Errol Spence Needs 2 Tune-ups Before Terence Crawford Rematch – Roy Jones Jr
By Jim Calfa: Trainer Roy Jones Jr. says Errol Spence Jr. needs at least two tune-ups to prepare himself mentally & physically for his rematch with Terence Crawford at 154.
Jones Jr. believes Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) needs time to adjust his game and get comfortable with the new weight class at junior middleweight before tackling a challenging second contest with Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs).
Crawford is okay with waiting on the rematch, he’ll allow Spence to get a couple of tune-ups before they fight. In the long run, Crawford will make more money by waiting for Spence to get a couple of wins under his belt because the fans will believe that he’s got a chance of winning if he looks good.
If Crawford insists on getting the rematch out of the way with Spence in December, the PPV buys will be disappointing because fans will view it as a mismatch.
With the punishment that Spence took in his ninth round TKO defeat against Crawford on July 29th, it wouldn’t be good for him to take the rematch with Terence in December, as he’s talked about.
What’s unclear is whether the rematch clause in the contract for the first Spence-Crawford has a time limit for when it can be executed. If so, Spence may have no other choice but to fight Crawford soon.
Crawford seems only to have one guy on his mind, undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo. That’s probably not going to happen because Charlo is going up to 168, and if he plays his cards right and beats Canelo Alvarez in September, he’s not going to want to come back to his old weight class to fight Crawford.
Jermell will be in the big leagues with a win over Canelo. Hopefully, Crawford hasn’t put all his eggs in one basket by falsely assuming Charlo will return to 154 to defend his IBF, WBA & WBC titles against him.
Spence needs two tune-ups
“As a coach, I would get Errol checked out to make sure that everything is neurologically OK, and if his mind [brain] and his body is ok, then we’ll consider a fight at 154, but we need some time to make some adjustments because we haven’t been forced to make adjustments in our career,” said Roy Jones Jr. to Fight Hub TV, on whether Errol Spence Jr should steam straight into a rematch with Terence Crawford in December.
Spence will need to fight two good junior middleweights for him to make the proper adjustments to his game. It won’t work if he’s put in with no-hopers designed to make him look good.
Also, what’s essential is that Spence controls his weight and doesn’t balloon up to the 190-200 lb region again. That’s too much weight for Spence to take off for him to have a shot at beating Crawford at 154.
If Spence insists on power-feeding himself, he should forget about the rematch with Crawford and move up to 168 or 175, where he doesn’t need to trim much weight off in camp.
“So, if we’re going to make some adjustments, we’re going to take some time and go work on doing different things,” said Jones Jr. “Truthfully speaking, we should sign a rematch clause, but let us have won or two fights between to get ourselves right for the rematch.
“So if we can work and get us a couple of fights in that we can work on our other tools in our toolbox that we haven’t used, it gives us a chance to come back and fight a much better fight.
“Secondly, we don’t have to pull ourselves down so far in weight at 154. So maybe we won’t have to be as sluggish with the weight because we know that Errol has been killing himself for years now to make 147.
Errol needs a different mindset
“Last but not least. The way we come into the fight has to be different. You have to come into the fight with a mindset of, ‘We are a pound-for-pound best, but we’re also fighting one of the pound-for-pound best.’ When you know that, that changes the whole landscape,” said Jones Jr.
It’s easier said than done for Spence to change his mindset for the rematch with Crawford because that takes time, training a lot of activity, and Spence doesn’t have any of those things going for him if the rematch clause has a short duration.
Spence had fought twice in the last four years before fighting Crawford. Some of that was due to injuries from two car crashes and an eye problem, but he wasted a lot of time voluntarily sitting on the sidelines.
“The weight isn’t what’s going to make a difference. That’s why I told you all those three things,” said Jones Jr. “All those things have to take place because if he goes in and fights Bud with the way he is now, he can fight him at 154, he can fight him at 165. None of that will matter.
“I’m a guy that says with great confidence because I know. I fought opponents from 153 to opponents at 226. Before I lost the weight coming back down [from heavyweight to 175], it didn’t matter who you put in front of me. They weren’t winning.”
Crawford has failed to take risks
“So with Bud never having had that drastic weight loss, never had that drastic car accident or nothing like that. Anyone you put in front of him, he’s going to take them apart,” said Jones Jr.
In criticism of Crawford, he’s not pushed the boundaries of his career by taking risks. He’s been satisfied with playing it safe, not interested in moving up in weight to broaden his horizons, increase his popularity and make more money.
He’s been content to ply his trade at 147, fighting mostly nobodies and missing out. The reason Crawford has been avoided is that he’s failed to build up his popularity by going the extra yard in promoting his fights, and he’s failed to take risks by moving up to 154, 160 & 168 to take on the bigger names.
The ambition hasn’t been there on his part, which is why he’s been trapped, stultified in an alien pattern of nothingness at 147, and wasted so much time.