Wednesday, September 27, 2023  |


Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford promise ‘old school’ fight at L.A. press conference

Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. face off at the L.A. presser for their July 29 showdown. Photo by Esther Lin / SHOWTIME
Fighters Network

BEVERLY HILLS, California – Whenever two undefeated welterweight world titleholders meet in the ring the matchup is inevitably compared to the classic 1981 war waged by Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns. So, Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford know they have mighty big shoes to fill when they share the ring on July 29.

The bar is almost impossibly high when unbeaten Americans square off for undisputed welterweight champion status, but from what was said at the kick-off press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the fighters are up for the task.

“If you’ve been craving an old-school fight, the kind of great fights from the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s, this is the one for you,” said Spence, The Ring’s No. 1-rated welterweight and holder of the IBF, WBC and WBA titles. “Terence and I have the same mentality. We break wills. This will definitely be an old-school fight.”

Crawford (39-0, 35 KOs), The Ring’s No. 2-rated welterweight, agreed that he and his foe share similar traits.

“Spence got a big heart,” he said. “I got a big heart. He don’t like to back up. I don’t like to back up. It’s an old-school fight.”

The former Ring Magazine lightweight champ and former undisputed 140-pound champ added that when the smoke clears, he will have won his second undisputed championship and established his legacy.

“I’m going to give a gift to the fans,” the 35-year-old Omaha, Nebraska native said. “I love y’all. Without y’all, there is no us, so I got a gift for you on July 29. You’re going to witness greatness. You’ve heard of the past eras in boxing, you’ve got the Ray Robinson era, the Leonard-Hearns-Hagler-Duran era, even the Mayweather-Pacquiao era. Well, this era is the Terence Crawford era.

“He’s the Big Fish, right? But what happens when you take the fish out of water? You suffocate it.”

Spence (28-0, 22 KOs), who is in The Ring’s pound-for-pound top five with Crawford, wasn’t intimidated by Crawford’s euphemism. The 33-year-old Desoto, Texas native invited everyone to a “Crawfish broil” in Las Vegas on July 29.

“This is THE biggest fight in boxing,” Spence said. “This will be a legendary fight, an old-school fight, the kind my dad told me about. It’s finally happening, and it will prove who the best fighter is, not just the best welterweight, but the best fighter in boxing.”

The Spence-Crawford winner will be crowned the Ring Magazine welterweight champion and, most likely, ascend to the No. 1 spot in the publication’s pound-for-pound rankings.