Las Vegas is the home of big time boxing and this weekend it will witness the most significant welterweight fight in recent memory.
After five years of going back and forth, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr will finally clash and with the WBA, WBC, IBF & WBA titles on the line, the winner will be recognised as the greatest welterweight on the planet.
Boxing is (rightly) criticised when the big fights don’t come to fruition but it’s usually down to promoters, managers and broadcasters who get in the way. But not this time, Crawford and Spence Jr understand the significance of this fight and they both went to exceptional lengths to make it happen.
These two elite champions have 67 professional fights between them but none more significant than this one. Crawford (39-0 30KO) has been a professional for 15 years and it was in Scotland where he announced himself to the world in 2014 when he took the WBO lightweight title away from local favourite, Ricky Burns.
After claiming that first title, Crawford has gone on to claim world straps in two further weight divisions and he has dazzled fans with his destructive power, immense boxing skill and constant evolution. Despite operating at the elite level, Crawford is a known finisher and his appetite to constantly chase fight ending scenarios is why he is a fans favourite.
From humble beginnings in Omaha, Crawford has battled for everything he has and as he approaches this defining moment in his career, he will have a wealth of both life and boxing experience to lean on. Nothing has come easy for Crawford but he wouldn’t have it any other way and there is an overwhelming moment that he was made for this.
As impressive as Terence Crawford is, Errol Spence Jr (28-0 22KO) matches him in every department. As an elite amateur who represented his country at the Olympic games, ‘The Truth’ has been earmarked as dominant champion since he was a teenager.
Turning professional with a huge reputation comes with a lot of pressure but Spence Jr handled it expertly. Turning professional in 2012, the Texas native steadily built up his record in the USA before he travelled to the UK to take on Kell Brook for the IBF welterweight title. He dominated and stopped Brook in eleven rounds and it was the type of performance that put the boxing world on notice.
In the years that have passed, Spence Jr has collected more wins and more world titles, all seemingly in second gear. Dominant wins over the likes of Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas has put him in boxing pound-for-pound list and if he manages to win this weekend, he will put himself at the top of that list.
At 33 and 35 respectively, this is a now or never situation for both fighters. Their previous achievements will mean they both go down in the history books but there can be only one dominant fighter from this generation and the loser will have to accept the sport as #2 and that will hurt.
These two are so well matched from a skill point of view which means the winner will emerge based on the intangibles. This will likely come down to who wants it more, who is willing to go the furthest to cement their place as the dominant welterweight champion of this era and the feeling is Terence Crawford wins that battle.
Throughout his long career, Crawford has always set himself apart because he possesses a natural ruthless streak. While Spence Jr is a purist’s dream, Crawford is the one who enjoys the fight when it goes to dark, unimaginable places.
There is simply too much on the line here for this fight to not get brutal and it could be a spectacle for the ages. In another life, Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford would be friends. They are cut from the same cloth, modern day gladiators but on Saturday night there can be only one winner and it is worth siding with Terence Crawford by decision (15/8).
BACK Terence Crawford to win by decision 1pt at 15/8 (⭐
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PROFIT/LOSS (JULY 2023): LOSS -49.61 points