Saturday, July 20, 2019  |

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Terence Crawford wants Errol Spence fight to prove he’s the best welterweight

Terence Crawford says he's focused on Amir Khan, but wants the fights that will prove he is the best at 147 pounds.
01
Apr

It’s always good news for boxing when TMZ has a boxing story and it doesn’t involve Adrien Broner.

I’m kidding, sort of…

Terence Crawford chatted with TMZ and the news-gossip site asked him about his future plans. He said yes, he really wants to match up with Errol Spence, the Texas based welterweight who handled Mikey Garcia with ease on FOX PPV.

No bad news, no hijinks featuring AB…or the like. That’s good news!

Back to Crawford, who gloves up April 20 at Madison Square Garden. No, I haven’t come across anyone who is picking Amir Khan to pull off what would be the Upset of the Year. But Khan always makes for interesting fights, he gives people their money’s worth, because you figure either his chin or the other guys’ is getting checked.

“I would love for that fight to happen,” said Crawford to TMZ, while sitting on a sofa. “Like I said, I want all the welterweights in the division. My main thing is, I’m focused on Amir Khan right now. But if that fight presents itself…I never shied away from a challenge, that’s why I’m in the sport of boxing for, to be crowned number one and fight the best fights out there…I want the fight, lemme just say that right now, I want the fight, personally. Just to show the world that I’m the best welter in the division. On the business side, if everything works out with Bob Arum and Al Haymon, then we can get the match done.”

He said that is the biggest fight that can be made in boxing, bigger than Deontay Wilder vs Anthony Joshua. Those two are 1B, and him and Errol is 1A. “I feel confident matching up with anybody,” the Nebraskan said. He ticked off all the traits in his arsenal, and said some others out there are not as versatile as he.

Now, should we be getting ourselves excited for the prospect of seeing Spence, who needs a dance partner, versus Crawford, who will be looking for a partner on April 21?

Short answer: I’d caution against that. One reason I say that is I get the sense that Arum and Haymon aren’t in a place that encourages finding common ground. And yes, common ground would have to be found. Even before money, what about on what platform are we going to watch Crawford vs. Spence? Well, a pay per view platform, of course.

But for this fight, could Arum and Haymon divvy up, as was done for Mayweather vs Pacquiao, a division of labor? You know what, I write that, I find myself thinking, yeah, they could, probably. Because they have before. But right now? April 20th, as you probably know, is a busy night, because Crawford meets Khan on a PPV event…AND, over on FOX, PBC counter-programs with Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados. How much will that freebie cut into the sales for Crawford-Khan. Some, maybe more than some.

Yeah, me, living in that perfect world that will never be, wishes that all these cats would get along, play nicely in the sand box. But this isn’t how it works, not in capitalism, sure as hell not in boxing capitalism…

“There’s only so many Saturdays available,” said Carl Moretti, when I asked who put dibs on the date first. “You have to match up site availability and PPV dates that are available.”

The Danny Gracia topped card from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California starts at 8 p.m. ET with contender Andy Ruiz Jr., formerly with Top Rank, taking on Alexander Dimitrenko in a 10-round bout, and then Brandon Figueroa battles Venezuela’s Yonfrez Parejo in a 12-round match for the WBA interim super bantamweight strap. But no, the stage is not then ceded to Top Rank; fights run on FS1 from 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., with Jeison Rosario (18-1-1, 13 KOs) Jorge Cota (28-2, 25 KOs). Moretti said he’s not sweatin’ it. “Whatever, I say. Obsess about your own business–not someone else’s.”

Tim Smith from PBC had some thoughts on Spence versus Crawford: “Of course (Crawford) does (want to fight Spence). Good for him. Did he want to fight him before he locked himself up in a long term deal with Top Rank last year? There are free agents in boxing or did no one tell him that? Maybe he should have asked Deontay Wilder or Errol Spence or Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter or….”

Regarding the crowded date, of April 20: “The PBC on FOX April 20 show between Danny Garcia and Adrian Granados was announced back in November 2018 when we did our FOX schedule rollout in Los Angeles,” Smith said. “So, there’s no counter programming on our part. But I think the boxing calendar is so crowded that overlap is inevitable. Garcia-Granados is in Los Angeles – all the way across the coast from NYC – so there’s no conflict for the ticket buying public. As for the viewers, they can make the decision as to whether they want to pay to see Crawford fight a guy who was knockout out by Danny Garcia, who will be fighting on free over-the–air TV. Tough choice for some. Easy choice for others.”

That is sensible…but fight fans want to know how to handle the juggling, if they choose to. Same goes for media.

Anyway, back to the original subject at hand. Crawford vs. Spence….When might you see that? Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum has in the last few weeks sounded warm to the concept. Will that warmth be received similarly on the PBC side? They have the makings of a 147 round robin within their “league” frame-work, so there seems to be less impetus for them to go inter-league.

However, things can change that element of the dynamic if two things happen: fans rally up to demand to see it. And the two fighters do the same. My friend Ron Borges always points this out; the fighters have more control over their fate, especially on occasions where we the fans are craving the best to fight the best. The fighters can shape the debate and help get such a super fight to the finish line.

Me, I say no to marinating, don’t make us wait, smile on your brother, deal-makers, coalesce the fight that yes, might be the most compelling on paper super fight in the sport today.

Woods writes, and also does blow by blow on the Facebook Fightnight Live series. 

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