Yesterday, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum made noise on Twitter when he claimed he is ready to make a fight with Errol Spence Jr. (25-0, 21KOs) next, should Terrence Crawford (34-0, 25KOs) get past Amir Khan (33-4, 20KO’s) on April 20th. Arum called out manager Al Haymon during the process.
Granted, many believe that Arum is blowing smoke and using Spence’s name to promote his upcoming event between Crawford and Khan. These kind of things are a staple in boxing. However, assuming Arum is serious and Haymon jumps on board, would Crawford or Spence come away with the victory? It would undoubtedly be the most anticipated welterweight fights since Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. squared off in 2015. Would Spence continue his dominance in the welterweight division, or would Crawford claim yet another division and cement his place as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world ? Lets take a look.
Errol Spence Jr.
Errol Spence Jr. is fresh off of his victory over Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30KOs) in Dallas, Texas. It was one of the most one sided performances in a marquee fight in years. Spence dominated the fight from beginning to end, using a long range jab and excellent defense during the first eight rounds before putting on the pressure and landing crushing body shots the rest of the way. While many had expected Spence simply to bully the smaller Garcia, Spence proved his boxing IQ and overall skill are at an elite level. Spence displayed different aspects of his game such as phenomenal control of the distance through a sharp jab as well as a straight right counter off a shoulder roll a la Floyd Mayweather. We now understand that he has layers to his game, on top of his brutal body shots, relentless pressure, and wide variety of punches that he displayed in his previous fights against Lamont Peterson, Leonard Bundu, and Chris Algieri.
Terence Crawford last defeated Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-1, 18KOs) in an ESPN main event. Crawford’s ability to fight going forward as well as his phenomenal counter punching going backwards was on full display. His punch variety eventually got him the stoppage when he baited Benavidez with a 1, 2 before unleashing a vicious uppercut that caught the young Mexican-American and dropped him. Crawford has been at the top of the boxing world since his lightweight days, where he exploded onto the scene when he beat then-undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa. Since then, he has been one of the few fighters in history to unify the 140 pound division defeating guys like Viktor Postol and Julius Indongo, and has also captured the WBO welterweight title by defeating Jeff Horn. Crawford has always shown an immense variety to his game. He is arguably the best switch hitter in the sport, fighting effectively from either the orthodox or southpaw stance. And as mentioned previously, he is equally impressive going forward as he is countering off the back foot. His timing with his counters as fighters attempt to put the pressure and bully him is something to behold.
Who wins ?
Should these two fighters meet, it would be the most anticipated fight in a long time and we would have the chance to see the absolute two best welterweights on the planet share the ring. These two have risen to the top, and pundits would undoubtedly be split about who would win. This is as 50/50 as a fight gets.
On paper, Errol Spence seems to have several advantages. He is naturally the larger man, spending his entire career at 147 pounds. Spence has also fought superior opposition as he holds victories over Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia, and Lamont Peterson. Crawford is naturally smaller and while he has solid victories, his biggest names are Postol, Gamboa, and Jeff Horn. However, I personally would still give the edge to Terence Crawford. Despite being naturally smaller in weight, he still holds a 2 inch reach advantage over Spence. Spence’s elite level jab he used to keep Mikey Garcia at bay could be countered by someone as elite as Crawford, who has the reach to actually be able land on Spence. Apart from numerical factors, Crawford has shown to have the ability to fight in a multitude of ways and is extremely effective in every single one. He has more dimensions to his game than Errol Spence, despite the latter proving he is more than just a come-forward fighter. Spence’s body shots could end up being a great equalizer, but Crawford’s elite footwork and counters could possibly eliminate that aspect. We even saw Gennady Golovkin forego body shots when he fought Canelo Alvarez, due to the latter’s elite level counter uppercuts. I could absolutely be wrong, and Errol Spence could end up showing another dimension to his game we haven’t seen before and win. However I believe Crawford has too many dimensions and has Plans A-Z should he lose the early rounds. I expect a very competitive fight, but one that Crawford steals as the fight progresses.
Prediction : Terence Crawford unanimous decision victory (116-112 x2 , 115-113)