If Spence and Crawford Don’t Fight, That’s Fine
If you’re a boxing fan, the pain is chronic. Inevitable. Spence and Crawford are still negotiating.
Some fans were led to believe that the undefeated champions would finally square off last year. They didn’t and now we’re back to nearly the identical headlines from last year.
Neveruary 1. Maybe that’s the next “scoop” date?
Oh, and to boot, Spence and Crawford isn’t signed or maybe anywhere close to being signed. Fantastic. Predictable. Miserable. The life of a boxing fan in this generation. Pain.
Past the Point of Caring About Spence and Crawford
Sorry, if I don’t sound like I’m in a buoyant state. I don’t care about this fight. Not anymore at least, and from the reactions on social media, I suspect that feeling is practically universal.
“Oh, no. Who could have seen this coming?” one user sarcastically tweeted when the latest “update” came out.
Another stated: “Nobody even cares anymore [about] this BS matchup. They need to have [mandatories] so the next generation of [hopefully] real fighters can take their lame places in the class.”
Last year, the welterweight showdown was seen as a way to “save boxing.” Last Friday also happened to be the 16-year anniversary of the Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. Cinco De Mayo superfight in Las Vegas.
That was also billed as the bout to save boxing. Every time we have a major bout, it is more often than not promoted as the one to save boxing.
Larry Merchant continues to be proven correct: “Nothing will kill boxing, and nothing can save it.”
If Spence Crawford Doesn’t Happen, Whatev
Spence and Crawford may never happen, and the sport will move on. And at this point, we should. Regardless of who’s at fault, it’s a waste of time.
Per RingTV’s latest report, “One side appears set. The other side isn’t yet.” If this is the case, after nearly a year of negotiations, shouldn’t that be a hint? Maybe this just isn’t meant to be.
This situation pales in comparison to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao taking five years to fight.
At least they maintained some semblance of activity while fans clamored for them to square off.
From 2010-2014, Mayweather fought Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero, Canelo Álvarez, and Marcos Maidana (twice) leading up to Pacquiao.
The Filipino boxed Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, Mosley, Márquez, Brandon Rios, Bradley (again), and Chris Algieri.
Too Much Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Spence and Crawford have amassed five bouts combined in the last three years. This is a wretched level of activity.
Unlike last year, the sport is moving in a positive direction.
Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia fought on April 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per-View. Albeit not a great fight on a competitive scale. But, Davis won via seventh-round knockout.
It was a box-office success, generating approximately 1.2 million pay-per-view buys in the U.S.
That’s the most buys for a sanctioned bout since Canelo Álvarez-Gennadiy Golovkin I in 2017, which produced 1.3 million.
But that once dwindling light has been augmented by other prizefights.
Good Stuff Coming Up, Forget Spence and Crawford
Devin Haney will defend his undisputed lightweight championship against Vasiliy Lomachenko on Saturday, May 20, headlining a Top Rank Pay-Per-View on ESPN+ from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
And following a brief hiatus, Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez will battle for the Scotsman’s WBO junior welterweight title on June 10 from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.
And who knows what other fights are on the horizon, but it’s promising.
Spence and Crawford may fight two years from now, perhaps three years down the road, but that dish is already suspect. Overmarination.
Many will take a bite, but it won’t taste the same. Or maybe it’ll just rot to pieces before they make it to the ring. It seems we’re on the path for the latter, which might be a good thing.
I was wrong to say that boxing was terminally ill earlier this year, and I know better; the game will continue in its flawed state and probably outlive most of us.
Mayweather Model Has No Shortcuts
We have a generation of boxers who dream of making Mayweather money.
Mayweather left a model, but unlike most video games, there are no cheat codes. From 1998-2000, Mayweather fought 12 times, half of them world title fights.
Say what you want about his way of expressing himself; he earned that money.
But the door to the vault is reserved for a select few. Davis will likely do the same if he continues to fight top-level opposition. Alvarez has enjoyed a key to that type of vault.
Spence and Crawford are tremendously skilled, and amongst the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters, but outside of the ring, they are virtually unknown. That can’t possibly help finalize a pay-per-view show.
Spence and Crawford Are Running Out Of Time
The most significant issue is timing. Both fighters are not getting any younger.
Spence turned 33 last month and Crawford turns 36 in September.
And to boot, Spence, who is already a big welterweight, will likely have no choice but to move up to 154 pounds sooner rather than later, perhaps ending his stated career goal of attempting to become undisputed welterweight champion.
Were the futile negotiations worth the wait? Could Spence have claimed a belt at 154 by now?
These burning questions will soon become oozing regrets if both fighters continue with this circus any further.
If Spence and Crawford don’t fight, that’s fine. Jaron “Boots” Ennis and Eimantas Stanionis are more than willing to fill the void, as they've been calling for their shot for a while. In other words, we'll move on.
Spence and Crawford should as well — for their own sake and ours.