When Mike Tyson shows up to promote a fight, you know promoters are pulling out all the stops to make it a success.
The iconic former world heavyweight champion appeared Thursday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for a first: a Mike Tyson coin toss to determine the ring walk order for Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and Terence “Bud” Crawford for Saturday's welterweight division unification fight.
Crawford called heads and won the toss. He gets to decide whether to walk to the ring last or be introduced last once in the ring. Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza told boxing journalist Dan Rafael it was Crawford's idea to resolve the issue when the fight was being negotiated.
Crawford told Espinoza he'd sleep on his decision.
Final Words From The Fighters
The final pre-fight press conference ensued in front of boxing media and members of each fighter's crew, led by master of ceremonies Brian Custer.
Both men faced off before and after the news conference. In between, both asserted he was the more skilled fighter and would win on Saturday.
“I'm gonna win because I'm the better fighter. I'm better physically and mentally. I'm more durable. I'm gonna break him down and break his will,” said Spence Jr.
“Everything about me is better than Errol,” responded Crawford. “When you look at what I do in the ring, it's better than what he does. Come fight night, I'm going to prove every doubter wrong. I'm going to show that I'm the best fighter in the world.”
Spence Jr. fired back, “He's gonna find out that my skills are superior,” He's talented, but when we talk about what my coach teaches, he's gonna see that I have great offense, defense, and stamina. It's more than just talent.”
Crawford wasn't letting it sit. “He's gonna find out the same thing that everyone else finds out. He's gonna say that on TV I look one way. In the ring, he's gonna be seeing three of me.
“They say he's the big bad wolf but come fight night, we're gonna find out if he's all that he says he is. He's gonna have to show me.”
Spence and Crawford Predict – Spence vs. Crawford
Asked whether he thought he'd knock out Spence Jr., Crawford said, “I don't go in there looking for the knockout, I go in there looking for the win. If he gets out of line, he's gonna be the next one going down.”
Spence Jr. kept it simple: “I guarantee you it's gonna be nothing but fireworks from start to finish.”
There is plenty of respect for the opponent's skills on each side, no matter how each man makes his case.
“Everyone knows what time it is. I'm ready, and he's ready,” said Crawford. Spence Jr. acknowledged the pair both plan to deliver a fight worthy of another era.
“People are gonna talk about this fight 30 or 40 years from now when you talk about legendary fights. They're gonna talk about this fight the same way they talked about the ‘Four Kings' era. There's gonna be an amateur 20 years from now watching our fight on YouTube and saying man, I want to be in a fight like that.”
Crowd Hecklers Fire Up Crawford
Near the end of the event, supporters of Spence Jr. began heckling Crawford, who fired back with language we won't repeat here at NYFights. You can listen for yourself on the Premier Boxing Champions YouTube channel.
Crawford admonished everyone to conduct themselves better. “My family, Errol's family. You got to calm down, brother. Things can get sticky real quick. This is what we do every time we come out. Social media, my ass. You doing all that talking, bro, it can turn deadly on both sides real quick.
“Support your fighter, you ain't got nothing wrong with that. Let's come together and make this event a success instead of everybody saying every time we get together it's shooting and violence … I wish Errol and his people the best.”
James and McIntyre Trade Opinions
Trainers Derrick James and Brian “Bomac” McIntyre exchanged words about their fighters too.
“Saturday night, it's time. We made this happen. We beat champions to get here,” said James, who trains Spence Jr.
“Listen, everybody got something to say. There's no more talking. Nothing else to say. My chant is, it's time to eat. It's time to make it happen. We're tired of talking. It's time to go, showtime!”
“It takes a lot of fortitude, discipline, and focus to win fights like this. Errol has that. He knows his time is on Saturday. We made this happen. We took every belt and beat champions to get here.”
“Ain't no more hiding, you can't hide no more Derrick. We're going to find out who the best man is. I respect you for what you've done in the game, but you've never been up against me and my staff,” said McIntyre, Crawford's trainer, as James catcalled McIntyre with taunts of “Cheetos!”
“You remember something. We've been here before. You're trying to get there. I can tell you how it is to be undisputed. You can't tell me shit. Sit back and watch this. I can pump my guns at you, and you can pump your guns at me but at the end of the day, them two brothers got to get in the ring.”
Crawfish Boil or Fish Fry?
We will let the fighters have the final word.
Spence Jr. “I guarantee you I'm gonna put on a great show. Bring your seasoning on Saturday night because we're gonna have a crawfish boil. Bring that hot sauce too.”
Crawford: “We're gonna have a fish fry come Saturday.”
To order the fight: PPV.COM
Official Weigh-In Information for Spence vs. Crawford
All fighters on the card will officially weigh in away from cameras at the MGM Grand Hotel between 10 a.m. and 12 noon in Las Vegas.
The weigh-in will be restaged as a ceremonial event open to fans at the T-Mobile Arena at 3 p.m. PT/6 p.m. ET. It will be live-streamed on the Showtime Sports YouTube channel.
Boxing fans, show up hungry on Saturday wherever you're watching, and let's see if we get a tasty meal at the T-Mobile Arena.