By Jim Calfa: In a good sign, Terence Crawford acknowledges that Errol Spence Jr. has the right to enforce the rematch, which means he won’t try to maneuver his way out of the fight like some fans believe he wants to do.
Whether the Crawford-Spence rematch bombs on PPV and fails to make big money is unimportant. The fact is, Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) is forcing a second fight, and Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) will need to grant that.
Spence could be a lot more trouble at 154 for Crawford unless he’s entirely shot from his two car crashes and yo-yo weight issues. It’ll be interesting to see if Crawford attempts to force Spence back down to 147 so that he can improve his chances of winning.
That would be low on his part, but he probably doesn’t want to lose to Spence in the rematch and wreck his chances of a retirement payday against Canelo Alvarez.
Crawford doesn’t have a lot of options for big-money fights because his first choice, undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, has already ruled out facing him. However, Terence might be able to take Canelo into the fight if he keeps campaigning for the match-up on social media the way he’s been doing.
Terence’s second choice, Jermell Charlo, was beaten by Canelo last September and put in such an abysmal performance that it wouldn’t be worth fighting him next. Jermell needs to redeem himself before a fight between him and Crawford would be a massive mega-fight.
Unfortunately, Jermell hasn’t made any noise about wanting to return to the ring to fight any of the top guys at 154 like Tim Tszyu that would redeem himself. It’s likely that Jermell will be inactive for a year or more, enjoying the money he made from the Canelo fight.
These are the questions now:
- Which network will broadcast the Crawford vs. Spence rematch? With Showtime no longer expected to be broadcasting boxing events, it means that PBC will need to find another network for the rematch between Crawford-Spence II. If PBC is going to move to Amazon Prime, the rematch might not sell because fans would likely need to subscribe, and that’s not cheap.
- When will take place? Given that there hasn’t been any talk about negotiations going on yet, the rematch will likely happen in the first quarter of next year. Ideally, Spence should take a tune-up beforehand, but he probably won’t. The way he’s performed in his last two fights, it would be too risky for him to take a warm-up against even a bottom-level contender. The warning signs were there last year when Spence struggled badly against Yordenis Ugas, a fighter who was recently easily handled by Mario Barrios.
- Location: Las Vegas is an obvious location for the fight, but you can’t rule out Crawford insisting on forcing it to take place in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, to give his fans a treat. That would be the equivalent of taking the fight out onto a deserted island. It would be too far off the beaten track for East & West Coast fans to make the trek.
- What weight class? While Spence would like the rematch to take place at 154, Crawford could insist on dragging him down to 147 unless he makes it worthwhile financially to accommodate him.
“He’s got the right to enforce whatever he’s going to do,” said Terence Crawford to the media when asked his thoughts on Errol Spence Jr. insisting on forcing a rematch with him.
It’s unclear why Crawford would want to try and weasel out of his rematch with Spence because the 36-year-old Nebraska native has only fought one elite-level opponent and been involved in just one successful PPV event his entire 15-year career.
It’s not like Spence is keeping Crawford from fighting any big-name fighters because there’s no one waiting for him. Crawford could fight Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, but he doesn’t want to fight him. Again, Jermell and Canelo aren’t options.
Crawford could fight Tim Tszyu, but he’s not more popular than Spence in the U.S. If Crawford moves up to 160, the choices are extremely limited, with just Chris Eubank Jr. and Janibek Alimkhanuly.
Those guys aren’t popular in the U.S., and Janibek would be hard work for Crawford. He might lose; at the very least, it would be a grueling affair. Unlike Crawford’s bout with Spence, he would know he’d been in a fight if he faced Janibek.
Crawford has not expressed any interest in facing the winner of next month’s fight between WBC interim super middleweight champion David Benavidez and Demetrius Andrade, which would put him in a position to fight Canelo.
“I think Bud Crawford showed that he’s on another level. One thing he told me before the fight was Errol Spence is going to find out how hard he hits. I think we all found that out there,” said Showtime broadcaster Brian Custer to Pro Boxing Fans.
Will Spence be more powerful at 154?
“As a welterweight, Bud Crawford has some scintillating power. I think you can’t take anything away from what Bud Crawford did, but I think Errol Spence looks at it and says what, 15, 16 months off? That’s a long time. That’s a long time. I think that had something to do with it, but I think Bud Crawford was on another level.
“Listen, he’s a former unified champ, and they’re very prideful. I’m sure he wants that rematch because he doesn’t want to go out like this. I think at that bigger weight, , ‘I’ll be more powerful and more myself more.’ We’ll find out, but I think Bud Crawford will show that he’ll be the same guy at 147 and 154,” said Brian.
If Spence hasn’t been eating himself out of house & home, finding solace in food & drink, he should be able to trim down to 154 and be stronger for the rematch with Crawford at that weight.
It depends on whether Spence has cared for his body since his loss to Crawford last July. Spence won’t improve if he’s ballooned up to a fat 200 lbs since that defeat. He looked as big as a house before starting training camp for his fight with Terence last July, and it’s a surprise that he made weight.
Crawford wants Canelo Alvarez: does it happen?
“It’s no secret. Let’s talk about conditioning. We can all look and say right around round nine is when Canelo starts to decline in his punch output. Statistically, look at his punch output. It significantly dies,” said Shawn Porter on his YouTube channel, talking about Canelo Alvarez’s habit of gassing out in the later rounds, which would create a problem for him against Terence Crawford.
If Crawford wants to improve his chances for a Canelo fight, he’ll move up to 168 and beat one or two top guys like David Benavidez & David Morrell Jr. because Alvarez won’t want to be criticized by the boxing public for defending his undisputed super middleweight championship against a 147-pounder.
“This fight [Jermell Charlo], we didn’t see because he didn’t have to do it. We didn’t see him fight in spurts. He’s going to fight in spurts against Terence Crawford,” said Porter.
“Terence is going to challenge him both offensively, defensively, and also not only challenge that but challenge that gas tank. What do we know about Bud? Bud has got it at the end of the fight,” said Porter.