By: Sean Crose
“The top fighter in boxing right now, is Terence Crawford.” So Floyd Mayweather told FightHype late in 2021. If there was ever reason for WBA, WBC, and IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence to face WBO welterweight titlist Crawford, Floyd’s statement was it. Spence, after all, was associated with the same Al Haymon who guided Mayweather to untold fame and fortune. Yet it was Crawford, not Spence, who Mayweather was publicly calling the best fighter in all of contemporary boxing. As of late December, 2022, a full year after Mayweather made those comments, a fight between the two welterweight titlists has yet to be made.
Of course there were solid reasons why Spence-Crawford hadn’t been set at the time of Mayweather’s praise of Crawford. For starters, Crawford had gotten into a serious car crash – one he was fortunate to survive – in October of 2019. He wasn’t to return until March of 2022 when he stopped Manny Pacquiao conqueror Yordenis Ugas within the distance. And Crawford? Well, Crawford was long teamed up with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. In the context of the modern boxing scene, it was beyond challenging for a top boxer teamed with Arum to end up fighting a top boxer teamed with Haymon.
By 2022, however, Spence had successfully returned to boxing professionally and Crawford was no longer a part of the Top Rank stable of fighters. And indeed, things looked promising. Negotiations were underway, and, while they were knotty, there was good reason for fans to have faith. “I don’t think it’s dead or close to dead,” Showtime honcho Stephen Espinoza told Fight Hype of the negotiations. Even Crawford himself told FightHub “we’re working to get it done for y’all.” Then, just this past September, ESPN stated that Spence and Crawford had “agreed to all material terms for an undisputed welterweight title fight targeted for Nov. 19.” .
It never happened.
Since the promising report that an agreement “to all material terms” had been made, Crawford has gone on to wipe out David Avanesyan, while Spence has been injured in another car accident (which occurred after the negotiations for the Crawford fight had fallen through). Oh, and each fighter has his own story to tell regarding the crash and burn of their hoped for fight. The truth is that Terence Crawford and Errol Spence may indeed meet in the ring, perhaps even in 2023.
Even if each fighter is still in his prime, however, their eventual fight will go down after it’s sell be date. The electricity that comes with genuine superfights just won’t be there. It’s vanished – and the only thing that can make it return is a thrilling battle. Think Leonard-Hearns II. Anything short of that will come up shy of what could have been. And that’s a shame.
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