After years of back and forth, Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have agreed to face each other for the undisputed welterweight championship on July 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Apparently, after watching Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko take place weeks apart, Spence and Crawford realized that there were no more excuses for them not to meet. Whatever issues they had that prevented the fight from taking place in late 2022 have been resolved and they will clash in late July with both fighters having the ability to trigger an immediate rematch clause should they fall short.
Boxing fans all over the world will rejoice over the news but here are burning questions heading into the fight.
Is Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford the biggest fight of 2023?
While Spence-Crawford is certainly the most anticipated fight since Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, it is unknown whether or not it will end up being the “biggest.”
After Davis and Garcia racked up the fifth-largest gate in Nevada boxing history ($22.8 million) and an eye-opening 1.2 million PPV buys, the bar is high for Spence-Crawford. Davis and Garcia were able to leverage their massive social media presence and tap into a younger generation of fight fans that boiled interest in the fight over the top.
Neither Spence nor Crawford have a massive social media presence with both having under 1 million Instagram followers and 500k Twitter followers. They are also older with Spence at age 33 and Crawford at 35. Fortunately, they aren’t out of their respective primes but they will be relying on their respective brilliance inside of a boxing ring to attract both hardcore and casual fight fans.
The appetite for the fight is certainly there as they have circled each other for years. But now that Crawford has left the rival promotion to sign a two-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions, all roadblocks are out of the way.
It can’t be just about boxing as both fighters will have to make their presence felt in the marketing for the fight. If they can find a way to reach the younger demographic, it has a chance to surpass Davis-Garcia.
Is Spence vs. Crawford happening too late?
And don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
Unlike Mayweather and Pacquiao, Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) and Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) are both undefeated with neither fighter showing any signs of slowing down.
Spence fought last April when he defeated Yordenis Ugas by 10th round TKO to add the WBA (Super) welterweight title to his WBC and IBF titles. After a deal was unable to be made late last year, Crawford opted to face unheralded David Avanesyan last December and retained his WBO title with a sixth-round stoppage.
Even though boxing fans have complained about the lengthy delay, they have also shown extreme patience with highly anticipated fights. Mayweather-Pacquiao is a perfect example of how interest can continue to grow as the months go by.
Will Spence vs. Crawford determine the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world?
With both Spence and Crawford residing in the top five of many fictional pound-for-pound lists, it’s very likely that the winner will claim the top spot ahead of Oleksandr Usyk and Naoya Inoue.
Crawford has already been the undisputed lightweight champion and stopped his last ten opponents. Although his resume isn’t littered with top-tier names as his rival, Crawford’s penchant for handing out a vicious beating to his opponents has carried him a long way. His tenth-round stoppage of Shawn Porter in November 2021 was a highlight as Porter had never been stopped and the loss sent him into retirement.
Spence has defeated the likes of Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Kell Brook, Porter and Ugas. He hasn’t moved up in weight as Crawford has, but his in-ring ability has been heralded for years. Unfortunately, he was unable to get his crowning moment when his 2021 bout with Manny Pacquiao was canceled after he suffered an eye injury, but the boxing world is keenly aware of Spence’s ability.
Unless these two battle to a dubious draw, the winner will have a better victory than anybody on the pound-for-pound list. They may not be recognized as the new “face” of boxing but it will be hard to deny who the king is.