Terence Crawford On Errol Spence Jr: “We Both Agree The Fight Will Happen”
By: Sean Crose
Undefeated WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford has made it more than clear he wants a piece of WBA, IBF and WBC welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. “New year. New day. New goals.” Crawford tweeted on January 3’d. “New belts? #2020 #quitduckinme.” It was obvious who the message was for. What’s more, the words were accompanied by an image of the Nebraska native standing next to a heavy bag. The 36-0 fighter continued calling out Spence on Sunday. “I’m tell all y’all now,” he tweeted, “and I mean what I say when that day come when I knock him all I want all y’all to keep that same energy because he gone cry in the car he wasn’t built for this shit I got over here just watch me show the world.”
Yet Crawford wasn’t done.
“And stop using the fucking promoters, managers and advisors for that weak ass excuse,” he continued. “Y’all doing they work for us y’all dumb mf if you really want a fight you tell them i don’t give two fucks that’s who I want to fight. let yo nuts drop you say you yo own boss @ErrolSpenceJr.” Spence, 26-0, made it a point to reply. After claiming that he only hears Crawford gripe on social media, the native of of DeSoto, Texas tweeted: “Fight not going get made on here.” Crawford responded: “You right ima call you right now pick yo phone up.” A short time later, Crawford tweeted that “@ErrolSpenceJr is a cool dude on some real shit we both agree the fight will happen.”
Both Spence and Crawford are ranked among the top fighters in the sport. Yet there’s no real sign that two men are going to fight anytime soon, something that rankles followers of the sweet science. What’s more, no one is particularly buying the excuse that promotional and network loyalties are keeping the men from fighting. The fact that heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, represented by the same interests as Spence and Crawford respectively, will be fighting for the second time this February proves that high end hybrid bouts can be made.
The welterweight division has been held in extremely high regard since the days of Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran. In that bygone era, however, top fighters would face off in a timely manner. Leonard, for instance, battled Duran twice in 1980, then met Hearns in 1981. No one could imagine should a thing happening today. Which, of course, is something that’s worth noting. Both Crawford and Spence are very good fighters. It’s also ridiculous to argue that one is afraid of the other. Unfortunately, red tape is keeping the world from knowing who the best man of the two truly is. Here’s hoping Crawford is right, and that – sooner rather than later – “the fight will happen” after Spence fully recovers from a horrendous October car crash and is ready to face top level opposition again.
Spence: “All I Got To Do Is Thank God That I’m Here”
By: Sean Crose
“I feel like Brian Kenny works for the D.A.” welterweight multi-titlist Errol Spence Jr kiddingly tweeted early Sunday morning after being interviewed by Kenny live on Fox hours earlier. Spence, who survived an absolutely horrific car crash last October, made his first public appearance Saturday when he spoke with the veteran broadcaster as part of the terrific Tony Harrison – Jermell Charlo card. “I’m feeling good,” the 26-0 WBC and IBF welterweight champion said, “and I’ve spent a lot of time with my family, my friends, and my little girl. I’ve been enjoying the time with them while I’ve been out from boxing.”
Spence was intoxicated while racing through Dallas in his sport’s car during the early morning hours of October 10th. Video caught footage of his Ferrari flipping, kicking up debris, and ending up a complete wreck. The fact that Spence survived, much less appeared as good as he did on Saturday, is a wonder in and of itself. Still, the 29 year of landed in legal trouble due to the incident. Local affiliate WFAA reported some time after the crash that John Creuzo, a Dallas County District Attorney, had “filed an affidavit accusing Errol Spence Jr. of driving while intoxicated before the boxer’s October crash.”
Still, Spence on Saturday appeared grateful for the simple fact that he had survived the incident. “it was a miracle from God,” the DeSoto native told Kenny. “It really protected me during the accident because anybody else probably would have been killed. It was just a blessing from God that I was able to make it safe and that I was able to return back to boxing.” Spence indicated that he was already back in the gym, prepping for his ring return. “I already started training last week,” he claimed, “and I was feeling good. I hit the mitts and everything and I got in and ran and stuff too.”
Spence, who many rank among the sport’s current pound for pound best fighters, said he’s ready to return to the ring in the spring or summer. He also made it clear he’s not looking for any easy touches upon that return. “I don’t want a tune-up fight,” he said matter of factly. “I want to fight Pacquiao or Garcia if he wins his fight. I want to fight Danny Garcia. I was supposed to fight him in January, but I had my accident. That’s the guys I’m looking to fight.” A potential fight with either Garcia, who faces Ivan Redkach in January, or Pacquiao, who impressively bested WBA welterweight champ Keith Thurman last summer, is music to fan’s ears.
“No restrictions at all,” Spence told Kenny – who wasn’t afraid to ask about the medical and legal aspects of Spence’s situation. “I’ve been cleared. They did all types of scans on me. They think it’s a miracle. I can’t explain it. All I got to do is thank God that I’m here. I’m healthy, I can touch my kids and kiss them, and I’m here with my mother and my father and I can give the fans what they’ve been wanting.”
Spence Facing DWI Charge
By: Sean Crose
Although Errol Spence Jr had a brilliant year for himself inside the ring in 2019, his life outside the ring has taken some dramatic turns as of late. Numerous outlets have reported that the DeSoto, Texas native has been charged in Dallas with Driving While Intoxicated. Police have also released a mugshot taken of Spence after a horrific October crash, looking like a fighter who just got the worst of it in a bout. “The Dallas County DA’s office filed a DWI charge against welterweight boxing champion and DeSoto resident Errol Spence, Jr. related to his crash in Dallas on October 10.” CBS’ Dallas/Fort Worth Affiliate reported on Friday.
The crash, which was recorded by surveillance cameras, involved Spence racing his Ferrari at a very high speed. The car subsequently goes out of control in the video, crosses lanes, then crashes in horrific fashion. Fortunately for the welterweight titlist, no one was hurt or killed. Better still, it’s been reported that the decorated star will fully recover from his injuries. Local ABC affiliate WFAA reports that: “According to Dallas police, the Ferrari was speeding northbound on Riverfront when it veered left over the median and flipped several times. Spence, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the car.”
WFAA also reported on Thursday that “Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot has filed an affidavit accusing Errol Spence Jr. of driving while intoxicated before the boxer’s October crash.” Although Spence won’t find himself in profound legal trouble because of the incident, it’s doubtful he’ll escape without some form of punishment. The crash occurred less than two weeks after Spence’s very impressive victory over Shawn Porter in Las Vegas on September 28th. Earlier in the year, Spence bested the highly acclaimed Mikey Garcia after the Californian went up in weight to challenge for Spence’s welterweight title.
