By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have been dancing around each other for years now. Most of the world has the pair ranked at the very top of the welterweight division. Deciding who is the better all-around fighter is a question that has yet to be answered, and by all accounts, it doesn’t seem as though we’ll find out anytime soon.
Recently, Spence Jr. has made expressed a desire to jump up two or three weight classes to take on four-division titlist Canelo Alvarez.
While many have viewed Spence Jr.’s ambitions as brazen, former two-division champion Tim Bradley views his desire to do so as money-hungry.
“Why would go up and face Canelo but you won’t face Terence Crawford in the same weight class as you?” Said Bradley during a recent discussion with Andre Ward, Mark Kriegel and Joe Tessitore. “That’s a money thing for him.”
In the case of Alvarez, the Mexican superstar is viewed by many as the number one fighter in the world. He’s also considered the sport’s number one attraction, routinely raking in tens of millions of dollars for each appearance in the ring.
In his most recent bout which took place last week against former WBA/Ring magazine super-middleweight champion Callum Smith, Alvarez reportedly pulled in north of 20 million for his one-sided victory. In September of 2018, Alvarez signed a 10 fight, 350 million dollar deal with DAZN. Although their contract has since been terminated, Alvarez continues to see lucrative offers, including a three-fight deal worth $75 million from Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) earlier this year.
With a career-high payday likely if he were to secure a showdown with Alvarez, although Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) is only 30 years of age, Bradley believes that the Dallas product simply wants to load up his duffle bag with cash and exit stage left.
“I think that Spence is at a point now and correct me if I’m wrong but I think he just wants to get the money and leave the game.”
For Bradley, a matchup between Spence Jr. and Crawford is one that he fantasizes about but doesn’t expect to happen. One constant issue that has prevented the two from fighting one another is Spence Jr.’s association with PBC and Crawford’s alignment with Top Rank. With that said, Crawford is currently under contract with Top Rank for only one more year. A possible landing spot for Crawford once his contract does expire is PBC.
Still, even if Crawford were to sign on the dotted line with the same promotional outfit as Spence Jr., Bradley still won’t get his hopes up.
“He has no intentions of fighting Terence Crawford. Even if Terence Crawford was to jump ship and go over there to PBC, I still don’t see the fight happening.”
By: Hans Themistode
A Danny Garcia vs Errol Spence Jr. matchup is one that the boxing public struggles to predict. Those struggles only increased following Spence Jr.’s car wreck in October of 2019.
Garcia, a former two-division world titlist is set to face unified champion Spence Jr. in just a few more weeks on December 5th. Question marks surrounding Spence Jr.’s health and ability to take a punch have pushed many to view his contest with Garcia as a 50/50 matchup. But the growing notion that Garcia has a legitimate chance to pull off the upset has become laughable to former multiple division champion Timothy Bradley.
“Garcia to me is tailor-made for him,” said Bradley to Fight Hype during a recent interview. “Tailor-made.”
Garcia, 32, has always been viewed as the full package. The Philadelphia native has been praised for his punching power and timing over the years but more than anything, his “no look,” left hook has received more than its fair share of credit. The unconventional punch has left former great fighters such as Erik Morales and Amir Khan unconscious in the blink of an eye.
Although it’s a shot that carries a lot of power, to Bradley, you must be out of your mind if you believe he’ll be able to land it against Spence Jr.
“You think Spence is gonna run into that?” Said Bradley as he imitated Garcia’s left hook by closing his eyes, tucking his head down and throwing violently. “He got timing but he’s not landing that against Errol Spence. He’s too smooth for that.”
For Bradley, a current ESPN boxing analyst after hanging up the gloves in 2016, he’s watched Garcia for most of his career, including his 2014 matchup against Mauricio Herrera. In that contest, Garcia was heavily favored but barely scraped by with a majority decision win. On the night, the Philadelphia native found it difficult getting past the strong jab of Herrera. To Bradley, if Garcia couldn’t formulate a game plan to deal with the fringe contender, then in no way, shape or form will he be able to deal with the sort of heat that will be coming his way from Spence Jr.
“Garcia is going to have a hard time getting past the jab. He eats jabs. Remember Mauricio Herrera? He landed the jab on him and contained. Spence is gonna control him all night, back him and beat him on the inside.”
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.”