Boxing is closing in on one of the biggest fights the sport could make.
Speaking Saturday during the Showtime telecast for a boxing tripleheader that took place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, Errol Spence Jr. told broadcaster Jim Gray that his anticipated showdown with Terence Crawford will “definitely” happen in 2022.
With Spence owning three of boxing’s four major world championships in the welterweight division, and the other belonging to Crawford, the matchup would determine who is the No.1 fighter at 147-pounds — and, perhaps, in the entire sport. Both athletes are ranked in Insider’s top three in world boxing, behind only Oleksandr Usyk.
“I think it’s gonna happen,” said Spence, according to Boxing Scene. “He wants the fight. I want the fight.”
He added: “It’s going down to negotiations. It’s definitely gonna go down this year.”
“It’s the biggest fight in boxing. I don’t know where, I don’t know when, but it’s going down this year.”
Spence’s comments echo a recent Insider report in which we reported that the teams of each respective fighter were talking about delivering a massive pay-per-view event — the most significant welterweight contest since Floyd Mayweather Jr. outclassed Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
“Everybody knows who I want next,” Spence, 32, told Showtime Sports after he finished Yordenis Ugas in the 10th round of a welterweight title unification at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on April 16.
“I want Terence Crawford next,” added Spence. “That’s the fight I want. That’s the fight everybody else wants.”
An ESPN report at the time claimed the bout would land in Las Vegas for October; however, an Insider source with knowledge of the situation said an October pay-per-view was never in play because that month’s sporting calendar is too congested. Baseball’s World Series takes place in October, for example.
November is likelier if the match were to proceed, Insider understands.
The bout would be highly competitive
Predicting a winner for boxing’s big clash, should it materialize later this year, has split the combat sports community.
Ugas’ trainer Ismael Salas told Fight Hype earlier this year that if the version of Spence that beat Ugas, returned to the ring for the Crawford bout, then it would be impossible for him to side against him.
From the corner, I could see Spence’s punch, but it was hard, it was tough,” said Salas. “Ugas showed that when you hit Spence, you can get hurt. But the problem is, who can hit him?
“If Spence fights the same way he did against Ugas, no way Crawford can beat Spence.”
Other notable figures in boxing pick Crawford, though.
YouTube channel ESNews asked the former heavyweight king Mike Tyson who would win in a Spence vs. Crawford match. “Crawford,” said Tyson, referencing an opponent they both shared.
Both Spence and Crawford beat Shawn Porter. For Tyson, the way in which Crawford beat Spence was more impressive.
“The reason why I say Crawford is because looking at the guys they both fought, like, Porter and stuff.
“Nobody did to Porter what he did to him,” said Tyson.