At the moment it’s unclear if and when Spence will fight again, though it appears that his health won’t be an issue. The welterweight division is red hot right now, with names like Pacquiao, Thurman, Garcia, and even Crawford being possible opponents. Spence has yet to publicly address the incident. At the moment, Spence holds the IBF and WBC welterweight titles. He’s been seen for some time as a possible heir to the throne once held by the former welterweight – and pound for pound – great Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Update: Errol Spence Charged With DWI
by: Sean Crose
“No broken bones,” Errol Spence Jr reported on social media Wednesday (in a now deleted post). “I’m a savage!!” While he’s hardly a savage outside of the ring, the undefeated welterweight titlist is fortunate to have lived through a stunning car crash last week while driving his white Ferrari through Dallas in the wee hours of the morning. Video footage shows the car literally flipping through the air and kicking up dust and debris before finally landing in what is essentially a heap. Miraculously, Spence emerged from accident no worse for wear and is expected to make a complete recovery. The fighter’s troubles, however, involve more than a hospital bill and a totaled Italian sports car.
For news has broken that the Dallas Police Department is charging Spence with driving while intoxicated. The Guardian was told by “a Dallas police spokesperson” that “Mr Spence has been released from the hospital and will need to address those charges.” Although he was said to be driving far faster than he was legally allowed to, the spokesperson told the Guardian that Spence will avoid charges in that regard. “As for getting a speed of the vehicle,” the spokesperson said, “we will not be getting one. It was a single car accident with no other criminal charges.”
One of the most highly regarded fighters in the world, Spence is a former Olympian who has bested the likes of Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia, and – most recently – Shawn Porter. A fight with former champion Danny Garcia was reportedly next, while major showdowns with fellow welterweight titlists (and top level fighters) Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford appeared to be in the Desoto, Texas natives’ future. Spence has frequently been pointed to as a future A-level star of the sport. No exact details have been given on Spence’s current condition, however, other than the fact that his bones have remained intact and that he’s expected to recover fully. If and when the man will return to the ring is unknown.
Spence’s Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge is reportedly being classified as a Misdemeanor B, which, according to Yahoo Sports “indicates Spence’s BAC wasn’t above 0.15 percent.” As of press time, neither Spence nor anyone from his camp has publicly commented on the charges. Boxing Insider will continue to keep readers up to date on this developing story.
Update: Errol Spence Stable, Full Recovery Expected
By: Sean Crose
Welterweight titlist Errol Spence Junior has miraculously survived a harrowing car accident with no broken bones. According to reports, Spence has facial lacerations, but – remarkably – his bones have been left intact. Video of the accident shows Spence’s Ferrari literally flying through the air in the early hours of Thursday as it barely misses a phone pole in a fury of dust and debris. Spence was immediately rushed to a hospital, leaving the crash scene looking like a war zone, his white sport’s car totaled, pieces strewn across the Dallas street.
Swanson Communications, which represents Spence, has issued a press release which reads: “Errol Spence Jr., IBF/WBC unified welterweight world champion, was involved in a serious, single-car accident in Dallas early Thursday morning and is being treated at a Dallas-area hospital. Spence is awake and responding and his condition is listed as stable. He did not sustain any broken bones or fractures, but has some facial lacerations. He is expected to make a full recovery.”
The release then speaks on behalf of the Spence family. “He (Spence) is currently resting with his family by his side,” it read. “They want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes and are extremely grateful to the Dallas first responders who rushed to the scene to attend to Errol after the accident and the doctors who are taking care of him at the hospital.”
Sources have told CBS Fort Worth Affiliate KTVT that Spence will be charged with drunk driving. Spence had been riding quite high before the accident (where he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt). He had recently bested Shawn Porter in a thriller while fights with Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford appeared to be on the horizon. It’s far too soon, of course, to know if or when the man will return to the ring.
Errol Spence Jr Hospitalized After Serious Automobile Accident
By: Sean Crose
The undefeated 26-0 WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr is reportedly in intensive care after being involved in a horrendous accident in Dallas early Thursday morning. Police originally said the victim was a “high profile” individual. Reports emerged a short time later that the victim was, in fact, Spence himself. Although he’s expected to live, video footage from the scene presents a ghastly scenario, as a white Ferrari sits demolished on the side of the road, pieces, and even a sneaker, strewn about. Spence was reportedly operating the vehicle near the downtown area of the city when the car went over a meridian and crashed. The impact was reportedly so strong that the ring star was ejected from the vehicle.
Spence, a fighter who has arguably been on his way to being the sport’s first legitimate household name of the post Floyd Mayweather era, was last seen in the ring several weeks ago, where he emerged victorious after a grueling battle with fellow titlist Shawn Porter. Spence has been expected to meet former champion Danny Garcia in the ring next, ahead of potential bouts with fellow world titlists Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford. Spence’s immediate future is, of course, uncertain at the moment due to more pressing matters regarding the fighter’s treatment and recovery.
A native of Desoto, Texas, which is located outside of Dallas, Spence is a former Olympian whose exciting and advanced ring style has earned him accolades throughout the fight world. Besides Porter, Spence has defeated notables such as Mikey Garcia, Kell Brook, and Chris Algieri. Boxing Insider will provide updates on this developing story as they emerge.
CBS Fort Worth Affiliate KTVT has presented horrific video footage of the crash. According to the affiliate, Spence “remains in the intensive care unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.”
Who Is Next for Errol Spence Jr?
By: Waqas Ali
Errol Spence Jr is on the receiving end of deciding who his next opponent in the ring should be as he claimed the WBC welterweight title to his IBF crown on Sunday night. He defeated ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter in a split decision win.
The bout became a slugfest as the pair traded shots for twelve rounds at the Staples Centre with over 16,000 fans in attendance.
Spence Jr (26-0) started the round much like in most fights by being cautious with his punches and stalking his prey as he approached.
But Porter was no animal to be hunted.
He found ways to make things uncomfortable for Spence Jr by pounding him to the ropes and landing some hooks to the body. Though Spence responded well with clean shots of his own.
In the second round, he landed a good counter left hand on Porter around the 2:24 mark which rose the crowd to their feet.
Porter (30-3-1) came back in the third round with power punches and at the 2:06 mark landed two consecutive right hands that pushed Spence Jr on the edge.
The middle and later rounds were more competitive by flurries of exchanges and power shots from both fighters.
In the eleventh round, just as the two fighters are launching devastating blows to each other, Spence lands a left hook on Porter which forces him to a knee.
A brave Porter did not give up as he stood and traded with the Texas-based fighter.
