Spence and Crawford Finally Set to Clash: The Long and Winding Road


In the depths of Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City back in 2018, Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford found themselves embroiled in a heated argument. Little did they know that this seemingly ordinary exchange would go on to hold immense significance for boxing enthusiasts worldwide.

The Quest for Respect Spence and Crawford

On that November evening, nearly five years ago, fans were tantalized by the prospect of witnessing a showdown between two of the finest fighters in the sport. However, for various reasons that persisted over the years, the highly anticipated bout remained elusive. Instead, fans had to content themselves with verbal fireworks as Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) and Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) exchanged fiery words outside the ring, while numerous issues prevented the match from becoming a reality.

Spence vs. Crawford

It’s a rare occurrence to witness two undefeated elite boxers like Spence and Crawford campaigning at the same weight and during their prime, both hovering near the top of the pound-for-pound rankings. Yet, the politics of boxing often proved to be an insurmountable obstacle. Crawford was aligned with Top Rank, and Spence with PBC, two promotional companies that rarely engaged in cross-promotional fights.

Last September, hopes were raised as it seemed a deal was finally within reach. However, at the last minute, talks collapsed, and it appeared that Spence might move up to the 154-pound weight class for a summer bout against former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman, dashing the hopes of a welterweight summit clash with Crawford.

The Fighters Take Matters into Their Own Hands

Thankfully, the fighters decided to take matters into their own hands. Crawford revealed that he pushed the negotiations forward with a lengthy phone call in March, setting the stage for what could be considered the most significant boxing match since the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout in 2015.

“I knew I had to make it happen,” Spence, now 33, stated during his media workout in Las Vegas. “This is what everyone wanted. We must determine the true champion of the welterweight division and the entire boxing world. The victor of this bout will unquestionably be crowned the best fighter in boxing, no doubt about it.”

While Spence and Crawford may not reach the astronomical revenue generated by Mayweather and Pacquiao, who are both all-time greats, it can be argued that the former duo is currently at their athletic peak.

Ringside Showdown

When they enter the ring in Las Vegas on Saturday, both fighters will come with their flawless records, putting all four major welterweight titles on the line. Spence holds the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles, while Crawford is the WBO champion. This encounter will determine not only the welterweight supremacy but perhaps the pound-for-pound supremacy as well. ESPN ranks Spence as their No. 4 boxer, regardless of weight, while Crawford sits at the top of the list as No. 1.

Countdown to Undisputed

“This fight is happening at the right time,” Crawford stated during his own media workout in Las Vegas. “All the belts are on the line, so there’s even more to fight for. There couldn’t be a more fitting way to host this fight than for the undisputed welterweight title.”

Spence vs. Crawford

Finally, after a long and winding journey, the much-anticipated clash between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford is upon us. Let’s take a look at how this epic fight eventually came to fruition.

Years of Anticipation

Back on May 27, 2017, Spence had his first shot at a championship outside of North America when he traveled to Sheffield, England, to face local hero Kell Brook. Spence’s star-making performance led to him capturing the IBF welterweight title. Although Brook controlled the first half of the bout, Spence’s precise southpaw jab and body punches turned the tide, resulting in a Round 11 stoppage and a broken orbital for Brook.

Following this victory, Spence was eager to unify the welterweight division. He made his first defense against Lamont Peterson on January 20, 2018, securing a dominant seventh-round TKO win. Meanwhile, Crawford had made a splash in the 147-pound division, winning the WBO title in his debut with a ninth-round stoppage of Jeff Horn on June 9, 2018.

Spence kept busy with a first-round knockout of Carlos Ocampo on June 16, 2018, while Crawford defended his title against Jose Benavidez Jr. securing a 12th-round TKO victory on October 13, 2018..

The pivotal moment that stoked the flames for the Spence-Crawford showdown occurred on November 17, 2018. Both fighters were ringside in Oklahoma City to watch their mutual friend Maurice Hooker win a junior welterweight title fight. In the backstage area, they engaged in a fiery exchange of words, with each claiming their superiority over the other.

Over the next few years, various obstacles, negotiations, and unfortunate events delayed the much-anticipated clash. Spence’s serious car accident in October 2019 raised concerns about his career, while Crawford expressed frustration with his former promoter, Top Rank, for not securing the Spence fight.

Despite their differences, both fighters remained undefeated and continued to dominate their respective opponents. Spence secured a split-decision victory over Shawn Porter in September 2019, while Crawford earned highlight-reel TKO wins over Amir Khan, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Kell Brook.

With fans clamoring for the fight, the negotiations continued, but it wasn’t until a 30-minute phone call between Spence and Crawford in February 2023 that the deal was finally sealed. The fighters set aside their differences, made concessions, and agreed to face each other for the undisputed welterweight championship on July 29, 2023.

The anticipation for the fight reached its peak during the press tour in June 2023, with both fighters promising an action-packed clash of the best versus the best. The fight week arrived, and both Spence and Crawford made their grand arrivals at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, ready to make history.

The bout between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford is a dream matchup that boxing fans have been longing for. The winner of this battle will be crowned the undisputed welterweight champion, and the bout is expected to be a defining moment in both fighters’ legacies.

Now, all that’s left is to witness greatness unfold in the ring as these two elite boxers give it their all to claim the title of the best fighter in boxing. The stage is set, and the countdown to July 29, 2023, has begun. Boxing fans are in for a treat, as this legendary fight promises to be a classic showdown for the ages.


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