Crawford Vs. Spence Rematch Criticized By Paulie Malignaggi
By Dan Ambrose: Paulie Malignaggi is critical of Terence Crawford & Errol Spence Jr. fighting a rematch after the one-sided fight that took place in their first encounter on July 29th.
Malignaggi feels that the way boxing is going, with fighters signing two-fight deals that allow them to force a rematch, regardless of whether the fight is competitive or not, is bad for the sport.
It’s obviously good for the losing fighter to make money, but ultimately it hurts the sport. So instead of Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) to potentially face the Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo winner, Tim Tszyu or Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis next, he has to face Spence again.
The organizers for the Crawford-Spence II will have their work cut out for them trying to attract interest from the boxing public, given how one-sided their first fight was.
Ideally, Spence should have taken one or two tune-ups against a top contender at 154 before executing the rematch clause, but it’s possible that the contract language may not have allowed for that.
Two-fight deals hurting the sport
“For me, I was t really never crazy about these rematch clauses automatically being imposed in the contract,” said Paulie Malignaggi to Fight Hub TV, reacting to Errol Spence Jr. activating the rematch clause to force a second fight with Terence Crawford after losing to him by a ninth round knockout in a one-sided fight last July.
“You kind of get it when the fighter, the champion, gives the challenger of voluntary title shot. We started seeing this probably in the last 30, maybe 35 years. Before that, the fight just happened, right?”
Rematch clauses can sometimes lead to good fights, but in a lot of cases, they don’t. A recent example of a rematch clause sticking fans with an albatross was with the Haney vs. George Kambosos Jr. Haney whipped Kambosos easily in the first fight but then had to fight him again due to the rematch clause.
“You can’t activate the rematch clause with a mandatory because the fighter has to get a title shot regardless of whether he’s going to get a rematch or not,” said Malignaggi. “But now you’re starting to see the new trend where guys are signing two-fight deals.
“So there’s a rematch clause for both guys, and so whether you win or whether you lose, you’re going to fight twice, and you’re just going to basically steal people’s money, even if the fight the first fight sucks, and you don’t want to watch it.
“For me, you just keep sinking down the same dirty hole that keeps putting boxing you in more and more of a dirty place. You can’t definitively decide on a rematch until you have the first fight settled and you realize that it will sell in a rematch.
“Now you’re getting fights that deserve rematches like Haney and Lomachenko but don’t get rematches, but then you get fights where nobody cares about a rematch because they were one-sided and boring ultimately like Spence and Crawford where it was one-sided and non-competitive.
“You’re going to get that rematch. There’s talk of Wilder and Joshua also signing a two-part deal. First, we would have to see if the first fight is a fight worth watching again,” said Malignaggi.
Crawford-Spence = same outcome
“So in this particular situation [Crawford-Spence], I really have no interest in the rematch,” said Paulie. “The first fight decided it for me. I don’t have no cares in the world for the rematch. I don’t want to see it. They’ll still make it, and they’ll do what they want to do.’
The only way Spence has any shot at beating Crawford is if he fights in a weight class where he won’t be as drained.
As Floyd Mayweeathere Jr. said, 154 won’t work for Spence. He needs to be fighting at 160 or 168 because he’s too big for the 154-lb division, but Crawford likely won’t agree to move up that far for the rematch.
“It’s not up to me, but personally, I don’t care for that rematch, no,” said Paulie. “I was told through the grapevine even before the first fight that they had done a two-fight deal, and the second fight was going to be at 154.
“So the fact that this fight is going to be at 154 doesn’t surprise me because I had heard that this was the case that they signed, even before this [first Spence vs. Crawford] fight.
“Now that seems to be the direction that we’re going; it makes sense because Errol was barely making weight [at 147] to begin with. So, it makes sense.
“Again, I don’t see anything different. It was very clear that Terence could hurt Errol. Terence can clearly hurt Errol and Errol. For me, I didn’t even see an attempt at an adjustment.
“Errol has to come forward to try and beat you and mow you down. If he starts going backwards, he’s out of ideas. He can’t fight going backwards. Once he started going backward in that first fight, essentially, the competitive aspect of the fight was over.
“I don’t know what he’s going to do in terms of being more deceptive and coming forward that he didn’t show us the first time and he hasn’t shown us his whole career.
“There’s not enough deception. Terence is very, very deceptive, and he can hurt you, obviously, and now we’ve seen it. I just don’t see anything else happening besides the same result,” said Malignaggi.