Who’s Next For Terence Crawford?
By Sam Volz: Terence Crawford could have a big decision to make soon if PBC decides to move Errol Spence Jr in another direction to salvage his career.
(Photo credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
Assuming the rematch doesn’t take place, Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) will have a lot of options at 154, even without fighting for a world title.
Jermell Charlo has all four belts on lockdown while he goes up to 168 to face Canelo Alvarez in September.
That’s where he’s talked about heading, and it’s the best place to go because the 147-lb division has no one left for Crawford to fight other than Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
There would be a lot of interest from boxing fans in a Craawfordd vs. Ennis fight, but it wouldn’t be a mega-fight.
If Crawford moves up to junior middleweight, he’d have these fighters as potential opponents for his next fight:
– Tim Tszyu– Josh Kelly– Brian Mendoza– Sebastian Fundora– Jesus Ramos– Liam Smith– Israil Madrimov– Bakhram Murtazaliev– Erickson Lubin
Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) using the rematch clause would be an act that would ruin his career, and you got to believe that PBC will attempt to save Errol from himself.
Spence’s pride is hurt, and he wants a chance for revenge against Crawford, but his management will likely talk him out of it because he’s met his match and can’t win.
Spence lost confidence early
“He’s giving different looks, he’s fainting, he’s punching at different angles, he’s punching at different speeds, he’s creating space on the inside better than Errol Spence is creating space on the inside,” said Paulie Malignggi on his Youtube channel, discussing the Crawford vs. Spence fight last weekend.
“It got to the point where Crawford was consistently landing the better, more violent punches on the inside, and at a certain point about halfway through the fight, in about round six, you start to notice Errol Spence is hesitant on the inside.”
Errol looked like his confidence was gone by the sixth round, and from that point on, he looked timid and just trying to survive. He would have had a chance if Spence’s power were there, but he looked weak.
“He’s getting close, and he’s just looking to hold and smother, and he’s being forced to fight on the outside because, on the inside, he doesn’t trust himself to just work because now he realizes that Crawford is punching in between him consistently or when he’s not punching in between him, he’s able to create space and get leverage on his inside punches and it’s making Spence start to doubt himself,” said Malignaggi.
“So what does he do? Every time Spence gets in close, he tries to throw a couple of punches and then hold. Not because he’s hurting all the time, but because he really doesn’t trust himself to be a better fighter on the inside than Crawford.
“What happens? At that point, you saw Spence starting to back up more consistently, and you realize at that point it’s over because even though it was around six, Spence is not a backfoot fighter. You’ve never seen Spence back up.
“How is he going to be able to outbox Crawford, who’s a guy that knows how to fight coming forward and going backward? Sure enough, the fight started getting worse and worse and worse; there were two knockdowns in one of the rounds. The shots started landing more and more consistently.
“You could see that TC was just landing more and more consistently, even with the power. The jab was stupendous. The jab was superb, but it wasn’t just the fact that it was a good jab. It was a harsh jab. It was literally busting up Errol, and it was again everything put together was creating doubt in the mindset of Errol Spence.
“Even when you’re thinking he’s creating all these angles for punches to the head, he would dig in good body shots. I thought he hurt Errol to the body a couple of times,” said Malignaggi.
Crawford fought in one stance
“We expected Errol to be doing the damage to the body, but he couldn’t do anything,” said Malignaggi. “He would get close, and he would just try to work on activity, but Terence was punching in between him. He was countering beautifully, and there weren’t really any counterpunches from Errol Spence at all.
“He couldn’t get the timing down from Crawford at all, and Crawford did this all in one stance. It ain’t like you know, we talk about the switching of Terence Crawford. He didn’t even think about going to the right-handed stance. That’s what was crazy.
“He stayed in the southpaw stance the whole time. Dismantled Spence and was more physical than him by the end of the fight. He was hurting him every single with every single shot he hit him with, and honestly, by the time it was over, you were questioning what the hell you just watched. I know I was questioning what the hell I just watched,” said Malignaggi.
“I thought Terence got old. Going into the fight, ‘He got old and won’t be able to deal with the physical pace and natural physicality of a welterweight.’ But he’s got all knockouts in this weight class. Maybe Errol waited too long and let Terence grow into this weight class because he has a 100% knockout streak in this weight class.
“He has the second-longest knockout streak in boxing, right behind Beterbiev. He has a ten or 11-fight knockout streak, and he’s knocked out some good fighters in this streak. Guys like Shawn Porter, guys like Errol Spence.
“You watch the fight, and you understand that Egidijus Kavaliauskas with Terence Crawford than Errol Spence. Would you have ever imagined that?” said Malignaggi.
Should Crawford retire?
“What a performance. Saving the best for the last. This would be a great way for Terence Crawford to walk away into the sunset,” said Malignaggi.
“Obviously, there’s so much more money to be made and so much more possibilities here for Terence Crawford. I don’t know what he’s going to decide, but it would be amazing if he walks away into the sunset.
“You talk about a storybook ending. It would be amazing if he walked away into the sunset at his best. This would be walking away into the sunset in domination, even better than Floyd Mayweather did it. Floyd was dominant in every fight, but this was a 50-50 fight.
“They fought it out. It wasn’t like a Mayweather-Pacquiao that was a dance. They fought it out, and Terence was just better from every single angle, the more complete fighter and creative fighter.
“Hats off to Errol Spence. He was going to continue to try. He was even complaining when they stopped the fight. He’s a great fighter nonetheless, but that’s what I’m talking about. The fact that Errol Spence is a great fighter and Terence Crawford made him look this ordinary.
“I would have never imagined that the winner of the fight would make the other look so ordinary. Terence Crawford, the best fighter pound-for-pound, and there is no doubt now,” said Malignaggi.