By: Hans Themistode
While both unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBO belt holder Terence Crawford are grown men, they have seemingly reverted back to children as they simply can’t work out their differences. With both men holding a solidified spot in the pound for pound rankings, the boxing world has clamored for the two to step into the ring to determine just who is the best fighter in the division.
However, the pair have spent more time pointing fingers and blaming the other for the reason why their bout hasn’t taken place. Although fans have taken the side of the fighter they like most, none have been behind the scenes during negotiations.
One person who has though, is promoter Bob Arum.
After picking up the phone to speak with team Spence and his representatives over with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and Al Haymon, the 89-year-old is under the impression that all but one person is on board in making the fight happen.
“I’ve talked with Al Haymon,” said Arum on the Three Knockdown Rule Podcast. “He’s amenable to the fight. The only one who’s holding back on it and maybe because he feels that he can’t win the fight is Errol Spence. That’s the truth. The only issue is Spence doesn’t want to fight him. Don’t blame Al Haymon, don’t blame PBC, blame Spence. He doesn’t want to get beat by Crawford. Errol Spence is the obstacle in making that fight, not Al Haymon, not PBC, its Errol Spence.”
In the case of Spence Jr., long before he claimed two world titles, the Dallas native expressed his desire in becoming an undisputed world champion. His quest in achieving said goal, ultimately runs through Omaha’s Crawford.
Despite the skills that are constantly put on display by the former three-division titlist, Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) has exhibited an extraordinary amount of confidence in a possible showdown between them. Regardless of the faith he has shown in himself, Arum believes it’s all a lie.
Spence Jr. may come across as someone who is confident in his abilities but to Arum, the long-time promoter believes he knows exactly what’s running through his mind.
“We’re very confident in the fight. We believe that Crawford will beat him but unfortunately, Spence believes the same thing.”
Crawford, of course, is currently battling the court of public opinion. In mid-November just last year, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) dismantled former IBF titlist, Kell Brook, via fourth-round stoppage. While his performance may have been highlight-worthy, many were expecting it as Brook doesn’t appear to be the same fighter he was several years ago.
Upon announcing that Crawford would be taking on Brook, fans of the Omaha native began bellyaching about his opponent selection. Despite winning world titles across multiple weight classes and regardless of holding a seat as either the best pound for pound fighter in the world or at worst, the second-best behind Canelo Alvarez, fans of Crawford have long wanted to see him take on elite competition.
The cries and pleas of the fans haven’t fallen on deaf ears. For Arum, he fully understands that like the fans, Crawford wants to partake in some of the biggest matchups in the sport, and by all accounts, Arum and his Top Rank promotional company believe they are trying their best to placate everyone.
“Terence wants big fights and we hope to deliver big fights for him.”