CRAWFORD Vs.SPENCE: THE FIGHT OF 2023?

by
CRAWFORD Vs.SPENCE: THE FIGHT OF 2023?
CRAWFORD Vs.SPENCE: THE FIGHT OF 2023?

CRAWFORD Vs.SPENCE: THE FIGHT OF 2023?

by
CRAWFORD Vs.SPENCE: THE FIGHT OF 2023?
CRAWFORD Vs.SPENCE: THE FIGHT OF 2023?

The question suggested by the title is what lovers of the millenarian sport of gloves in the most remote places of the planet are expecting to come true next Saturday. It will be at the luxurious, glittering and aristocratic T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the modern boxing mecca whose capacity for 20,000 spectators is expected to be at full capacity by the expectant fans, who will surely be evenly divided in favoritism for the protagonists, the undefeated Terence “Bud” Crawford and Errol “The Truth” Spencer Jr., justly considered two of the best fighters of today, who will fight for the undisputed title of the welterweight division.

Without going too much into the fights, as they say, it is necessary to point out that this will be a complex match due to the technical parity, the power of the fists of both fighters, both southpaws, both at the peak of their respective professional careers, architects of violent endings and who have shown in their campaigns that they seem to have no weak points.

In one corner will be Crawford, 35, World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion, winner by KO in 30 of 39 fights, with no draws. On the opposite stool, Spence Jr., 33 years old, has a record of 28 fights of which he has won 22 by the route that leaves no doubt, without a shadow of defeats, 6 by decision, no draws, owner of the World Boxing Association, the International Federation and the World Council belts. Between the two of them, they have 67 and 52 wins and KO’s, respectively, really impressive numbers.

It is worth saying, moreover, that the possibility of staging this fight has been talked about for at least five years. But there were always obstacles, of course related to the economic aspect, due to the natural desire of both sides to get the best dividends, a good slice of the cake. Finally the difficulties were solved and on Saturday will be in the ring the aspirants to reign alone for the 4 main entities that control the world boxing.

As for the money the boxers will be paid for the show, nothing concrete has been said, at least as far as we know. The only thing that has been said about it was released a few days ago by the English promoter Eddie Hearn, president of Match Room Boxing, who revealed that there is an estimate of $60 million in revenue from the PPV, if they manage to sell, at $100, the rights to that service, which would give an estimated income of between $500,000 and $600,000 dollars for the sale alone. Let’s go back to the fight itself and to its actors. Fans and experts opinions are divided. The doubts are explained: they are fighters of balanced levels, fast, skillful, punchers. Crawford has a slight edge of favoritism, people respect to his status as the No. 1 in the Top Ten or Pound for Pound. But Spence is not far behind him, in the fourth position, and he is not the only one who has said anything about it.

We think that Crawford’s greater experience, knockout power, his intermittent changing of the guard that often confuses his opponents, could propel him to victory and with it the glory of becoming the first fighter in history to have reigned in different categories with all 4 major belts in his possession.

But The Truth isn’t a dullard and don’t think he’s going to be easy prey for the enemy. On the contrary, it would be no surprise to anyone if he steps out of the ring as the winner. He is the owner of a fast and noxious jab, jumping like a snake when attacking.

Nevertheless, and before moving on to other aspects of the fight, we will finish off by stating the obvious: anything can happen in this long-awaited bout, which is, we insist, one of those classic fights in which prudence advises to flip a coin, heads or tails.

STATS

Omaha, Nebraska native Terence Crawford (9/28/87, age 35) made his pro debut at age 20 after a flashy amateur career in which he won two national titles at 132 pounds . He made his lightweight debut against Brian Cummings on March 14 15 years ago with an easy win.

From there he didn’t stop and when he totaled 22 wins, 15 of them by knockout, on March 1, 2014 he received his first opportunity to fight for the World Council 135-pound world belt against titleholder Ricky Burns of Scotland, whose record was 36 wins with 2 losses and a few draws. The fight was staged in Glasgow and the visitor took an open 116-112 decision twice and a 117-111.