At the end of the bout, the scores were 116-111 for Spence, 115-112 for Porter, and 116-111 for Spence.
Compubox statics revealed that Spence landed 221 of 745 punches (30%), and Porter landed 172 of 744 (23%). An astonishing 44% of power punches were landed Spence Jr, including 113 body punches.
With regards to the 172 punches, it was the most blows ever landed on the unified champion.
Boxing sources have stated that the fight is tracking at 300,000 buys which in modern-day technology of DAZN and ESPN+ streaming age is excellent numbers.
After the victory, the No.5 P4P fighter by Ring Magazine, had his eyes on all the welterweights in his division, especially veteran legend and current WBA champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I think so,” Spence Jr told FOX Sports when asked if he thought his win over Porter has made him best welterweight on the planet.
“I’m the only unified champion and the next fight I do want is Manny Pacquiao.”
“But if not, we got my man Danny Garcia right here.”
“I told Al [Haymon],’ Line them up. I’mma [sic] knock ‘em down. I’ve been calling Danny out for a long time too. I’ll fight Danny Garcia or anybody else that’s in the top of the welterweight division.”
But who is the next opponent ready to take on Spence Jr?
Former WBA welterweight champion Danny Garcia has been pushed as the forefront candidate, according to boxing sources and the bout is expected to take place on January 25th 2020 on FOX pay-per-view event. No venue has been confirmed as of yet.
He has beaten the likes of Erik Morales (twice), Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Martin Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Paul Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero and Brandon Rios.
His best style of weaponry is his left hook and is certainly one of those fighters you would not want to exchange shots with.
His weaknesses are that his jab is not utilized effectively to set him up with a flurry and his footwork is not highly compatible with a long-range fighter.
The candidate that most boxing fans have been dreading is Terence Crawford. He is currently ranked at the number two spot on the Ring Magazine P4P list.
His resume of opponents consists of Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Raymundo Beltran, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo, Jeff Horn, and Amir Khan.
According to Compubox review, Crawford throws around 48 punches per round and connects with a rate of 35%. That’s five percent higher than the average welterweight.
In the power-punching department, Crawford throws around 22 with a connect rate of 48%. That is 11% higher than the average welterweight.
Crawford opponents landed just 7 punches per round- 10 fewer than the welterweight and just 5 power shots per round.
Manny Pacquiao has also been named as a possibility for Spence.
Despite his age, The Filipino Slugger still that exceptional speed that he possessed in his younger days.
In his recent wins over Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman, Pacquiao at age 40 still that a lot in the tank to bear threat and fear. His footwork compares to Spence’s will be well well-matched.
Pacquiao has been fighting since 1995 and boasts a record of 60 victories, seven losses and two draws.
By level of competition, he’s faced 19 former, current or future world champions. Four of them he’s fought more than once.
Just to name a few: Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Erik Morales (twice), Juan Manuel Marquez (four times), Oscar De La Hoya, and Antonio Margarito.
Before the Broner bout, Compubox released a ‘Last Six Bout Stat Overview’ of Pacquiao and showed that the activity level was lacking the superstitious work of the average welterweight.
He threw around 41 and landed about 13. His power accuracy was 39% with nine connecting per round.
One must keep in mind that since the two bouts with Broner & Thurman, Pacquiao’s numbers may have marginally increased following his activity level with the jab and power.
As an overall view, boxing fans would more likely prefer Crawford or Pacquiao to take on Spence Jr. They generate more money and their styles are far more challenging than of Garcia. Crawford has that range and height along with the reach that could seize a deal of opportunity to make this fight a mega bout. Both the casual and hardcore boxing fans would be cheering for one of these men.
Pacquiao would certainly bring styles and stage to the bout, considering the fact that he has generated over 20 million pay-per-view buys and over 1.2 billion dollars in revenue from his 25 PPV bouts. A legend who still has the skill set of a 20-year-old and many boxing fans can vouch that he is no walk in the park for Spence.
The Show Stopper? Keys to victory for Shawn Porter and Errol Spence
By: Kirk Jackson
Fight time has arrived and one of the highly anticipated, action-packed bouts, will ensue this weekend at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Although super middle champions Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez will attempt to steal the show Saturday night, along with other notable fighters and former champions such as Robert Guerrero, Amon Rashidi, Mario Barrios, Batyr Akhmedov, Joey Spence and many other, the spotlight will definitely be on the main event.
The main event this weekend features a welterweight unification match, featuring the World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KO’s) versus the International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (25-0, 19 KO’s).
Spence, operating out of the southpaw stance, possessing power, accuracy, precision and known to deliver devastating punches – particularly towards the body, is listed as the slight favorite.
He describes his style as a passive aggressive fighter; meaning he applies pressure, while remaining defensively responsible behind his high-guard, counter-jabs effectively and maintains proper distance to avoid most offensive assaults.
Spence’s high guard defensive posture is not quite like the same style of Hall of Fame fighter and fellow southpaw Ronald “Winky” Wright, but highly effective thus far in his own right.
The native Texan more so possesses similar traits of ruggedness, grit and maliciousness like Hall of Famer “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler.
While not quite the switch-hitter like Hagler, Spence has a lethal right jab, technical skill, versatility as a fight and mean intentions behind his punches.
And if Spence is shadowing the path of Hagler, Porter is a necessary piece to his puzzle.
Porter of course, wants no part of that. The Ohio native aims to play spoiler and wants to carve out his own path of history.
“I respect and admire his dominance. Both of us are supposed to be great that night, punch-for-punch. I’m going to open his eyes,” Porter told BoxingScene.com.
“My energy and presence in the ring on Saturday is going to be one that’s going to be remembered for a long time. There is nothing that’s going to happen to stop me from being successful.”
Some observers view Porter as a micro-sized Mike Tyson, tenacious with his attack, relentless as he lunges to attack the body, head, limbs and at times, the opponent may reel from incidental head-butts and questionable elbows. Essentially, Porter throws everything, including the kitchen sink.
An athletic specimen, equipped with the football pedigree he brings to the ring, Porter is a tough fighter to deal with. By contrast, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll get a chance to interact with outside the ring.
“Errol and I are likeable and respectable guys, but we give it all in the ring. Fights like this are going to help the sport of boxing,” said Porter. “Spence is a tactical fighter. I know they’ll have a good game plan but I’m confident in my abilities and in my corner.”
Same can be said about Spence. Laid back, calm and composed outside the ring and while he maintains a great level of composure, he has a killer instinct necessary to reach the top level.
In the last press conference leading up to their showdown Saturday night, some of Spence’s killer instinct came out in the form of verbal assault.
