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Men Of Few Words: Terence Crawford And Errol Spence Prefer To Let Their Fists Do The Talking

By: Sean Crose

Not to overstate the obvious but we live in an age of noise. Call it the infantilization of the western world. Generations were raised to believe that bragging was uncouth, that if one was really good at something, rabid self promotion wasn’t needed. Now, not only bragging, but the ability to brag more loudly than anyone else, are considered great virtues. In many cases, respect is simply earned by the employment of empty boasts. In other words, it’s the boasts society approves of, rather than the concrete, tangible achievements that might back those boasts up.

The rise of UFC star (and one time professional boxer) Conor McGregor during the last decade was evidence of this. Although McGregor was certainly an excellent mixed martial artist, his frat boy army of fans clearly preferred his boastful, insulting behavior to his physical prowess. People compared him to Mohammad Ali, but that comparison was weak and of the moment. The boastful, often insulting Ali was a legitimate athletic force for close to two decades, McGregor for a handful of years. In short, Ali could back up his talk. McGregor, terrific though he was, ultimately couldn’t. He was good, but not as good as his boasts. Not that it mattered. Times had changed and people preferred the sizzle to the steak.

Sadly, times haven’t changed much since McGregor’s heyday. Or have they? At the end of this month, perhaps the biggest fight in boxing will go down when WBA, WBC, and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence battles WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford for all the marbles in the division. It’s a terrific matchup – at least it is on paper – between two proven, undefeated fighters in one of the sport’s glamor divisions. Some are going so far to gander that the fight may well be a classic. That may or may not be the case. What’s proven to be somewhat refreshing in the leadup to Crawford-Spence, however, is the lack of smack talk between the two fighters.

While there’s undoubtedly been a few digs shared between the two combatants, the over the top rhetoric one is apt to find from the likes of Tyson Fury, Adrien Broner, and Teofimo Lopez is largely absent in the leadup to the July 29th superfight. In truth, neither Spence nor Crawford are big on shooting off their mouths. They don’t seem to be restraining themselves in the leadup to their July 29th showdown so much as they’re simply BEING themselves. Again, this is refreshing. With that being said, it’s worth wondering if the distinct lack of smack talk will harm pay per view sales. Either way, serious fans of the sport would clearly prefer to watch Crawford-Spence than they would the showy Jake Paul’s upcoming fight with the equally colorful Nate Diaz. One match pits two world class boxers against one another. The other pits two very showy ones against one another. Paul-Diaz will no doubt be entertaining, but it’s unlikely to reach the heights the Crawford-Spence fight might.

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