Your first amorous embrace; a first descent into experimental, intoxicated hedonism; Spence vs Crawford… Things that were once yearned for finally being fulfilled….
As Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford take to the ring on Saturday night, boxing fans can breathe a collective sign of knowing relief. We deserve this. Never mind Steve Bunce trying to diminish the sport he’s spent 20 years burgling a living from (drawing the nonsensical comparison between this event and Fury’s avoidance of any meaningful heavyweight contest in October), we’ve sat through enough tawdry non-events this year to feel that, rather, we are in fact owed this.
A combined, undefeated record of 67-0 (Spence: 28-0; Crawford 39-0), this fight will see one champion emerge undisputed, arguably atop the P4P ranking list, the new IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO welterweight champion of the world.
Should he prevail, this will be the second division Crawford has fully unified, following his acquisition of all four major super lightweight tiles in 2017. He was also WBO lightweight champion in 2014, defeating Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gmboa and Rymundo Beltran. Other notable names on his record include Viktor Postol, Feliz Diaz, Jeff Horn, and Shawn Porter (the versions of both Brook and Khan don’t really deserve even this honourable, bracketed mention).
Conversely, Errol Spence has campaigned almost exclusively at welterweight, winning three consecutive United States amateur national championships at the weight, as well as being the U.S. welterweight representative at the 2012 Olympics, where he reached the quarterfinals. As a professional, he’s been a world champion since 2017, and has notable victories over Kell Brook, Chris Algieri, Lamont Peterson, Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas.
For both men, victory here would prove legacy defining. Spence deserves credit for staying at the weight when it’s looked unnatural and tough to make for some time. Crawford deserves credit for leaving Top Rank and finally getting the super fight he craved.
So forget the suggestions that something here is amiss; don’t worry if your four casual mates would rather get kitted out in Stone Island and Fred Perry and spend Saturday night polishing their sleeve tattoos in All Bar One, as a boxing fan you enjoy what you deserve… and hope this amorous pugilistic embrace takes you to soaring heights even more enduring and pleasurable than your first…
Errol Spence (28-0, 22 KOs)
Yordenis Ugas - WIN - KO (round 10)
Danny Garcia - WIN - UD (117-111, 116-112, 116-112)
Shawn Porter - WIN - SD (116-111, 112-115, 116-111)
Mickey Garcia - WIN - UD (120-107, 120-108, 120-108)
Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs)
David Avanesyan - WIN - KO (round 6)
Shawn Porter - WIN - TKO (round 10)
Kell Brook - WIN - TKO (round 4)
Egidijus Kavaliauskas - WIN - TKO (round 9)
Date: July 30th, 2023
Time: Approx. 4AM (GMT)
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada, US
Promoter: Showtime (TNT Sports)
Elsewhere on the undercard lightweight contender Isaac Cruz takes on. Giovanni Cabrera for the WBC Silver and WBA Latino lightweight titles and former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire faces Alexandro Santiago, in a fight for the vacant WBC bantamweight title.