Terence Crawford: “Everyone says that Errol is back, so now is the perfect time for me and him to fight”

Published on 05/04/2022

By: Hans Themistode

Long before Terence Crawford made his way up to the welterweight division in 2018, the Omaha, Nebraska native made his feelings known that he wanted to face the best 147-pounders in the world.

Overall, Errol Spence Jr., the division’s only unified champion, has held that distinction. So, after identifying the man to beat, Crawford immediately set his sights on the powerful southpaw. However, despite his attempts to lure Spence Jr. into the ring, Crawford was forced to wait.

While Spence Jr. has always viewed their matchup as inevitable, with Crawford associated with promotion company Top Rank, and Spence Jr. closely aligned with Premier Boxing Champions, various behind-the-scenes issues prevented the two from meeting. In an effort to avoid back-and-forth theater, Spence Jr. temporarily shelved a possible matchup with Crawford while he focused his efforts on adding all other world titles at 147 pounds.

Just a few weeks ago, Spence Jr. successfully achieved his goals. On April 16, in front of nearly 40,000 fans, Spence Jr. would hand Yordenis Ugas his first career knockout loss. In the process, the Dallas native violently took his WBA welterweight title from him.

Amanda Westcott/Showtime

Currently, with Crawford operating as a promotional free agent, the switch-hitting pound-for-pound star believes that now more than ever, nothing stands between him and his fellow, fist-swapping welterweight champion.

“I’m free to do whatever I want,” Crawford told ESPN during a recent interview. “There is nothing standing in the way of our fight. There is no promotion company blocking it, there is no wrong side of the street, there is nothing. Let’s see who is the best welterweight in the world.”

For Crawford, 34, in the midst of waiting for Spence Jr. to come to the negotiating table, the Omaha, Nebraska native has wreaked havoc on the division. With six straight stoppage wins since moving up in weight, Crawford earned the most impressive win of his career in his most recent outing.

In November 2021, Crawford first boxed and then fought his way to a stoppage victory over former two-time 147-pound champion Shawn Porter. Since then, Crawford has remained sequestered on the sidelines, patiently waiting for Spence Jr.

Though a matchup between them has yet to be discussed, considering Spence Jr. is just weeks away from facing Yordenis Ugas in a physically demanding fight, both welterweight stars could be heading towards a collision course near the end of the year. If that’s the case, Crawford would have plenty of time to sneak into a fight of his own before facing Spence Jr. However, after years of pent-up frustration, Crawford has no intentions of facing anyone but Spence Jr. next.

I go straight to it. I don’t want tune-up fights.”

At one point, a matchup against Spence Jr. became worrisome for Crawford. Although Spence Jr. has been praised for his work in the ring, concerns about his health have increased.

In October 2019, a month after successfully unifying titles against Porter, Spence Jr. was involved in a horrific car accident. Considering the severity of his near-fatal accident, investigations surrounding Spence Jr. surfaced. But regardless, the former Olympian bounced back nicely and won a unanimous decision over Danny Garcia in December 2020.

However, Spence Jr.’s injury problems continued. In August 2021, the unified champion was scheduled to face Manny Pacquiao. However, due to a tear/retinal detachment in his right eye, Spence Jr. was forced to withdraw when he was rushed in for immediate surgery.

As the fog further clouded Spence Jr.’s run, he put in a terrific performance against Ugas. Known for his durability and toughness, Ugas succumbed to vicious punches from Spence Jr. via 10th-round stoppage.

A sly smile spread across Crawford’s face after seeing Spence Jr.’s performance. His aforementioned grin turned into a full-fledged smile when Spence Jr. officially called him out. With the Dallas product seemingly back to his dominant self, Crawford is eager to face the best version of his longtime rival.

“Now everyone says that Errol is back and that he is 100% ready. So now is the perfect time for me and him to fight. He called me, so there is no backup.”

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