“Nobody complain about my fights. You wild. You fight like a football player. You an in-shape street fighter. You an in-shape street fighter. That’s what you are. You fight like you drowning. You fight like you drowning, and you don’t know how to swim.”
Porter, for all his naysayers, is never short when it comes to heart and effort. Porter also has skills not always recognizable to the common eye, but skills and traits that enabled him to be effective up to this point in his career.
There are many variables that can make this potential fight of the year candidate difficult to predict.
Keys for Shawn Porter:
Movement and Angles – Porter must use his football acumen to his advantage, and keep Spence on the move and searching for spots to attack. The importance of feints and angles is imperative for Porter to have success. He must keep Spence off balanced and it’s important for Porter to continue to make Spence reset.
Keep a basic game plan – While it is good to have multiple plans on hand, in case one option isn’t working, having too many weapons may cause ineffectiveness. Attempting multiple plans may nullify the effectiveness of what Porter does well because he is spreading himself too thin, trying to implement various styles and tactics.
Consistency: Porter is a consistent fighter as far as effort, but the consistency to stick to a game plan, even if it does not work early on, may pay dividends later. Subtle adjustments to the plan may be applied to effectively create the openings, but consistency and belief in the plan can be beneficial for Porter.
Use your head – Porter has to uses his head figuratively and literally. Figuratively with applying the right game plan; which may be making this a dogfight, an ultimate scrap, attempting to bully Spence against the ropes and batter his ribcage,, as he is not accustomed to that from what we’ve witnessed thus far across his professional career. Porter can literally use his head to displace Spence in the trenches, maybe even accidentally land a head-butt ala Evander Holyfield or Bernard Hopkins.
On a serious note, head-butts unfortunately, are a part of the sport. Occurrences tend to happen more naturally between the orthodox fighter (Porter) and a southpaw (Spence) due to the positioning of their feet.
Keys for Errol Spence:
The Almighty Jab – The jab is the best punch from Spence and legendary George Foreman refers to the jab as the most important punch in boxing. The jab will serve multiple purposes for Spence; it will function as a range finder, will help set-up his offense as the initiating weapon, it will enable Spence to measure distance and establish proper range for his defense and if the jab is consistently launched towards Porter’s head, body and limbs, it will give “Showtime” something to think about.
Strong Base/Footwork – Spence should maintain his ground and use his solid base to his advantage when facing Porter. Some of Porter’s past opponents freeze up or wilt from Porter’s daunting attack when he lunges forward with aggression.
It’s crucial for Spence to not get swallowed and smothered from the pressure. He cannot allow himself to drown against the ropes and must fight effectively in the trenches when the opportunities occur. Also, to prevent Porter’s effectiveness, Spence must cut the ring off when he is in pursuit of Porter. Shawn displayed the ability in his last couple of fights he can move and box when needed be; Spence should aim to cut the ring off if Porter attempts to move and fight off his back foot.
Keep it Clean – The former Olympian is a highly technical fighter. Leading up to this fight and even leading up to his previous bout against Mikey Garcia, Spence emphasized the importance of skills and technique, stating he has an abundance of both. He is clearly regarded as the more technical fighter between the two, and he has to maintain space to operate and to get off his punches – preferably in bunches. Keep away from head clashes, accidental head butts, roughhousing and unpredictable skirmishes.
Calm and Composed – It’s inevitable a firefight at some point will occur because the fighters have styles that will ultimately mix and lead up to that at some point. Spence will be well served to keep his composure if ever displaced off balance or positioned against the ropes. Remain unruffled and fight his fight – pick spots to get his shots off, create the separation and seize the opportunities when the openings are available as Porter tends to leave many openings.
This fight should go down as one to remember; hopefully for all of the great things boxing has to offer. It’s more than likely there will be plenty of action and no shortage of heart and effort from both fighters.
The stage is set for this historic unification bout, the stars will be out and all that’s left is for the story to unfold as Saturday night looms near. Who will set their mark and be the show stopper?
Trainers Derrick James and Kenny Porter Get into Altercation
By: Hans Themistode
The dislike between WBC Welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) and IBF titlist Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) has stretched to their respective trainers as Kenny Porter, the father and trainer of Shawn Porter and Derrick James, who has been the trainer of Spence for several years had to be separated.
The altercation reportedly steamed from comments that James made about the way Porter treats his son.
“His father treats him like trash,” said James about how Kenny has been treating Shawn.
Kenny would go on to approach James about the situation and the two had to be separated. Following the dispute, James did not hold back when speaking about his rival trainer.
“He just says a lot of things that aren’t true. He said in the Kell Brook fight that Errol was looking at him for advice. Do you know how asinine that sounds? Well the same instruction that you claim that you gave Errol then why didn’t you tell your son the same thing to beat Kell Brook then? Errol fights nothing like wild man Shawn Porter.”
The WBC champion, who has been known to fight on pure will and aggression as opposed to solely skill, has been called out before in the past for his inability to box. James believes that the critics are spot on in their analysis.
“I believe in boxing technique and skill. It’s hard to watch him fight anybody. He does a lot of things but he doesn’t know when to do it. Kenny doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. That shows you the level of intellect that the father has which is his teacher.”
Further bashing his rival trainer, James took it a step further as he was critical of the ability of Shawn up until this point in his career
“I think that he’s gotten to a point to where he’s not getting any better,” said James of Shawn Porter. “He’s in a horrible situation, with somebody that doesn’t respect him. He forgets the way this thing works. The trainer works for the fighter, right? The manager works for the fighter. So, what happens is regardless of whatever you think about the father thinks he is, you don’t have to let your employee talk to you like that. You understand? We have a order, where we are. So, if he wanna get treated like a real man, somebody gonna respect him, come over here. That’s where he need to come – hands down. He wanna be treated like a real person – not yelled at, not belittled, not demeaned – he can come over here, with us.”
With the fight coming up in just merely a few short hours, James has some immediate questions about the future of Shawn Porter.
“He’s gotta do something,” James said. “Because after this knockout, what is he gonna do? I’m asking you what is he gonna do? Where is his relevance at? You wonder why they go to every fight. They wanna be relevant. They wanna be relevant. They wanna be relevant. After this fight, what do you do? He gets treated like trash by his father so if he wants to get treated like a real fighter, then he can come over here.”
Clearly things have crossed into personal territory between the two trainers. What was first viewed as a contest between just the fighters, have quickly shifted into a battle of the trainers as well. The question of not only who is the better fighter between Spence and Shawn, but also who is a better trainer, will soon be answered.
