Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford. Will this be one of the great unrealized major fights of this modern era. Is all hope lost? Maybe not.
According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, the two undefeated welterweight titlists have now taken a hands-on approach to make their big welterweight unification bout, opening a direct line of communication between themselves to get a deal put together.
Crawford, who has been ordered by the WBO to defend his title against top contender Alexis Rocha, would, apparently, rather go to a big ticket Spence clash than deal with a fighter in Rocha, who would be a huge underdog and, very likely, deeply overmatched.
“I’m told that Terence Crawford has no interest in fighting Alexis Rocha, and that he still wants to fight Errol Spence next,” Mike Coppinger said during a recent episode of ESPN+’s State of Boxing. “He actually spoke to Errol Spence this week directly to try and get this moving along.
“Him and Spence agreed on a purse split that they agreed is fair, and they’re going to try and get this done now and hammer it out. Team Crawford sent a term sheet over to the other side.
“Do I think it happens? No, I don’t. I think we’re going to see Errol Spence go through with the Keith Thurman fight, and then maybe Terence Crawford will have to fight Alexis Rocha to keep his title.
“But there are still efforts being made by Crawford. He wants the fight, and Team Spence does, too.”
ESPN on-air analyst and former two-division world champ, Timothy Bradley, believes, however, that Spence wants no part of Crawford and is intentionally avoiding the idea of fighting him.
“Spence don’t want the fight. Change his name to ‘Errol Sprints,’” Tim Bradley said. “He don’t want the fight. You got Inoue and Fulton about to show down. It didn’t take that long for that fight to get done. Errol don’t want the fight, people.
“Okay, Rocha, I think it’s a great fight [for Crawford]. Why not? It’s stay busy, Crawford. Keep making your money. Keep collecting your checks. Keep sharpening your tools just in case Errol Sprints looks your way.
“I heard through the grapevine that Crawford was thinking about going and signing with Golden Boy. I think they need each other; I really do. I think.
“Golden Boy has a couple of fighters there that Crawford can fight. One is Rocha, and another one is [Vergil] Ortiz, and also, y’all going to think I’m crazy, what about [Jaime] Munguia? Crawford moving up in weight to fight Munguia.
“Golden Boy has him as well,” Bradley continued. “I think it’s a great move if it is true that he’s signing with Golden Boy, and we’ll see what happens with this whole negotiation with Crawford and Rocha.”
However, head of Showtime Sports, Stephen Espinoza, still has hope for Spence-Crawford because he believes both fighters truly do want the fight.
“I think it happens,” Espinoza said on the Boxing with Chris Mannix podcast. “I’m more optimistic than not that it still happens. I know there’s still interest, and I know there’s still desire on the Spence side.
“I believe when Crawford says he’s interested as well. As long as no one has given up and I don’t think no one has. There are certainly obstacles. [Alexis] Rocha, the sanctioning body ordered, is one of them.
“Still, I’m not going to give up until one of them are both of them are retired.”
Whether we care to admit it in our frustration or not, there is still interest in this fight and there will be interest in it whenever it finally does happen. Hopefully, that “whenever” is sooner rather than later.