Home Sports VERSUS: Spence V. Crawford – the fight we need

VERSUS: Spence V. Crawford – the fight we need

In his second fight since his horrific car accident, Errol Spence looked as good as ever in his hometown of Dallas last weekend. Spence brutalized the WBA welterweight title holder, Yordenis Ugás, for 10 rounds until the doctor finally saved him. Spence, now holder of the WBC, IBF, and WBA welterweight titles, looked to be back to his top-five pound-for-pound self — which could be great news for boxing fans.

Just a month after he captured the WBC title from then-champion Shawn Porter back in 2019, Spence found himself in intensive care after flipping his Ferrari multiple times. The former Olympian was ejected from the car as it flipped across the median, but Spence was able to escape life-threatening injuries. 

About 14 months later in 2020, the boxing world anxiously awaited the Truth’s return to the ring. After an underwhelming performance in his unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia, Spence left us needing to see more. After flirting with the idea of giving us all Spence vs. Crawford, Errol settled on fighting Manny Pacquiao in August of 2021. Just weeks before the highly anticipated match-up, Spence would be forced to withdraw from the fight with a detached retina in his left eye. Enter Yordenis Ugás. 

Ugás, who was fresh off capturing the vacant WBA title, stepped in for Errol on short notice to take on the Pac Man. Ugás took advantage of the opportunity and opened a lot of eyes with his one-sided unanimous decision win over Pacquiao. Ugás used the rub from Pacquiao to land a chance of a lifetime with his title fight this past Saturday.

Spence, who has never run from a fight, also jumped at the opportunity to collect another belt from the former bronze medalist. Spence gave his hometown crowd something to cheer for with his performance inside the squared circle. The Truth stood right in front of Ugás and went to work with his combinations and beautiful head movement. Spence, normally a distance fighter, was more than willing to meet Ugás in the phone booth and went to work with hard body shots and stiff uppercuts. 

It was obvious from the start that Spence’s pressure and output were going to cause the Cuban problems. Spence got somewhat of a wake-up call in the sixth round, when Ugás landed a short counter right hand followed by a 1-2 that sent the champ into the ropes. Errol would recover fast and went right back to work on the inside. Spence was relentless, and in the three rounds following the sixth, Spence out-landed Ugas 113-25 to close out the fight. Ugas had taken a beating, and by the 10th round, a broken orbital bone left him with his eye swollen shut. With 1:16 left in the round, the ref and ringside doctor had seen enough and called the fight, awarding Spence the TKO victory.

After the fight, Spence again gave everyone what they wanted when he got on the mic and called for the fight we all want to see.

“Everybody knows who I want next,” A confident Spence told Jim Gray. “I want Terence Crawford.”

In a sport that doesn’t always do the best thing for business, it would seem this is the fight that has to be made. Crawford and Spence are two of the top five fighters in the world, and right now, both men are in their fighting primes. Bud Crawford is a savage. You’re talking about a guy who has multiple world titles in three different weight classes, a guy who in 2017 became the first male fighter to simultaneously hold all four major world titles since Jermain Taylor did it in 2005, something that had only been done five other times in the sports history. He’s a guy who — like Spence — has fought everyone there is for him to fight. Crawford is also coming off his own impressive outing, stopping former champ Shawn Porter in the 10th round in their title clash back in November. Porter, who went the distance in his split-decision loss to Spence in 2019, had never been stopped before running into Crawford. 

This fight is this generation’s Mayweather v. Pacquiao. Very rarely do we get two guys this good in the same weight class and even more rare is their willingness to fight each other. Spence’s performance Saturday night could be all the boxing world needed to get enough excitement to make this fight happen. Stylistically, it is a dream matchup. Spence (No. 4 in the PFP rankings) is the smooth southpaw with big power and combinations like he’s on a heavy bag. Crawford (No. 2 PFP) may be the best switch hitter in boxing with exceptionally fast hands. 

How does Spence’s pace work against someone with the ring IQ of Crawford? Can Crawford’s defensive style keep him out of trouble with someone who comes forward with punches like Spence does? These are questions I have to have answered, and I can only hope the promoters can put greed aside this one time and give us what we ask for.

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