To hell with Keith Thurman. After ‘whacking a welterweight' and yanking the WBO belt from Jeff Horn to prove a superior yang to yin, it's time for talks about Terence Crawford V Errol Spence Jr to begin.
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It really began last October. At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, just before WBC super welterweight champion Jermell Charlo (who was exposed by Austin Trout) exploded a bomb on the chin of Erickson Lubin, sat IBF welterweight champion Spence with then WBC/WBA welterweight king Thurman. They appeared like modern day equivalents of Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns, but only one of them was “The Truth.”
I posed a question to “One-Time” about “Bud” and a pipedream called “The Hornet,” Thurman said: “Ain't nobody worried about Jeff Horn overseas… that's real talk.” He said this before saying that Crawford needs to “whack up a weltwerweight” to prove 147lb relevance and well, now he has. The problem for Thurman is that he's no longer relevant and may now need a Jeff Horn to prove he's even worth discussing. That's real talk.
In front of a packed and animated MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas…
…that included Lady Gaga and the Black Panther ff's, Crawford finished what Manny Pacquiao started in the same 9th round last year. Conducting a Boxing 101 clinic up until 2:33 of the ninth frame, Crawford conjured images of a perfect 10, which is exactly what a match-up between himself and Spence Jr rates as. Give me all of the potential fights that can be made in the “sweet science” and pick one out that rates better than this in the glamour division. I'll wait (whistling Dixie)… And if your casual fan ass goes off into Anthony Joshua Vs Deontay Wilder, then you either need to start smoking some new Bud, or “You can't handle ‘The Truth'!”
I saw Crawford (33-0, 24KOs) vs Horn (18-1-1, 12KOs) as a modern iteration of Floyd Mayweather's epic December 2007 encounter with Ricky Hatton and in many ways it was. It is now also a reason why there can exist healthy debate as to whether or not Crawford is in fact the world's best fighter. Consider that Mayweather was considered by many to be pound-for-pound #1 after finally pounding a very stubborn Hatton.
Mayweather, however, was the bigger fighter making Hatton come up to 147, whereas Crawford was the smaller fighter coming up to face Horn at 147. To be fair, I don't see Horn as better than Hatton was, but it's at least evened out by the weight disparity. Crawford had no problems solving his bigger Hatton with more ease.
SUGAR RAY LEONARD VS THOMAS HEARNS 2.0
If boxing is serious, it would seem the most logical thing for Bud to do would be to face the winner of what should be a primal war between Danny “Swift” Garcia and “Showtime” Shawn Porter for Thurman's vacated WBC title. I think Swift bludgeons Showtime, just as I believe – stylistically – Bud would make Swift work out of Garcia.
That means after Spence opens up a major can of whoop ass on Carlos Ocampo next week in Dallas on SHOWTIME, then the next best thing he absolutely would want to do (as he's told myself and anyone else who will listen) is finally make Thurman face him. Even assuming Thurman has turned into The Bionic Man upon return, Spence DESTROYS any version of Thurman, setting up the best superfight the division can offer since Oscar De La Hoya snatched defeat from victory over Felix Trinidad.
I don't know who would win this fight, which is the best thing to know about Crawford V Spence, because you don't either. We didn't really know who would win between Mayweather and Pacquiao in 2010, and the greedy gods of boxing made sure we will never know. It would be a travesty if that happened to Errol Spence or Terence Crawford, because its probably a better fight than Sugar Ray Leonard V Thomas Hearns I. In Crawford, we're witnessing a more versatile Pernell Whitaker with the mentality of Thomas Hearns. In Spence, we're looking at the ring IQ and physicality of Sugar Ray Leonard with the approach of Sonny Liston from the southpaw stance.
Just think, around this time last year we were all shocked by a Pacquiao fight on free ESPN, just as we were irritated by Crawford on an ESPN+ App this year. By next year, a superfight could literally be in the palm of your hands.