By: Hans Themistode
WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford and unified champion Errol Spence Jr. are seemingly joined at the hip. Simply put, it’s difficult to mention one without the other.
With Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) recently decapitating former IBF champion Kell Brook this past weekend, the chatter and demand for the pair to face each other began to echo through the empty MGM Grand Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Both Crawford and his promoter Bob Arum, have expressed optimism over the years that their contest will in fact take place. Yet for former multiple division champion and now ESPN boxing analyst Timothy Bradley, he simply rolls his eyes whenever anyone gets excited about their possible matchup taking place.
“It’s not going to happen,” said Bradley to FightHype following Crawford’s fourth round victory over Brook.
Issues between Arum and his Top Rank Promotional company and Premier Boxing Champions, the banner in which Spence Jr. fights under, has been an impediment to a possible deal coming to fruition. While Bradley salivates over a possible matchup between them down the line, the former champion can’t help but notice a glaring similarity between Spence Jr. vs Crawford and another high profile fight who many believe took far too long to take place.
“They doing the same thing that they did with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.”
At one point in the mid to late 2000s, both Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao not only campaigned in the same weight class, but they were also universally recognized as the best pound for pound fighters in the world. A matchup between them split the opinions of boxing fans as they had difficulty choosing sides. The need to see them face off in the ring became an obvious one, but due to various reasons, the two future first ballot hall of famers spent countless years without coming to terms on a bout agreement. It wasn’t until 2015 where both men were able to hammer out a deal that placated each side.
Their contest was hyped as the fight of the decade, yet, after 12 rounds, most of the public found their matchup to be uneventful and past its expiration date.
For Bradley, the 37-year-old believes that a showdown with Spence Jr. and Crawford is going down that same road. But unlike the numerous contract issues that plagued a Mayweather vs Pacquiao contest for years, Bradley simply views Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) as having too many options on his plate, including his December 5th showdown with Danny Garcia.
“If Spence beats Garcia then he would supposedly fight Porter next. Then who’s next over there? He could fight Thurman and that’s another two years, year and a half from now. And then possibly Pacquiao after that if Pacquiao’s still in the game. And then, Terence Crawford when it’s three years, two and a half years from now.”
The clock between a matchup with the undefeated pound for pound stalwarts is counting down at an expedited pace. But as long as Crawford continues to do business with Bob Arum and Spence Jr. with Premier Boxing Champions, Bradley is left without answers in terms of how a deal is made.
With that being said, Crawford’s promotional contract with Top Rank expires in late 2021 which could open the door for the Nebraska native to jump ship. Still, even if that were to happen, Bradley remains pessimistic.
“If Terence was to somehow end up over there, I still don’t see the fight happening but even if it happens, it’s going to be too long. We want to see it in their primes.”
Although Bradley doesn’t see a pathway to their contest taking place in the near future, the recently retired fighter allowed himself to think positively for a moment. The 37-year-old would love to be wrong and hopes that their contest does take place sooner rather than later. If he is indeed erroneous in his assumptions, Bradley doesn’t hesitate when picking a winner.
“Terence would win that fight. Nobody makes better adjustments than Terence Crawford. They see it, I’m not saying that Spence is scared but I’m just saying that they see it.”