Terrence Crawford blames Errol Spence Jr.’s team – and boxing in general – for the fact that the two men are not fighting this year.
Crawford and Spence are two of the very best boxers in the world, ranked No. 3 and No. 4 respectively in The Ring’s pound-for-pound rankings. Spence holds the WBC, WBA, and IBF welterweight titles, while Crawford holds the WBO belt. A unification matchup between the two is one of the most highly desired fights in the sport at moment.
Earlier this year, it appeared fans would finally get the fight they’ve wanted. But contract negotiations ultimately got in the way, and now, Crawford faces David Avanesyan on Dec. 10. Spence, meanwhile, has a mandatory title defense against Keith Thurman in the works.
“Bud” blames the entire situation on the politics of boxing – and Spence’s team.
“It is what it is – I’m moving forward with my career,” Crawford told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Me and Errol, if that fight happens, it will happen next year. I just don’t like the fact that a lot of people are blaming me for trying to make the fight. That’s about it. But my main focus is not on Errol right now. My main focus is on Daron Avanesyan. ...
“I just blame the business of boxing. I don’t blame myself for [even] one portion of the fight not being made. ... I felt like I agreed to everything that I needed to agree to. I feel like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do as an independent fighter to get that fight made. But there’s only so much I can do.”
Crawford left Top Rank promotions in 2021 after an up-and-down relationship with the company and CEO Bob Arum, even saying at the time that Top Rank was unable to secure the Spence fight, so he would go out on his own. Unfortunately, Crawford hasn’t faired any better in that department, as their planned fight fell through in the final stages of negotiation when Crawford reportedly asked for “transparency related to event expenses” as his contract did not guarantee him a purse.
Beyond that, everything else had seemingly been agreed upon, which is why Crawford feels like this isn’t on him.
“Internally, I felt like the fight was already done,” he said. “I felt like it was going to be me vs. him, but as time passed, I knew there were other plans and other things standing in the way of us fighting at that particular date...
“I think he wanted the fight. I think he really wanted the fight. I think he still wants the fight, but I don’t know what’s going on in his team. The only thing I can do is speak for myself and my team.”
Crawford went on to say that he “100 percent” believes the fight would have already been made if Spence were also independent instead of signed to Premier Boxing Champions. He doesn’t blame the promotion for trying to put Spence in “the best position possible.”
Still, the superfight was so close to being made, and falling short was a letdown to all boxing fans. It was also a letdown to Crawford, who said he cannot guarantee the fight will ever take place.
“Hopefully [it will happen],” he said. “I can’t say if it’s true or false. The only thing I can say is, if you were to ask me, ‘Does Terence Crawford want to fight Errol Spence?’ I would say true. But I can’t say if a fight is true or false, if it happens or not. Anything can happen in today’s society.”
Crawford defends the WBO welterweight title against David Avanesyan on Dec. 10 in Omaha, Neb.