Errol Spence Jr. is back. He was aggressive and effective in his unanimous win over Danny Garcia on Saturday, clearing any questions that arose about how he would react in his first fight since his car accident in October 2019.
“I smiled because it was a long, long way to come back,” Spence said during a post-fight press conference. “It was a lot of sacrifice and buckling and staying focused and trials and struggles to get to this point until tonight. I got to this point and it paid off.”
His performance was great – both for the look and feel after the fight and because it clears the way for the only real question for Spence: who are you going to fight next and why is it Terence Crawford? We have waited too long as a boxing community for Spence-Crawford and with both fighters showing that they are at their best right now, it’s time to fight.
Enough of the solid world champions like Garcia or Kell Brook. Boxing needs its great fight – and Spence-Crawford would be one of the biggest fights in years with only Wilder-Fury 2 involved. Two fighters who both claim to be welterweight king, each of which has earned a spot in the top 5 of ESPN’s rankings for pounds.
But Spence said after the fight that he wasn’t worried about Crawford and that he would just see what the future holds.
“I don’t think about it,” said Spence. “I’m thinking about seeing my kids tomorrow, chilling out on my ranch and finally riding my horses after 10, 12 weeks.”
It always seemed like Crawford and Top Rank had more urgency to make the fight happen than Spence and Premier Boxing Champions. It may be about business, but if this fight is to take place, both sides must make it a priority.
Crawford was present for Saturday’s fight at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and left Las Vegas, where he recently stayed, to support Shakur Stevenson’s upcoming fight, to put his face on the radar for a future fight with Spence . However, it didn’t seem like his rival showed much interest in getting this future fight going.
“If he says he’s not worried about me, what is he doing here?” Said Spence. “I wouldn’t go to any of his fights. I’m not worried about Terence Crawford.”
It was disappointing to hear that. Any optimism Spence-Crawford has on the horizon is dashed.
The pressure has to be on Spence to take this fight on, as much and maybe even more than Crawford. But up to this point, any responsibility for realizing this struggle seems too heavy on Spence’s shoulders.
Watching Spence get hit on solid but not elite PBC fighters stops moving the needle. If Spence really wants to be the best welterweight he has to beat Crawford.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said Spence and Manny Pacquiao were his only options for Crawford’s next fight. Pacquiao may hold the other world title in the division, but this fight would be a win for Crawford or Spence if they could make it. But fighting each other is the only matchup that really matters in the eyes of the boxing world.
If we can’t get Spence-Crawford, it’s an indictment against boxing and both fighters. What is boxing if we can’t have the best who fight the best?
Spence isn’t going to be the undisputed welterweight top or have an argument as the # 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world until he takes on Crawford. Crawford needs Spence as a the Marquee opponents to cement his legacy. You need each other. It’s time.