Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford finally meet on Saturday night.
You know it, we know it, let’s just get into it. Who wins?
Scott Christ (63-29)
This is a great fight, two of the best in the world, all the real marbles — and the belts — at 147, settling the debate, for now, and finding out who the best welterweight in the world really has been in the post-Mayweather and Pacquiao era of boxing
To go from Mayweather and Pacquiao to having guys like Spence and Crawford is a blessing for any division, and they’ve firmly established themselves as the best in the game. Boots Ennis is coming up behind them, no question, but he may have to simply follow Spence and Crawford as they followed Floyd and Manny, try to be a new flag bearer without dethroning a king themselves.
Anyway, we’ve seen these two at their best repeatedly. We know how great they are. I think their styles match nicely, with similarities and ways they are very different, but they both have a genuine winner’s mentality, they are there to win, they are there to be the best. They both have that in them, and I don’t expect anyone to fold here and get picked apart.
I do think Crawford will win here. I think he’s just a little bit better and may have a slight bit more depth to his game. But this is where we find out 110 percent who these guys really are, both of them, because they’re never going to have a better opponent, and they haven’t to date. Crawford UD-12
Wil Esco (72-20)
As the original herald of Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, long before either one was even sniffing a world title, seeing the two fight for undisputed supremacy and a place in boxing lore is like being a proud parent. And like a parent, asking me to pick a winner is like asking me to pick my favorite child. Of course I have a favorite, but it’s generally considered to be in poor taste to acknowledge such. Better to do this through the guise of ‘analysis’.
There are so many dimensions to this fight, more than I have the space to get to entirely here. The best news is both Spence and Crawford appear to be in tremendous physical condition, setting the stage for what should be a great performance for both. I’ve seen some float the idea that these fighters are arguably past their primes, but I’ve seen nothing worthy of actually substantiating that claim. So while I nitpick over who has the advantages in each scenario, the two things that stand out to me the most are 1) Crawford can get hit clean in early rounds; and 2) his sharp and powerful counterpunching.
Looking back at tape there I’ve seen far inferior fighters that were able to tag Crawford early in fights while he was ‘downloading’ info to stage his onslaught, and against someone like Spence that could be problematic. But the saving grace I see here for Crawford is that he’s one of those rare fighters who becomes even more dangerous once they’ve taken a good shot. Crawford gets hit clean and wants to immediately respond in an almost disproportionate manner, leveraging both his fury and skill to make his opponents pay. And it’s not so much strategy as it is simply ingrained into his personality, which is why I couldn’t really get on board with the podcast theory about the fighters coasting to a decision, knowing they have a guaranteed rematch.
Spence is a strong and steady fighter, which will provide counter opportunities, thus I think it’s incumbent on him to make a serious impression on Crawford early to do enough damage and prevent Crawford from retaliating as he otherwise would. This fight could be tentative right up until the first solid punch lands, and then I think it kicks off immediately, which I don’t expect to take more than a couple rounds. But in that firefight I just suspect Crawford lands something quicker and harder and we all know how he is as a finisher.
If it’s a fight that goes to the cards, I think split draw is the convenient call. But if this is a fight where both men really go for it, I see it having a conclusive ending. Crawford TKO-10
John Hansen (64-28)
Never trust a man from Omaha. Spence UD-12
Patrick Stumberg (71-21)
It really is spectacular to watch Terence Crawford find his opponent’s weakness and immediately make them look like they don’t belong in the sport. He might just have the best killer instinct in the entire sport, and based on the trail of bodies he’s left in his wake, it’s easy to imagine even a generational talent like Errol Spence Jr getting beaten into the dirt.
It’s the part before the humiliating thrashing that concerns me. When he doesn’t just flat-out outclass opponents like David Avanesyan, Crawford is very patient in his analysis. He’s still lethal enough to take rounds from second-tier fighters while in info-gathering mode, but we saw against Shawn Porter that he can be out-hustled. Spence is big, powerful, and skilled enough to build an insurmountable lead before Crawford gets into gear. Plus, even a peak Crawford isn’t so far above Spence that he can reliably stop him.
If Spence comes out like he did against Ugas, marching forward and physically overwhelming Crawford from the opening bell, he can delay “Bud’s” eureka moment until it’s too late to matter. I think he’s got what it takes. Spence UD-12
Isaac Cruz vs Giovani Santillan
- Scott: Cruz TKO-8
- Wil: Cruz TKO-6
- John: Cruz TKO-8
- Patrick: Cruz TKO-9
Nonito Donaire vs Alexandro Santiago
- Scott: Santiago SD-12
- Wil: Donaire TKO-10
- John: Donaire UD-12
- Patrick: Donaire SD-12