Errol Spence Jr Can Solidify His Greatness
By: Hans Themistode
IBF champ Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs), has spent years trying to get to the elite level. At least in the eyes of the public. For him, he has always been there.
Coming out of the Olympics he was viewed as the best fighter out of the bunch. His future was destined for greatness. So far so good.
When Spence first stepped on the scene back in 2012. He looked like your typical great prospect. He routinely knocked out his opposition and made it look easy each and every time. He essentially did what he was supposed to do. Every prospect comes out of the gates on fire. Well, most of them do.
Spence scored win after win but he didn’t catch the eye of public just yet. Unlike most young fighters, Spence wanted to be thrown into the deep end of the pool. When he reached to roughly 15-0, he began to call out the biggest names associated in the Welterweight division. Most notably Keith Thurman.
Like most big name fighters, they ignored the calling of a fighter trying to make his way up. “You’ve got to work your way up before you can get a fight with me” is what he was routinely told. They were right. Spence hadn’t earned his stripes in order to call the shots.
Not everyone was sold on the talent of Spence either. How could they be? He had done nothing but do exactly what he was supposed to do at this point in his career. Unlike the skeptics, there was one person in particular who knew what Spence would become long before the rest of the world knew.
“He was pushing me and giving me that good work,” said Floyd Mayweather during an interview several years ago referring to a sparring session he recently had with Spence. “He made me want to work hard and tighten up my game. He’s one of the best right now. He’s one of the top guys in boxing. This is a future super star and pay per view star. If you ask me, I think he’s ready for a title fight right now.”
That was nothing more than Floyd being nice to his good friend. That was what many thought. Fast forward several years later and we all realize that Floyd was not joking around. Spence was the real deal all along.
Fights against Chris Algieri and Leonard Bundu proved that he was a really good fighter. Knockout wins over Kell Brook and Lamont Peterson to go along with a wide decision victory over Mikey Garcia proved that he was great.
This Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Spence will have the most significant fight of his career. He’ll be taking on fellow champion, WBC belt holder Shawn Porter. It will be the biggest fight of his career. Not only because of the stern test in which Porter will give him in the ring, but it will also provide Spence with the opportunity to become a unified champion.
If he is successful in his contest this Saturday night, then the flood gates will open. This will be Spence’s second fight on pay per view. If he can not only beat Porter but also prove that he is a star in homes across the world than he will reach another level.
It won’t be easy, but with a win on Saturday night, Errol Spence Jr could become a major star.
Is Errol Spence Jr Boxing’s Next Household Name?
By: Sean Crose
As far as overall popularity goes, boxing arguably lives or dies by household names. Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson, Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, such names have attracted interest, not just from boxing’s diehard fan base, but from the larger culture beyond. Believe that the promoters, networks, and streaming services that dominate today’s sweet science are dying for another household name to pop up from within the sport, one that will be well known by fan and nonfan alike, one that will be recognized through the vast demographics that make up American society and beyond.
Finding a fighter who can attain such fame is no easy task. After all, boxers, like tennis players, aren’t part of any team. In other words, there’s no built in fan base to be found. Fighters have to do more than fight well – they have to capture the imagination – if they wish to reach beyond those who follow the sport with regularity. Tyson was terrifying, as was Dempsey, Ali transcended the sport by becoming a figure of his time and place, Leonard was everything Americans liked to think was true about their country – friendly, successful, and dangerous when need be. Mayweather? He was the anti-hero, the man who lived as and how he pleased. How, some might ask, will boxing’s next household name capture the imagination?
Enter one Errol Spence Jr, 29 years old, of Desoto, Texas. A former Olympian, the five foot nine and one half Spence has been a professional since November of 2012. Since that time, he has yet to lose a single fight. At the moment, Spence’s record is 25-0. He was won all but four of his bouts by knockout. He won his first world title in 2017, when he traveled to England to fight IBF world champion Kell Brook for Brook’s welterweight title. The bout went down in Sheffield, in front of what was essentially a hometown crowd for Brook. Spence knocked his man out and returned home a champion.
Since that time, Spence has faced Lamont Peterson, Carlos Ocampo, and Mikey Garcia. Garcia and Ocampo were undefeated on fight night. Peterson was a highly regarded foe, one who some felt bested Danny Garcia when the two men met in 2015. No matter. Spence beat all three opponents handily. Now Spence is set to face fellow titlist Shawn Porter this Saturday in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. Their match will headline a card that will be broadcast live on Fox Pay Per View. Porter has bested the likes of Adrien Broner, the aforementioned Danny Garcia, and Paulie Malignaggi. What’s more, both Porter’s defeats were close ones – the first to the aforementioned Kell Brook, the second to Keith Thurman.
Still, it’s Spence who is the favorite, and who is receiving the glowing attention. CBS Sports claims Spence is on a “quest to become the face of boxing.” The New York Daily News has wondered in print is the fighter is the “Master Chef of the Welterweights.” Spence has been showcased at a Dallas Cowboys home game, and at the opening of Southern Methodist University’s football season. Never mind Porter, there’s talk of Spence facing the legendary Manny Pacquiao next. And if that’s not all enough, there looks to be a superfight on the horizon between Spence and fellow welterweight titlist Terence Crawford.
Should Spence get past Porter – which some seem to forget is no guarantee – there is reason to believe he may be positioned to become boxing’s next household name. The media likes Spence, fellow fighters respect (or fear, or both) Spence, and boxing guru Al Haymon, who advises Spence via his Premiere Boxing Champions Organization, clearly views the fighter as a special asset. Can Spence, however, capture the public imagination? Can he lodge himself into the public consciousness the way Mayweather, Tyson, Ali, Louis, and Dempsey did before him?
It’s a hard question to answer, especially with the rugged Porter currently standing in Spence’s way. It’s also worth noting that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and heavyweight Anthony Joshua have also been positioned to be the sport’s next household name, as well. Yet Canelo’s English isn’t the best, and Joshua was stunned by Andy Ruiz last June at Madison Square Garden. That means Spence may eventually be on his way to overcoming the pack. Again, though, it’s uncertain whether or not Spence has the “it” factor. He certainly seems to in the ring. In order to capture the world outside of the realm of boxing, something else might be required.
It’s worth noting that numerous great fighters have dominated boxing but did not reach the Olympian heights of fame Mayweather, Tyson and the like did. Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Roy Jones Jr, Pernell Whitaker, and Julio Caesar Chavez were all great fighters who became justly famous. Their names, however, were never a part of the general zeitgeist. Not that serious boxing fans cared. Or that they needed to. For fans, popularity isn’t of primary importance. For those who stand to make big money on big names, however…
Fox Sports PPV Preview: Spence vs. Porter, Dirrell vs. Benavidez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California will be the host site for a pay per view offering by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
The main event of the evening will be a highly anticipated welterweight title fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter. The co-main event of the evening will be between Anthony Dirrell and David Bennavidez for Dirrell’s WBC Super Middleweight Title.
