Once again, Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford have a reported date, this time July 22 in Las Vegas for the long-awaited welterweight undisputed championship mega-fight.
Joseph Santoloquito reported the news at The RING today. Reports some weeks back suggested June 17 as a date, and the potential for the fight to be finalized and announced during the Davis vs Garcia fight week ahead of their April 22 clash. At that time, we’d also heard from sources that the fight was a done deal, or at least close, though we didn’t hear a specific date at that time.
Obviously a big announcement last week did not come to pass, but negotiations have been ongoing between the sides. Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza recently said he didn’t want to get ahead of himself, but that he was confident in where things were headed.
Today’s RING report does note that contracts aren’t signed, and understandably, a lot of people are going to doubt that this will happen until they officially announce it in full. There’s extremely good reason for that stance. Fans have been burned too many times getting their hopes up.
But if you’re looking for some reasons for optimism:
- There are no actual “political” lines to cross here, Crawford isn’t signed with a promoter or broadcaster, he and his team are free as a bird to get a deal done with PBC if the terms are to their liking.
- The Davis vs Garcia fight did monster numbers for PBC and Showtime. The Benavidez vs Plant fight also, I’m told, out-performed internal expectations at Showtime and Paramount. If there was ever a time to get the broadcasters backing this thing to sign off on huge money for the fight, it’s right now. The Showtime boxing brand, particularly on pay-per-view, is hot.
- There’s been no movement whatsoever on the WBC order for Spence to fight Keith Thurman, and we know that Crawford’s WBO mandatory, Alexis Rocha, has shifted focus to a May 27 return against Anthony Young. That means Golden Boy didn’t get done what they hoped, a deal with Crawford, where the first fight would have been Rocha, and it means they don’t see it happening any time soon.
We also know that Spence really has no interest in fighting Thurman for long-held personal reasons, and Crawford, frankly, does not have a single “big fight” option that does not involve PBC, whether he stays at 147 or goes up to 154 as he’s teased. They own the names in these divisions other than Crawford himself. And the biggest money fight for him, by a lot, is Spence vs Crawford. If you’re going to work with PBC, you might as well take the biggest fight and most money.
The encouraging signs are all there. It is boxing, though, and there are a lot of egos and whatnot in play still. There are reasons to doubt, and no one will blame you if you do.
Spence (28-0, 22 KO) holds the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles at 147 lbs, while Crawford (39-0, 30 KO) has the WBO title.
Spence, 33, last fought in Apr. 2022, beating Yordenis Ugas to take the WBA belt and add that to his collection. Crawford, 35, last fought in December, knocking out David Avanesyan in a one-off pay-per-view even with BLK Prime, which did not wind up launching a new major league boxing player, to the shock of all.