By: Sean Crose
It was one of the worst beatings in recent memory – at least as high level fights go. After years of anxiously waiting, boxing fans were finally treated to a July throwdown between welterweight kings Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford. Leading up to that summer night in Vegas, the long awaited pairing was largely viewed as a pick ’em fight. That’s not how the bout itself played out, however, as Crawford outclassed Spence to such a degree viewers, seeing Spence’s beat up, puffy face, began expressing their belief online that the action should be halted. Fortunately referee Harvey Dock finally stepped in and officially ended things in the ninth round.
Now that there is no doubt that Crawford sits atop the welterweight heap, people are curious as to what’s next for the Omaha native. Will he move up in weight to junior middleweight, or perhaps even higher? Will be go on to face young buck Jared “Boots” Ennis, or will he face Spence once more due to contractual obligations? Most don’t seem to want a rematch with Spence, but that may indeed be what fans will get due to the fact Spence reportedly wants to activate a rematch clause in his contract. And this leads the topic away from the lauded Crawford, towards the recently vanquished Spence.
First off, can Spence possibly win a rematch against Crawford? Some might argue he can if the two men fight up at junior middleweight instead of welterweight, as they did the first time around. I find that difficult to believe, though, due to the severity of Crawford’s dominance over Spence last month at the T-Mobile arena. A few more pounds might allow Spence to be more comfortable or even to carry some more power, but will any of that matter when Crawford is his opponent? Perhaps – but probably not. The bottom line is that Crawford simply lays too much damage on Spence for Spence to get the better of him.
The big question, then, is: What will become of Errol Spence? The answer could go two ways. If Spence was beaten by Crawford to the point that he’ll never be the fighter he was (something that’s not an impossibility) then the affable Texan may have a few more notable fights in him before fading off into career sunset. If, however, Spence comes back strong, then I think he can do very well for himself, provided the opponent isn’t Crawford or someone with that kind of extraordinary talent.
Here’s the thing – Crawford didn’t expose Spence, as some are suggesting. Crawford just proved he was the far better fighter. That doesn’t mean Spence hasn’t been a legitimately great fighter in his own right, because he has been – and perhaps can be again. If the worst thing people will be able to say about Spence’s career is that he lost his biggest fight, then no one will hold it against him. After all, Ali lost his biggest fight, as well, and he went on to continue leaving his mark on the world.
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