By Chris Williams: A bitter sounding Terence Crawford says unified IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. isn’t confident that he can beat him, and he wants him to “pull his pants up and sign the contract” for them to fight.
Crawford says the fact that Spence doesn’t want to give him a 50-50 purse split is a sign that he’s not confident in his own abilities. It’s a confidence issue with the unbeaten 2012 U.S Olympian Spence (26-0, 21 KOs), according to Crawford.
Spence sees it a different way. He’s bringing in over 300,000 buys nowadays in his fights with Mikey Garcia and Shawn Porter, whereas Crawford is bringing in 100,000+ buys for his fight with Amir Khan. Crawford’s next fight against #1 WBO Egidijus Kavaliauskas on December 14 isn’t expected to be shown on ESPN PPV.
Crawford gave Porter the win over Spence
“I gave the edge to Shawn,” said Crawford when asked by TMZ Sport who he saw as the winner in the Spence vs. Porter fight. “Errol was catching Shawn with little shots in between to the body.
“For the most part, Shawn was the aggressor, and he didn’t get his just due on the punch count. I noticed that and though, ‘wow, they really not counting his shots.’ So me as a boxer, I look into stuff like that.
“Yeah, he [Porter] was landing more shots than they were giving him credit. So it was a close fight. I wouldn’t say it was a robbery or anything like that, but if I was to give anybody the victory, I would say that Shawn deserved it. It’s crazy.”
If Crawford thinks Porter deserved the win over Spence, why isn’t he pushing for a fight against him? It doesn’t make sense. The only way it makes sense is if Crawford is just saying that he thought Porter won in order to get Spence riled up. Either way, Crawford isn’t getting the fight with Spence. Crawford has got to let Spence know that he’s willing to accept the smaller cut of the pie for that fight to have any chance of happening.
Spence did the job against Porter
Overall, the boxing public had Spence beating Porter, and that’s the important part. The judges saw the September 28th Spence vs. Shawn Porter fight differently than Crawford. They had Spence winning a 12 round split decision by the score 116-111, 116-111 for Spence, and 115-113 for Porter. Porter was knocked down in round 11, and he was hit with the harder shots through the entire fight.
Even with Porter having trunks that looked like they were pulled up high, he was worked over by Spence to the body. The judges made their decision in giving Spence the win not based on CompuBox’s punch count. That’s not how judges score fights. They scored it on who they thought deserved the win. It came down to Spence beating Porter at his own game by slugging with him in the trenches.
Spence was the better fighter. It would be interesting to see if Crawford would be willing to brawl against someone like Porter. Probably not. Crawford likes to move, and he doesn’t fight guys in the trenches the way Spence does. That might be one reason why the 32-year-old Crawford isn’t a huge superstar level fighter at this point in his career. Crawford has never had to take a lot of shots, and he might fold quickly if he hit a lot.
Crawford analyses Spence’s win over Porter
“No, not at all, because a lot of people were asking me who I had in the fight,” said Crawford when asked if Spence was “exposed” in the Porter fight. “When they announced it [Spence vs. Porter], I said it’s a 50-50 fight. Everybody was looking at me like, ‘Huh,’ and I told them that I’ve been knowing Shawn for a long time.
“In these occasions, he always rises to the occasion. I’ve seen him fight Danny Jacobs, Shawn Estrada, and all these big names. Even though these were amateurs, these were top guys that he wasn’t supposed to beat. He just rose to the occasion, and everybody was like, ‘Wow.’ To give him [Porter] credit, he went in there and fought his fight.
“We’ve never seen Errol in a fight with someone with that much skill besides Mikey Garcia, but Mikey Garcia was smaller. Everybody wants to allude to Kell Brook, but Kell Brook was broken [injured]. He’d just come off of a fight against GGG [Gennadiy Golovkin], and gotten his eye messed up.
“Shawn Porter has been tested before. He’s coming off of a Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Josesito Lopez [Editors note: Spence has never fought Josesito Lopez. It was Keith Thurman who fought Lopez]. [Yordenis] Ugas was a bronze medalist. So you’ve got to take that into consideration,” said Crawford.
There’s not much you can say about the Spence-Porter fight. Spence won, and Crawford sat on the shelf by saying it was a 50-50 fight. It would have been nice if Crawford stuck his neck out by giving a prediction.
Spence wants to be A-side for Crawford fight
“They were saying that I didn’t have a title, and now that I have a title [WBO], it’s another excuse. It just seems like excuses after excuses,” said Crawford. “Now he’s not worried about me. I honestly believe that deep down in his heart, he knows what he’s going up against when he goes against me. He’s thinking the big picture. ‘If I take a chance like this, I need to be making as much money as possible just in case I lose.’ He’s talking about wanting to fight this guy and this guy.
“He wants to be the A-side, and he doesn’t want a 50-50 fight. That just tells you right now that he’s not 100 percent confident in his own abilities. He can say what he wants, but for me, if I’m confident in my abilities, ‘Okay, we can do it.’ It doesn’t matter if it’s 50-50 or not. I know I can win. So I don’t have nothing to lose,” said Crawford.
The management for Spence likely feel that it’s too early to make the fight with Crawford, and they could be right. Spence is getting more popular with each fight he takes. It’s too early to make the Spence-Crawford fight. Crawford hasn’t established himself as a big star on ESPN, and he’s fighting the wrong guys to increase his popularity.