After two defenses against Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa and Mexican Raymundo Beltran, whom he dominated by TKO9 and UD12 that same year 2014, he moved up to the super lightweight division to 140 pounds) in April 2015 for the WBO throne and knocked out titleholder Thomas Delorme in 6. He then dispatched Dierry Jean in 10 on 2/27/16; Canadian Henry Lundy in February of the following year; Ukrainian Viktor Postol on points in June 1976 for the WBO and WBC belts; Puerto Rican John Molina in defense of the two titles; by KOT8 on 10/12/16 and in May 2017 he bested Dominican Felix Diaz without major problems in 10. He then added to his 2 crowns that of the other 2 entities, WBA and IBF, with a quick KO in three rounds against Namibian Julius Indongo in August 2017.

A year later, on June 6, he had trouble on the scales at 140 pounds and with a 32-0 record, “Bud” moved up to 66.678 kilograms (147 pounds) in pursuit of the vacant WBO welterweight throne against the young Australian Jeff Horn, with 18 wins and 1 draw, who held on until round 9, at the MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Horn was followed by then undefeated Californian Jose Benavidez (27-0-0 with 20 KO), who lost by KOT in the 12th in April 2019, in Omaha. Then came England’s Amir Khan, a victim of SC’s power in just five rounds on April 20 four years ago in Omaha, followed by Lithuania’s Egidijus Kavaliauskas, knocked out in the ninth, Britain’s Kell Brook (KOT4) in November 2020, Shawn Porter, a 10-round loser on 11-20-21 and Russia’s David Avanesyan, who collapsed in the sixth in December of last year. 

As for Errol Spence Jr., a native of Long Island, New York (1-13-87), WBC, IBF and WBO champion, with nearly 10 years of professional experience, he made his debut against Jonathan Garcia from Puerto Rico, whom he knocked out in the 3rd round in November 2012. It is worth adding that in amateur he was an outstanding member of the U.S. Olympic team and in the London-2012 Games he reached the quarterfinals.

After his first success against Garcia, “The Truth” weaved a string of 20 victories, 17 of them before the limit and after such resounding performances he got the chance to dispute his first world crown in a seemingly difficult bout for his short career, against an experienced and tough as a rock opponent, the International Federation champion, Kell Brook, from the United Kingdom. Contrary to the experts’ predictions, Spence Jr. brought out his already proven quality and at 47 seconds of the 11th finished the champion in such an emphatic manner that Brook ended up with a fractured orbital bone.

Seven months later he went up again for his first defense, against Lamont Peterson, whom he dispatched in the third minute of the seventh. In the next show he fought Carlos Ocampo, who was unable to go beyond the first round on June 16, 5 years earlier.

In what has undoubtedly been one of his best fights, ” The Truth” overcame in an exhibition of class, marksmanship and power, the favorite Mikey Garcia on March 16, 2019 with an unquestionable decision of 120-107 on 2 cards and 120-108 on the third, numbers that indicate that he won all the rounds, with the IBF and WBC belts in discussion.

A few months later, exactly on September 28, he faced Shawn Porter and won a close split decision. Just a few days after the fight and when he was driving his car on a Dallas avenue, he was involved in an accident from which he miraculously escaped with his life. Some even believed that his career was over.

However, thanks to his youth and strength, which helped him decisively, he managed to get out of the trance and in November 2020 he returned to the ring to face a tough opponent, the Californian Danny Garcia. He surprised everyone, as he won the fight on points in another superb exhibition and in April last year he returned to action to score a new victory, now over Cuban veteran Yordenis Ugás, who was defending his regular WBA belt that he lost when he could not follow 1’44” from the eleventh, at the Arlington Stadium. Ugás, like Brook before him, ended up with a severe orbital bone injury.

There is nothing to add except that it is these two fighters, whose sporting profiles we outline, are two of the best stars of the moment in boxing, who are in charge of starring in a bout that has fans around the world in suspense, to such a degree that it can only be compared to the one that took place 8 years and 57 days ago, to be held on Saturday, between the now retired Floyd Mayweather and the Filipino Manny Pacquiao, an event described as the Fight of the Century, which ended with a close victory on points in favor of the American from Grand Rapids, Michigan.


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