The undercard is also stocked, and it is headlined by a WBA Junior Welterweight Title Fight between Mario Barrios and Bartyr Akhmedov. Other fighters on the undercard include Josesito Lopez, John Molina Jr., Robert Guerrero, and Joey Spencer.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Anthony Dirrell (33-1) vs. David Benavidez (21-0); WBC Super Middleweight Title
The co-main event is a title fight between a thirty four year old Anthony Dirrell and a twenty two year old David Benavidez. It’s an intriguing fight in that one fighter appears to be on an upward trajectory in his career while the other fighter may be near his downslide.
Dirrell will have a slight ½ inch height advantage on Benavidez but will be giving up two and a half inches in reach. Dirrell has twenty four stoppages on his resume while Benavidez has eighteen stoppage wins, but Benavidez has less fights than Dirrell.
Both boxers haven’t been very active. Dirrell fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017. Benavidez fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and three times in 2017.
Dirrell does have an edge in amateur experience. He was a PAL champ as an amateur and came in third place in the US Olympic trials. Benavidez only had fifteen fights as an amateur.
Benavidez has beaten the likes of J’Leon Love, Ronald Gavril, Rogelio Medina, Denis Douglin, and Francy Ntet. Dirrell has to be given the edge in defeated opponents as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Avni Yildirim, Abraham Han, Denis Douglin, Caleb Truax, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Sakio Bika. His lone loss was to Badou Jack.
This is an intriguing fight, but Benavidez looked spectacular in his win against J’Leon Love and he has a significant reach and age advantage. Dirrell’s experience may carry him through the day, but Benavidez has to be considered a slight favorite.
Errol Spence Jr. (25-0) vs. Shawn Porter (30-2-1); IBF/WBC Welterweight Titles
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. is considered by many to be the best welterweight fighter in the world.
But he will be facing the toughest test of his career on Saturday; a hard charging, relentless, in his prime champion by the name of Shawn Porter.
Both Spence and Porter are still in the middle of their athletic prime, with Spence being twenty nine years old and Porter being thirty one years old. Spence will have about a two and a half inch height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Spence also appears to have an edge in power. He has stopped twenty one of his opponents while Porter has only stopped seventeen. Spence fought once in 2019, twice in 2018, and once in 2017. Porter has fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017.
Spence has never tasted defeat as a professional. He thoroughly outclassed Mikey Garcia in his pay per view headlining debut. He has also defeated the likes of Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, and Ronald Cruz.
Porter has two losses on his record, but they were close losses to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook. He has defeated the likes of Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia, Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez.
Spence had a decorated amateur career. He was a former US National Champ and a National Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur. He also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Porter also had a decorated amateur career, but not on the level of Spence. He was a US National Silver Medalist in the amateurs and a Golden Gloves Gold Medalist.
If Porter can keep the fight tight he can rough Spence up on the inside. However, Spence’s reach, height, and speed advantage will come into play and Spence will likely be able to keep Porter at bay.
Porter will have his moments, but this writer expects Spence to win rather convincingly on Saturday.
Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford Series: Part 1- Who is Ducking Who?
By: Kirk Jackson
Retired, multi-divisional boxing champion, Timothy Bradley is accustomed to daring statements. Normally, they were in the form of his actions inside the boxing ring, but his recent statements regarding the welterweight scene – WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and IBF welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence in particular, has the boxing world buzzing.
Yeah, he’s (Spence) ducking him. He’s ducking Terence Crawford,” stated Bradley, when asked about an anticipated fight between boxing’s top welterweights.
“He (Spence) don’t want to fight Terence Crawford. I’m telling you right now, because if he did, and he wanted to be considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game, he’ll fight Terence Crawford. But the fact that he’s not fighting Terence Crawford, to me (means he’s ducking him). I don’t care about no side of the fence,” said Bradley in saying that Crawford and Spence being with rival promotional companies doesn’t matter.
“This is the world of boxing. It makes me sad when I watch a boxing event, and they don’t even have a champion like Terence Crawford in their lineup. That pisses me off. I’m like, ‘what are you doing? Do you have your own world of boxing over there? You have your own thing going on.’ It’s horrible, man. It’s not right, but it is what it is. I guess that’s what we’re going to say. It sucks.”
“Terence Crawford and Errol Spence are the two best welterweights in the game right now, period,” said Bradley to AB Boxing News.
“Then you’ve got Manny Pacquiao with along with them. Okay, I don’t know how it went down, but he didn’t fight Terence Crawford. To me, that tells me something. I can’t put Pacquiao over Terence Crawford. I can’t. Then you look at Errol Spence, what has he done so far?”
Bradley continued, “It’s not equal to what Pacquiao has done, but he’s the younger gun, he’s the bigger guy. He has the style that can give Pacquiao problems. In the Mikey Garcia fight, you saw that he threw over 1,000 punches. So he has the output, he has the know-how. He can give Pacquiao more than enough resistance, and probably pull off the win without a doubt in my mind. But TC (Terence Crawford) to me and Errol Spence are the two best guys at 147,” said Bradley.
As it pertains to Bradley’s proclamations, any fighter’s resume can be dissected and portrayed in various ways. Bradley’s recent statements, declaring Spence is flat-out ducking Crawford, may appear like a bit of a stretch.
Especially considering, Spence recently defeated a top 10 pound-for-pound opponent (Mikey Garcia) and is slated to unify welterweight world titles in September, against a multiple-time welterweight champion, Shawn Porter. While in comparison, the last two opponents for Crawford are David Benavidez and Amir Khan.
While Benavidez is considered a solid contender, it’s questionable how much he has left as a fighter on the elite level, due to injuries suffered in recent years.
Khan is a multiple division champion, but after suffering a devastating knock-out defeat to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez back in 2016, many also questioned how much he has left in the tank.
While Bud has a solid case comparatively to Spence, with a greater list of accolades head-to-head for their professional career up to this point, the standing may change depending on what happens within the next couple of years.
However, Spence arguably has the greater resume as far as opponents faced and defeated to this point.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see them fight. I really don’t,” said Bradley about the pairing of Spence and Crawford. “It’s terrible. Those guys should fight. The economics of boxing. That’s just the way it is, I guess. It freaking sucks. I want to see you guys get in, and stop saying you’re no. 1.”