Crawford: I don’t need Spence
“My name has already been written into the history books,” said Crawford. “I’ve been undisputed [at light welterweight], I’m the lineal champion at 135, the lineal champion at 140, and soon to be lineal champion at 147. Like I said, I don’t need Spence. That’s what I mean when I say I don’t need Spence when my name is already written in the history books. I already did what he’s trying to accomplish [at 140].
“They might discredit me by saying, ‘Oh, you fought this guy.’ I was fighting undefeated guys [Julius Indongo and Viktor Postol at 140]. I was fighting Olympic gold medalists [5’5” Felix Diaz and 5’5″ featherweight Yuriorkis Gamboa]. I was fighting undefeated two-time world champions [Ricky Burns], and those types of guys, which he’s [Spence] not fighting,” said Crawford.
If Crawford is serious about not needing Spence, then he should stop talking about him, and focus on the guys that his promoters at Top Rank Boxing are matching him against.
Crawford’s past wins over guys like Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz, Yurioris Gamboa and Viktor Postol weren’t huge wins. Indongo and Postol aren’t considered among the elite at 140. You can’t match them against Regis Prograis and Josh Taylor and expect them to win. Gamboa hasn’t been world champion since he left the featherweight division. Crawford fought Gamboa at lightweight. Gamboa was out of his division.
Crawford hypes two-time Olympian Egidijus Kavaliauskas
“Right now, I’m preparing myself to go up against a two-time Olympian [Egidijus Kavaliauskas, represented Lithuania in 2008 and 2012 Olympics], but everyone is looking at him, ‘Oh, he’s a bum. He’s this and he’s that.’ [editor’s note: Kavaliauskas is coming off 10 round draw against fringe contender Ray Robinson last March], but he’s not,” said Crawford. “You can’t be a two-time Olympian and be a bum.”
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs) is Crawford’s next opponent for December 14 on ESPN. While Kavaliauskas isn’t viewed as a bum like Crawford says some people are calling him, he’s not considered one of the best at 147. In Kavaliauskas’ last fight in March, he was held to a controversial 10 round draw against #14 WBC fringe contender Ray Robinson.
That fight showed where Kavaliauskas is in terms of being among the best in the division. If you can’t beat a fringe contender like Robinson, then that tells you all you need to know about Kavaliauskas. He’s a two-time Olympian from Lithuania, but that’s a tiny country. It’s not like being a two-time Olympian from Russia or the U.S.
Crawford rates himself as #1 in boxing, above Lomachenko
“I think people need to do their homework,” said Crawford. “I haven’t gotten that marquee name for them to say, ‘he’s undisputed pound-for-pound boxer in the world.’ They can say [Vasiliy] Lomachenko, but when we look back at Lomachenko too, when we talk about [Jorge] Linares and when we talk about all these guys, Linares had been knocked out three times before he fought Lomachenko. But we don’t look at things like that, ‘Ah, he beat this guy or he beat that guy.’ But I just look at the bias that the media and the casual fans put on him.
“I feel like I’m #1 [in the sport of boxing]. When you look at the guys in what they accomplished before me, and what they accomplished after me, it’s like I’ve done something to those guys, you know?” said Crawford.
Right now, it’s hard to rate Crawford as #1 in the pound-for-pound ratings, because his resume is too thin. Although Crawford has captured world titles at 135, 140 and 147, he still hasn’t beaten any marquee names. As this writer mentioned, Gamboa was fighting two divisions above his best weight of featherweight when he fought Crawford.
The names that Crawford beat at 140 to win world titles was against these guys: Viktor Postol, Thomas Dulorme and Indongo. Crawford didn’t have to beat Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor or Jose Ramirez to win any of his titles at 140. At 147, Crawford defeated Jeff Horn to win his WBO welterweight strap. Horn won the WBO belt with a controversial victory over Manny Pacquiao in 2017 in fighting in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia. A lot of boxing fans thought Pacquiao was robbed in that fight.
Terence wants credit for his knockout victories
“I’m not just having competitive fights with these guys,” said Crawford. ‘I’m stopping them. It’s kind of like Felix Diaz. A lot of people gave Errol Spence credit for beating Lamont Peterson, but he [Peterson] fought tooth and nail with Felix Diaz, which is an Olympic gold medalist, which some people thought Felix Diaz beat Lamont Peterson.
“I go in there and whitewash and stop him [Diaz], and they go in there and discredit by saying, ‘Oh, he’s smaller than you. [Editor’s note: Felix Diaz is 5’5″ and Crawford is 5’8″]. I’m saying, ‘I just moved up in weight. How is he smaller than me?’ So those are the top things that I’m up against. Maybe I’m just that good,” said Crawford.
These are Crawford’s last 10 knockout victims:
- Amir Khan
- Jose Benavidez Jr.
- Jeff Horn
- Julius Indongo
- Felix Diaz
- John Molina Jr.
- Dierry Jean
- Thomas Dulorme
- Alejandro Sanabria
- Yuriorkis Gamboa
Those fighters aren’t among the best in their respective weight classes, are they?
Crawford urges Spence to sign the contract
“I just tell him [Spence] to pull off those panties, and pull his pants up and sign the contract,” said Crawford in saying what message he has for Spence.
It would help for Crawford to let Crawford know that he’s willing to take less than a 50-50 split for the fight.