By Sean Crose
“The wait is over. It’s time to play. Errol Spence. Terence Crawford. July 29, Las Vegas, Nevada. Everyone comes out to show their support and watch me fry this fish.”
That’s what WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford says in a video posted on Instagram on Thursday. In other words, it’s official – Crawford will finally face the WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence for the undisputed world welterweight championship. It took a long time – too long, in fact. But now that the match has become a reality, fans have plenty to celebrate.
The truth is that both Crawford and Spence are considered two of the best fighters in the world. Both men are undefeated and, with the exception of the near-retired Keith Thurman, have beaten all of their peers. With the emergence of a new and younger race of challengers, this fight apparently was undertaken at the eleventh hour. Still, it’s good to see these two finally get things done in the ring. Indeed, this is the culmination of an excellent first half of 2023 for the sport of boxing.
Last month, Gervonta Davis defeated the popular Ryan Garcia in a super fight that made a super deal on pay-per-view. Then just last week, the incredibly talented Devin Haney defeated (albeit controversially) the great Vasly Lomachneko in an incredible battle of high skill and high octane. And now finally comes Crawford-Spence. If Tyson Fury somehow gets in the ring with Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship in 2023, a very good year in boxing will suddenly become a great one.
Indeed, 2023 could prove to be a great year, even without Fury and Usyk fighting in the ring. There are great fights. Appropriate. Popular. There’s a lot to like about sports right now. For example, in addition to Crawford-Spence, the remarkable Naoya Inoue will answer the bell to face the razor-sharp Stephen Fulton for bantamweight supremacy this same week in Japan.
However, it will be Crawford-Spence that will really be the main attraction among boxing fans and probably not only. Both Crawford 39-0 and Spence 28-0 have no idea what defeat feels like. They also know that their legacy is at stake here – in one of the biggest divisions in the sport. Finally, each human has the ability to turn off the light on the other. This one is highly anticipated for some reason. It’ll be good to finally see how this plays out.
“Finally giving fans what they want!” Spence declared on Instagram. “This matchup is a throwback on paper, but it could be a one-sided matchup that beats one of the greatest fights of the century!”