“You fight Terence Crawford, and you fight Errol Spence. I know Terence wants the fight, but Errol ain’t saying nothing. Come on, you know what I’m saying? Terence, he’s been saying, ‘I want this fight. I want the Errol Spence fight,’ but they’re not answering that phone. They don’t want to do business,” said Bradley.
Contrary to Bradley’s belief however, both Spence and Crawford publicly stated the desire and necessity to fight each other to establish undisputed claim of welterweight supremacy.
Bradley is employed by ESPN and while in the midst of trashing the competition (Premier Boxing Champions), the former multi-divisional champion is neglecting to mention key aspects that weaken his argument.
The analysis appears one-sided from the former champion and a question to ponder is why the hyperbole from Bradley? Why such disdain for Spence? To solve this question, one only has to only look at all the connections.
Bradley and Crawford are good friends, “Bud” having trained and sparred with Bradley for subsequent camps leading up to his fights in the past. It’s obvious, even as an analyst, Bradley’s view on the situation will come across as biased.
It can be argued, Bradley is taking the same path as other ESPN contemporizes; bold proclamations, in such captivating attention and response, while in some cases, drawing the ire of a fan base, depending on the athlete or team featured as the subject of analysis.
Just to clarify, ESPN isn’t the only network or media outlet that may rely on intrepid declarations, “Shock-Jock” like analysis, or melodramatic trolling to draw ratings.
Interesting though, if we draw comparison to the opponent selection for another highly regarded champion, who happens to fight in a higher weight class across the ESPN network, Bradley appears tight-lipped when discussing the opponent selection of lineal and ESPN-branded heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.
Fury, while fighting to a disputed draw last December, has unfinished business with Wilder. While a deal is in place for Wilder and Fury to rematch at some point early in 2020, the optics of Fury vs. Tom Scharwz and against Otto Wallin is all but a good look.
Long story short; there is a long list of not optimal-opposition for many of Top Rank’s star-quality fighters. ESPN of course, primarily features Top Rank fighters.
Even if we’re in the age of network battles and promoter feuds, it’s hard to excuse Fury for his recent level of opposition.
Especially considering, many observers (myself included) believes he is as great as he says he is. If Fury defeated WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder as easily as he claims, his recent opposition does not exude that measure of confidence.
Vasyl Lomachenko and Crawford for that matter, are considered the top pound-for-pound fighters of boxing at this moment of time. They just so happen to be under Top Rank promotions. While they are certainly great fighters, it can be argued their recent string of opposition isn’t all that great.
Finances may play a factor in more ways than one, every fight has a negotiation process – typically between opposite management teams and in some cases opposing promotional companies, but Top Rank can do better than matching Lomachenko against Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa and Anthony Crolla.
And they can certainly do better, than matching “Bud” against Amir Khan, Jose Benavidez and Jeff Horn.
The Horn fight was about acquiring the WBO welterweight title, the Khan fight was a money fight and Benavidez was personal. Were any of these opponents considered the crème de la crème by boxing analysts and fans across the board?
Not suggesting the blame falls on Crawford or on Lomachenko, but Top Rank can do better with securing greater opponents. Top Rank and the other promoters can do better, but do they want to?
What’s difficult to excuse, is the lack of transparency from Bradley. He is a former fighter and being as he is so closely tied with Top Rank, his denigration of Spence in favor of Crawford comes across as doing Bob Arum’s dirty work.
If Bradley is honest with his analysis, other aforementioned issues would also be addressed, he would use his influence and stance to apply pressure on the promotional companies and networks to make the fights we all want to see.
Why wasn’t Bradley adamant about Pacquiao facing Crawford while they were both with Top Rank and considered the top guys around from 140-147?
When it comes ducking fights, why wasn’t Bradley trying to fight Spence, when he was awarded an opportunity for the WBC welterweight title as the mandated No. 1 challenger? He instead opted for retirement.
As it was reported in 2016 by Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times, the World Boxing Council (WBC) ordered a fight between Tim Bradley and Errol Spence. This news was conveyed by Pugmire during the annual WBC convention.
“He said the WBC ordered the fight?” stated Bradley in the interview referencing Spence.
“He right, I fought Manny Pacquiao instead of Errol Spence for one. Two, this is the second thing now, when the hell have we been doing business, or anybody from Top Rank been doing business with Al Haymon?”
So with that statement, among other quotes from the interview, Bradley again contradicted himself.
The road block from keeping Spence and Crawford from happening is the difference with promotional companies. Spence is self-promoted and advised by Al Haymon, representing the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). Crawford for the time being, is promoted through Arum and Top Rank.
Bradley claimed historically, the two sides do not do business together. So why only the blame on Spence, if there is no bias from a boxing analyst?
It can be difficult for two companies to work together, but Top Rank and PBC displayed in the past, the ability to work together.
That’s how Floyd Mayweather (advised by Haymon) ended up facing Manny Pacquiao (at the time promoted by Arum). Another example is Fury and Wilder – slated for next year.
In referencing the desire from Spence to face Pacquiao, why wouldn’t he possess the desire to face Pacquiao?
Sen. Pacquiao recently defeated Keith Thurman, he is one of the belt holders in the division, he is a future hall of famer and barring a comeback from Mayweather, Pacquiao arguably draws the most money in boxing.
Why wouldn’t Spence want Pacquiao on his resume, along with the world title and financial incentives that come with it?
It’s the same incentives Bradley chased on three occasions in reference to his matches with Pacquiao. It’s the same set of incentives Crawford has chased going on more than four years now.
What’s important to mention debunking this ducking narrative, both fighters acknowledge the need to face one another and concede neither fighter is ducking one another.
Both Crawford and Spence respect one another. While they may maintain a great measure of confidence in their unique abilities and talents, as they acknowledge one another as challenging contemporaries.
“Terence Crawford a fighter, man. I respect Terence Crawford. I got his number, he got my number,” said Spence, in an interview. “I respect him, I like him a lot, I feel like he’s a real fighter, a good guy, things like that, but it’s a business side too.”
Do you think Spence ducking you?
— David Aldea Jr. (@davidaldeajr) August 1, 2019
While it may take time for things to fall in order, this welterweight fantasy match-up, featuring the two best fighters, in boxing’s deepest division, is an absolute possibility.
Time will reveal if this potential match-up happens for one, and if it transpires, has historic implications like Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao or Felix Trinidad vs. Oscar De La Hoya.
For now, until proven otherwise, Crawford and Spence are on an eventual course to meet for the battle of welterweight supremacy. If there is ducking going on, there is not enough evidence suggesting it’s going on between these two at this given time.
