By Chris Williams: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is looking to take a real career challenge by facing Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford in the near future after he deals with WBC belt holder Shawn Porter this Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Spence vs. Porter will be shown on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View at 9:00 p.m. ET
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is the guy that Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) wants next, because it’s a bigger name for his resume, and it’s a fight that can be easily made. As long as Pacquiao is willing to take the fight, it’s one that can be negotiated. Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) is with Top Rank, and that’s going to make things complicated for Spence. He’s with Premier Boxing Champions, and they don’t work with Top Rank that often unless it’s a really important fight.
Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) might not like the idea that Spence is looking past him, but he has to because he wants to unify the welterweight division. If Spence defeats Porter, the WBA and WBO belts will be the last two titles not in his possession.
Errol Spence wants Pacquiao first before Crawford
Spence says he prefers to fight the 40-year-old Pacquiao before facing Crawford, because he’s coming off of two big wins over Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Adrien Broner. Those fights got a lot of attention in the boxing world. In contrast, Crawford has had three recent low level fights against Amir Khan, Jose Benavidez and Jeff Horn. None of those fighters attracted much interest from the American fans.
Crawford will be taking another low level fight on December 14 against Egidijus Kavaliauskas. Although Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs) is unbeaten and ranked #1 by the WBO at 147, he’s fought largely poor opposition, and he’s coming off of a controversial 10 round draw against Ray Robinson last Marc. A lot of boxing fans had Robinson beating Kavaliauskas.
So this is another bad fight for Crawford. Top Rank isn’t doing a good job finding quality fighters to face Crawford. As bad as Kavaliauskas looked against Robinson, it makes you wonder what’s going through the minds of the World Boxing Organization. This is same sanctioning body that recently had heavyweight Tom Schwarz ranked #2.
“A lot of people say that [Pacquiao] won’t (fight me), but if you know Pacquiao’s story, he is a guy who will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said Spence to ESPN.com. “If the money is right, he will definitely fight. There are probably men on their commercial side they say no, but I think if the fight is correct, Pacquiao would definitely take the fight.”
Unfortunately for Spence, the fight against Pacquiao might not be in the cards for him. Mikey Garcia has been talking in the media about Pacquiao wanting to fight him despite him losing his last fight to Spence.
Spence says Crawford fight might not ever happen if it doesn’t take place in 2020
“If it doesn’t happen next year or next year, I don’t think it will ever happen,” Spence said about Crawford. “[Haymon] says the business is not good and that he and (Top Rank boss Bob [Arum] cannot reach an agreement on the part of the business, so it will not happen at this time.”
With Crawford talking about him being the A-side in a fight against Spence, a fight between them isn’t going to happen. Top Rank will likely insist on a 50-50 split of the purse for a Spence vs. Crawford fight, and that’s going to be a problem.
Spence has brought in bigger pay-per-view numbers than Crawford, and he’s about to become a two-division world champion. What Crawford accomplished at 140 in unifying the division is irrelevant, because he won his titles off beatable guys. These are the fighters that Crawford beat to win his four belts at 140:
- Thomas Dulorme – WBO
- Viktor Postol – WBC
- Julius Indongo – IBF/WBA
None of those fighters are relevant nowadays at 140. The division now has guys that Crawford might not even beat like Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez. It’s a shame that Crawford left the light welterweight division without fighting any of those guys.
Spence: Pacquiao is on a roll right now
“Well, I want the Pacquiao fight, so hopefully I get the Pacquiao fight done,” said Spence. “I want the Pacquiao fight before Terence Crawford, because he had two big victories vs. Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman. He’s on a roll right now, so why not fight him. They can expect an action-packed fight, and a dominant performance by myself. I can’t wait. Make sure you tune in on Fox PPV if you can get here. Make sure you get your tickets. It’s going to be an amazing night at the Staples Center,” said Spence.
The most important reason for Spence wanting to fight the 40-year-old Pacquiao BEFORE he faces Crawford is the age factor. Pacquiao is at the end of his career, and might not have more than two fights left in him. If Spence wastes time fighting Crawford, he could miss out on the Pacquiao fight permanently.
Crawford might have another 10 years left in his career depending how much of his skills erode. With the way Top Rank is matching Crawford against a lot of soft opposition, he might be able to hang in there for another 12 to 15 years. It would look incredibly bad if Top Rank doesn’t match Crawford against good fighters.
Spence tired of seeing Porter
“It’s part of the fight game. We’ve been doing these press tours for about 10 weeks now, and we’re tired of seeing each other,” said Spence to Fighthub in explaining why he and Porter took verbal shots at each other during the final press conference. “It’s finally to that point where we get to lay hands on each other. He’s trying to hurt me, and I’m trying to hurt him. He can’t beat me forward, sideways, backwards, nothing.
“I’m confident of my abilities. When I’ve got something on my mind, I know I can make it happen. It’s something I’ve been training for, and to make it happen. I don’t care as long as it happens. I’m going to break him down, and do what I always do. Hopefully I can get him out early, but it might happen in the later rounds. I’m not going to go out of my way to get the knockout. I’m just going to do it in a systematic way. He’s had three close fights,” said Spence about Porter.
“I just have to do what I’ve been doing. I don’t care about the rounds as long as it doesn’t go 12.
I’m going to win and do it in dominating fashion.” – @ErrolSpenceJr (📸 @jeffvespa) pic.twitter.com/NIst8ODbfq
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 26, 2019