Dariusz Michalczewski, Joe Calzaghe vs. Carl Froch, and with enough research, I could probably find more. The fight game is littered with what if’s, and unless something drastic happens, you will start to see Crawford vs. Spence being included in these conversations years down the line.