Errol Spence: “This Is What I’ve Been Waiting For”
By: Sean Crose
“This is going to be an amazing event,” Errol Spence Jr said during a Tuesday press conference in Las Angeles. “The co-main event could be the main event on any normal (card), but this main event is going to be fire. You know it’s man down when I get in the ring and we’re going to show you just that on September 28.” Spence was promoting his upcoming welterweight title throwdown against Shawn Porter at the Staples Center in Las Angeles on a card that will air live on pay per view.
“Shawn is a warrior who always comes to fight and leaves his heart on the table,” the 25-0 Spence said good naturedly of his 30-2-1 opponent. “He always comes ready, but I’m in shape and ready for him too. We’re both always in exciting fights and that’s what we’re going to give the fans.” Spence, who was last seen in the ring easily besting Mikey Garcia earlier this year, currently holds the IBF welterweight title. Porter was last seen pulling off a unanimous decision win over Yordenis Ugas last March. He currently holds the WBC welterweight title
“This fight demands this kind of excitement and energy that we have here today,” said Porter. “We’re coming to the Staples Center for these fans, because they give us the energy that we need.” The Ohio native made it clear that the match between he and Spence would be nothing about a high end affair. “”People don’t understand the level that Errol and I are on,” he said. “He’s expecting the same thing I’m expecting. We’re both training to go 12 hard rounds and out class each other. It’s all about that one moment, and I know I have what it takes to make that moment all mine. I’m looking forward to it.”
The welterweight division still remains perhaps the most interesting division in boxing as it settles into the post-Mayweather era. Besides Spence and Porter holding major titles, Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford also hold major belts. “This is what I’ve been waiting for,” said Spence of the upcoming fight with Porter. “I had to be on the sidelines and watch Shawn fight Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, but now I’m in that group. I have the opportunity to fight these top guys and make my name known.”
Spence made it clear that he’s not only out for blood on September 28, he’s looking to bring at least some real clarity to the welterweight division. “My whole thing is that I’m looking for the stoppage,” he said. “I want to make a statement that I’m clearing out the division. I want Manny Pacquiao and all of the top names in this division.”
The card will also feature the 31-1-1 Anthony Dirrell facing the 21-0 David Benevidez for the WBC super middleweight title, and a WBA super lightweight title fight between the 24-0 Mario Barrios and the 7-0 Batyr Akhmedov. The vacant WBA belt will be handed to the winner of that match.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia: Why this Trend has to stop.
By: Rahat Haque
There is a reason there are weight classes in boxing, and the mid-March main event between Mikey Garcia and Errol Spence Jr proved it. While it is great to see two star names face off against each other, it is not so great to see a one sided beat down. The fight started off well enough, showing signs of a high level chess match between two fighters who didn’t want to risk it. Anytime you have such a boxing match, you get butterflies in your stomach, the stakes are high, and you can’t imagine any one guy losing. But by the 4th round, the verdict was clear. Mikey was using his boxing skills to survive, and all the thrill was extinguished. It became a boring one sided match after that.
All three judges didn’t give a single round to the Oxnard native. One can perhaps argue he won the 2nd round, it was the round where he found the most success, coming to the center of the ring to meet Spence. But that allowed Spence to gauge his opponent’s power, which he didn’t respect at all for the rest of the fight. He walked Mikey down, he swiveled on his pivot foot, and he landed power shots after power shots for the rest of the fight. When there was a lull in action, Mikey was only too happy to not press the action. It was clear that his aim changed midway, from wanting to win, to wanting to survive. Survive he did, but only just. There were multiple occasions in the fight where it looked like Robert would throw in the towel. Mikey would not fire back, as Errol came agonizingly close to scoring a technical knockout. We have seen referees waive fights off for less.
To be fair to Mikey, he acknowledged his severe limitations in the post presser. He said he wanted to hang in there knowing the nature of boxing, and that one punch could change the course of the fight. But given how Spence was using his range so well, and given that he was the much bigger man in the night, there was no chance of a lucky haymaker landing. Spence was too strong on the inside, and too skilled on the outside. He toyed with Mikey, and maybe would have knocked him out another night. After seeing such an uncompetitive fight, looking back at when the details of the fight was first released, it is even more bizarre why Mikey came straight to 147 from 135. Surely if he was avoiding Lomachenko at 135, he could have at least tried his luck at 140 first? He tried pulling a Khan, referring to Khan’s logic in fighting Canelo in a low risk high reward outcome. The fight fan hopes that this trend does not stick. Yes, one wants to see the best fight the best. But in their own weight classes, or at least one weight class apart from each other.
There are some media members talking about how they learned more about Errol’s skills over the weekend. How he made the fight look easy versus one of the most technically correct fighters in the sport in Mikey. While these are fair observations, they are rather naïve when considering that boxing is the hurt business. When you are hit hard, you get the urge to shut shop down for the night. You become sluggish and all your skills go flying out the window. The fight stopped becoming a chess match 3rd round onward, transforming into an exhibition. But it should not have been that, Errol’s job was to knock Mikey out as soon as possible from then on. He played it safe, he knew his opponent was trying to survive and was too hurt to connect with any meaningful shots himself. Thus he took his time to put on a controlled boxing masterclass, where he knew his opponent didn’t have the power to upset him. That is not a testament to his boxing skills, that’s just being smart. He will still need to fight someone like Crawford at 147 in order to really test his boxing abilities.
But in the meantime, it’s a fantastic name to have on his resume and gain more exposure. The Garcias are great boxing strategists, and are boxing royalty, whatever game plan they had for Errol clearly did not work. This may deter other challengers who are moving up to try the Dallas native. Even a high reward low risk scenario may not be convincing enough for them, because they do not want to get beat up like Mikey did. So such a fight did make Erroll look that much more invincible in the boxing solar system. But truthfully, Eroll has already reached a level where no other challenges except Thurman, Crawford and Pacquiao makes sense for him. He realizes it too, calling out Pacquiao in the post-match interview.
But despite the positive consequences of the fight outlined above, one sure hopes it doesn’t become a popular trend. We don’t really get to learn anything new by observing such spectacles. Despite what happened on March 16th, Mikey Garcia is not as bad of a boxer as he was made to look, and Errol Spencer Jr is not as good of a boxer as he was made to look. It would be foolish of the media and fans use those narratives to create stories about the future legacy of the fighters. March 16th should be treated as a hiatus in the records of both fighters, an interesting night for boxing, where two huge stars squared up to put on a card that would be worth of a FOX PPV. The only meaningful result that would change any perceptions would be a Garcia victory. Anything else would be business as usual, and both fighters would shake hands for doing a good piece of business before returning to their real careers. And that is exactly how things panned out.