Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. is already decided. Now comes a wave of opinions from experts and fans.
Crawford and Spence will fight on pay-per-view for the undisputed 147-pound champion on July 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Bookmakers consider the draw to be one of the most compelling matchups possible in the sport, although Crawford is a slight favourite.
This means that every aspect of the matchup will be presented from different perspectives, particularly on who people think will win.
Here are five questions – and answers – from the Boxing Junkie ahead of the super fight.
Is the duel really as convincing as it seems?
Absolutely. Rarely do the two best boxers meet in the ring. Ranked #1 and #4 on the Boxing Junkie pound for pound list, Crawford and Spence have been among the best fighters of their generation for many years. The fact that they fight in the same division is a happy coincidence that allowed this fight to happen. The matchup is reminiscent of the great welterweight bouts of yesteryear, Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns, Felix Trinidad vs. Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. This means that we are dealing with a historic event. Will it live off the hype? We will see. The Leonard-Hearns fight happened while the other two probably didn’t. However, on paper, it is not much bigger than Crawford-Spence in terms of the quality of participants. Neither fighter can claim to be the face of the sport – Canelo Alvarez and Gervonta Davis excel in this area – but Crawford and Spence are currently outperforming their superstar counterparts by most estimates.
Is the fight too late?
Probably. Neither Crawford nor Spence showed signs of decline. Crawford held off his last 10 opponents, including former champion Shawn Porter, in a landmark victory in 2021. He’s on the wave. Spence is not as much of a puncher as Crawford, but he has a better resume and has risen to every challenge, including Porter in 2019 and Yordenis Ugas in his last fight. However, Crawford and Spence are 35 and 33 respectively. One wonders if they have lost a step, even if it hasn’t been obvious in recent fights. Crawford is older but could be fresher. Spence had recovered from a terrible car accident, but that might have weakened him a bit. Prior to his accident, he also had a grueling 12-round feud with Porter, the kind of fight that could cut a career short. Bottom line: They probably should have met not long after Crawford moved up to 147 and won the 2018 title. This did not happen in part because they were fighting over competing entities. Crawford recently became a free agent, which ultimately helped secure the deal.
Will the fight buy a million pay-per-view in the US?
Possible but not guaranteed. Crawford-Spence will struggle to meet the reported 1.2 million purchases generated by Davis and Ryan Garcia, whose massive popularity surpasses their achievements (especially Garcia). Crawford and Spence are respected among boxing fans, but they probably don’t have the ability to reach the large number of non-fans required to generate a massive buy rate. Or so it seems. Hardcore fans know how good this matchup is. Casual fans have a pretty good idea too. Perhaps solid and clever marketing will capture the imagination of those who otherwise would not agree to such duels. If I had to guess, I’d say Crawford-Spence would make about a million purchases. That would be a solid number considering their limited follower count.
Will size matter in a fight?
Probably not. Spence would have had a height advantage in 2018 when Crawford lifted the weight from 140. Remember: Crawford won his first world title at 135 while Spence weighed 147 lbs throughout his career, arguably making the latter is naturally a greater Man. However, Crawford was at welterweight for seven fights over a five-year period. It’s safe to say he’s grown into the division. And who knows? Crawford may actually have a slight advantage in the weight class. While Spence may be a heavier fighter when they enter the ring, Crawford may have an easier time at 147. This may work in his favour. This is only speculation, however. The fact is that both men are genuine, strong welterweights who belong in the division. That’s one more reason to appreciate these matchups. No one lifts or cuts weight.
Well, the fact that Crawford is higher on the pound for pound list should tell you something. He is the faster, more athletic and dynamic fighter of the two. And he hits harder than Spence, as indicated by the knockouts. Bud’s opponents will question his achievements. What notable opponent has he defeated besides Porter? Crawford can counter that he has dominated a number of top contenders, even if few of them have ever been mentioned in the same sentence as the term “pound for pound”. Our eyes tell us that he is a great fighter. Spence is also special, but in a different way. He is an excellent technician who can defeat his opponents in various ways. For example, he beat the boxer in Mikey Garcia and he beat the slugger in Porter. And although he is not a boxer like Crawford, he hurts opponents. Just ask Kell Brook, who suffered a broken orbital bone in a knockout loss to Spence. Crawford has the upper hand in ‘Who’s better? department, but it’s basically a 50-50 fight, which is a key reason why it’s compelling.