Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford Series: Part 2 – Pandemic Problems and Options for Terence Crawford

Crawford 1 - Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford Series: Part 2 – Pandemic Problems and Options for Terence Crawford

By: Kirk Jackson

Part 1

The top
pound-for-pound fighter of the sport is facing a predicament. Current WBO
welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (36-0, 27 KO’s) is itching for a
fight, but is experiencing difficulty securing a legit opponent.

Although
Crawford is highly regarded by his fighting peers, analysts and other observers
of the sport, his standing has not prevented an onslaught of recent criticisms
from these very same outlets, in spite of his accomplishments.

Major
world titles:

  • WBO lightweight champion (135 lbs.)
  • WBA (Super) light welterweight
    champion (140 lbs.)
  • WBC light welterweight
    champion (140 lbs.)
  • IBF light welterweight
    champion (140 lbs.)
  • WBO light welterweight
    champion (140 lbs.)
  • WBO welterweight champion (147 lbs.)

The
Ring
 magazine titles:

  • The Ring lightweight champion (135 lbs.)
  • The Ring light welterweight
    champion (140 lbs.)

  • Undisputed light welterweight
    champion
    (IBF,
    WBA, WBC, WBO)

  • Fighter of the Year by the Boxing
    Writers Association of America in 2014

World Champions Defeated (8): Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa,
Ray Beltran, Viktor Postol, Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo and Amir Khan.

Crawford,
along with virtually every other fighter is plagued with problems presented
from this pandemic.

But what
also ails the Nebraska native, is his lack of high quality opposition as of
late. In addition to this pandemic, in which limits the options for Crawford,
the hand from Father Time is creeping in, imminently set to attack what’s left
of the 32-year-old Crawford’s prime years.

How much
longer can Crawford hold on to any bits of his prime and as a top performer? This
is a concern expressed by current Top Rank/ESPN commentator and unofficial Top
Rank Promoter, Timothy Bradley.

“‘Bud’
Crawford is not a young whippersnapper anymore,” Bradley said. “He’s in his
30s. He’s not young. Activity is important for him. But I know Bud Crawford
personally. I know he works extremely hard, he’s constantly staying in shape.
So, I think he’ll be okay.”

“One
thing that we know is that you can’t buy back time,” Bradley continued. “You
can’t buy back time. These are your prime years. Boxing is short. It’s a short
lived sport, believe it or not. You have a short window to make your money and
get out of the game before the game damages you.”

With
this pandemic and worldwide shut down in effect, another questions begs as to
how will this affect Crawford, as far as securing that elusive, career defining
bout?

Legendary
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, has a list of opponents he’s considering for Crawford’s
next fight set to take place in November. Fans and boxing pundits speculate
those potential opponents may be Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, Kell Brook,
Keith Thurman or Yordenis Ugas.

However,
the legacy defining fight fans are clamoring for, is a bout featuring current
unified IBF and WBC welterweight champion, “The Truth” Errol Spence Jr. (26-0,
21 KO’s).

The
highly anticipated collision course can potentially go down as one of the most
memorable fights in welterweight history. This match-up may stake its stand in
time like Thomas Hearns vs. Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad,
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao and other historic match-ups.

That’s
if Spence fully recovered from injuries suffered from his horrific car accident
last year and he and “Bud” can overcome other obstacles prior to their
proposed, eventual clash.

Regarding
Spence’s return and recovery, for obvious reasons Crawford will be a highly
interested observer as he returns later this year.

“Errol
has stated that he’s fine; he’s training, and nothing is really wrong with
him,” Crawford told ESPN. “He’s preparing himself for Danny Garcia. So after
this fight, we’re all going to get a glimpse of how he’s going to react coming
off of that magnitude. And being that he’s taking on a tough opponent in Danny
Garcia because Danny is by far no walk in the park for anybody. So we’re all
going to get our answers from fight night with him, and Danny share the ring
together.”

But what
is the best option for Crawford in the immediate future? Pacquiao is at the top
of everyone’s wish list, but that is a fight having eluded Crawford the past
five years. And with the pandemic having a negative impact worldwide on the
economy, securing these highly desirable match-ups are increasingly difficult.

If the
plan is for Crawford to face Spence next year, the go-to move, may be pitting the
WBO welterweight champion against common opponents to help stir up interest, further
hype the fight while enhancing viewership and appeal to the observing audience.

It’s a
plan committed in years past, when fighters were in the process of mutual
courtship. For years, Floyd Mayweather verbally jabbed at Manny Pacquiao for
fighting his leftovers; Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley. In
turn, Mayweather fought some of Pacquiao’s dance partners; Juan Manuel Marquez
and Miguel Cotto.

In the
past, many other rivals shared dance partners en route to their eventual
showdown. This added another layer of intrigue, as fans and analysts alike
dissected and compared performances against common foes and it served as
build-up for the fight.

“Bud”
can follow that same blueprint, by facing Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia or even
Shawn Porter. Spence had fight of the year caliber fights with Brook and Porter
respectively.

“That’s
a good fight,” Crawford told ESPN regarding a fight with Porter. “If that’s a
fight that Porter wants to pursue, we can talk about it, and so be it. I don’t
duck no fighter. I never turned down no fighter, so I won’t stop now. My whole
thing was I’m looking for the titles, and I’m trying to become undisputed. Me
and Shawn are good friends.”

What
ultimately determines what will occur is the decision from Arum.

“The
first choice, obviously, is for Crawford to fight Manny Pacquiao but that
depends on money from a site abroad,” Arum said in an interview with Boxing
Scene.

“I talked
to Manny about the fight but a lot of these places overseas are reluctant now
to do anything this year because of the pandemic. Next year? Different story.
But this year it’s a big problem and I have no control over it, so it seems
unlikely it would be Pacquiao this year and I want to get Crawford a fight this
year.”

Without
a crowd in attendance, or a notable adversary willing to participate under less
than ideal circumstances, Crawford may be stuck in limbo waiting for the Spence
fight – if that even materializes.

“My
contract states I’m not taking any pay cuts. If we have to fight for the
minimum, so be it,” Crawford told ESPN. “With the fans unable to come see the
fight, I don’t know how that’ll fare against any top welterweight in the
division. When you look at the whole landscape of the whole thing, it’s going
to come down to money. And if you can’t provide the proper money for each
fighter, then how is that going to make the fight happen?

“But as
far as a pay cut, it depends on who we’re fighting. Manny Pacquiao is a fight
that we’re still currently looking forward to getting. Like I said, the
pandemic has messed up a lot of things as far as money.”

As
Crawford alluded to, the pandemic has tampered with sports and life as we know
it. But progressing forward, the plan is to overcome
these hurdles and eventually things will get back on track.

The post Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford Series: Part 2 – Pandemic Problems and Options for Terence Crawford appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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