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“Big Don’t Mean Stronger.” Terence Crawford Explains To Joe Rogan How He Beat Errol Spence

By: Sean Crose

“That’s a fight that we’ve been wanting for years,” undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford said on Joe Rogan’s podcast. “To finally secure the fight and perform the way I performed, it was a great moment for me and my career.” Few would disagree. Crawford’s brilliant showcasing of his skills against then fellow undefeated welterweight titlist Errol Spence in last month’s high profile superfight surprised even Crawford’s own supporters. Everyone knew Crawford was good – but did they know exactly how good he was? Perhaps not. Yet Crawford made it clear to Rogan that it was pre-fight preparation that made his in ring performance against Spence so impressive.

“Everything you seen fight night,” Crawford said, “we drilled it time and time again, time and time again, so it came naturally and easy to me when the fight came.” With the fight being several weeks in the rear view mirror Crawford reflected on the fact that many didn’t expect him to win due to Spence’s size and fundamentally impressive style. “He might be bigger than me,” Crawford said of Spence, “but big don’t mean stronger.” Not that everyone felt that Spence was going to win. “I was favored in Vegas,” Crawford said, “so Vegas must have had it right.”

Crawford went on to reveal to Rogan that there had actually been a time when he felt the long anticipated bout with Spence might not ever come to fruition. “There was a point in time where I shifted gears,” he told Rogan, “and I shifted my mind off of Errol Spence because I didn’t feel like the fight was going to happen. But once I left Top Rank and we started negotiations,I was like ‘maybe this fight will happen.'” Ultimately, Crawford reached out to Spence himself. “I just hit up Spence, like listen man, if me and you fight, me and your are going to get this done, because there’s a lot of people blocking the fight,” Crawford said. “They (those blocking the fight) wanted to do the deal a certain way and I wanted to do the fight the fair way.”

Crawford went on to explain to Rogan that he didn’t intensely study Spence’s previous ring outings before getting in the ring with the man. “I have a different style,” Crawford admitted. “They’re not going to fight me the same style and the same way they fought their previous opponents. They’re just not.” Besides, as Crawford made clear, he likes to operate in the moment. “I don’t watch too much film because I’m going to make my adjustments on the fly inside the ring,” he said. “My coaches, they do the studying, then come up with a plan, then they shoot me the plan to win and we just go from there.”

Perhaps the clearest insight into Crawford’s method can be found in his comments to Rogan about how his mind operated in the moments before the opening bell. “I think I made the change to fight southpaw in the back dressing room,” said the ambidextrous fighter. “I was remembering, ‘he (Spence) never fought too many southpaws before, and then on one of the occasions he go hurt real bad by a hook,’ so I was like ‘I’m coming out southpaw and we’re going to box just to start off, but at the same time I’m going to get my respect right out the gate.'”

Prepping is clearly important in any endeavor – yet Crawford is living proof that operating in the spur of the moment can have its advantages, as well.

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