In the thrilling world of boxing, matches come and go, but some leave an indelible mark, compelling enthusiasts to anticipate rematches. However, the much-discussed potential rematch between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford, set to take place later this year, has caused quite a stir within the boxing community.
In their previous encounter, Crawford technically knocked out Spence in the ninth round, an event that had all boxing aficionados on the edge of their seats. The punishing encounter caused a significant impact on Spence, which left renowned trainer Kenny Porter sceptical about Spence’s capacity to return to the ring this year.
Porter voiced his concerns about the gruelling toll the nine-round bout took on Spence, explicitly stating that he found it unwise for Spence to face Crawford again in a rematch. The severity of Spence’s defeat was palpable to all who watched the fight and, for Porter, served as a strong argument against a quick return.
However, the rematch clause in their contract stipulates that the second fight must occur within the same calendar year. This requirement pushes Spence to return to the ring in December, regardless of the toll his previous defeat might have taken on his physical and mental health. Porter, a respected figure in the boxing community, finds this alarming.
In a turn that reflects Porter’s balanced perspective, he also believes that Crawford, despite emerging victorious from their previous match, should rest for the remainder of the year. While Crawford weathered the fight with less physical injury than Spence, Porter emphasised the demanding training camp and significant mental energy that went into preparing for the fight.
Porter took his argument further by expressing that Spence should have been withdrawn from the fight after the sixth round. To Porter, it was clear after losing every round that Spence was not going to score a knockout victory, as his usual power and speed were evidently lacking. However, he conceded that Spence, exhibiting the heart of a true warrior, might still believe he can defeat Crawford in a rematch.
Adding to this discourse, another prominent figure in boxing, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, concurred with Porter’s views. Ennis, known for his outspoken nature, expressed bluntly that a rematch between Spence and Crawford would be an exercise in futility. The previous fight, according to Ennis, was so one-sided that a rematch seems devoid of any real purpose. He even goes so far as to suggest that if the Crawford-Spence rematch occurs, it would sit comfortably in the long list of pointless rematches often seen in the sport.
Ennis took the opportunity to comment on Spence’s physical state during their previous fight. He observed the apparent lack of hand speed and reflexes, which he attributed to symptoms of aging and ring wear. Rather than promoting a rematch with Spence, Ennis has pitched himself into the fray, advocating for a fight where Crawford defends his undisputed welterweight championship against him.
Ennis didn’t mince words about his views on Crawford’s victory over Spence. He characterised the bout as ‘okay’ but noted that Spence seemed off-form. Ennis speculated on whether a potential move to the 154 weight class, with its additional seven pounds, might provide Spence with an advantage, suggesting that weight could have been an issue for Spence in the prior fight.
While the rematch clause keeps a Spence-Crawford rematch on the table, it is met with reservation by both Porter and Ennis. They believe it would not be in the best interest of either boxer’s career or health. In their view, the boxing fraternity should take into consideration the athletes’ wellbeing, focusing not only on competitive aspects of the sport but also ensuring the safety and longevity of its athletes. This opinion underscores the broader conversation about the balance between the excitement of the sport and the physical toll it takes on the participants.