As the winter chill envelopes the globe, a contrasting warmth pervades the world of boxing. The community is abuzz, awaiting the rematch between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford slated for February. This bout, however, transcends the confines of a mere physical contest; it promises a chess match, where strategy will be as pivotal as strength.
Crawford, with a clear agenda, has his gaze fixed on the iconic Canelo Alvarez. Yet, the road to Alvarez is paved with obstacles, chief among them being Spence. Crawford’s plan seems to involve leveraging Spence’s natural middleweight status, aiming to draw him down to the welterweight division. Should this tactic bear fruit, a potentially weakened Spence might not possess the requisite might to disrupt Crawford’s quest towards Alvarez.
While boxing often basks in the glory of its physical confrontations, the sport is deeply rooted in cerebral strategy. There are whispers within the boxing fraternity that suggest Crawford might leverage weight negotiations, compelling Spence to relinquish a portion of his fight purse. This move, while reflecting Crawford’s astute strategic mind as the undisputed welterweight champion, also paints a picture of Spence’s potential vulnerability.
Recent outings have raised eyebrows regarding Spence’s physical condition. The 33-year-old from Texas has displayed marked fluctuations in weight, appearing particularly lean in his most recent two bouts. These alarming oscillations — with weights nearing 200 lbs in non-fight periods — have sparked concerns about his well-being. A consistent fighting weight of 147 lbs is demanding enough; pushing it further might prove perilous.
While some critics deem a rematch superfluous, especially given Crawford’s commanding victory in their inaugural bout, Spence’s determination to vindicate himself is palpable. A prior skirmish with renowned welterweights like Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis or Tim Tszyu could have possibly intensified the allure of this rematch. Yet, the stage is set, and the boxing world eagerly anticipates the upcoming clash.
On the financial front, the inaugural bout between these two stalwarts proved lucrative. Held on July 29th, the event generated an impressive $21 million in live gate receipts. However, this figure somewhat pales in comparison to the monumental $22.8 million revenue achieved by Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia earlier that year.
Despite these sizable earnings, there exist reservations. The substantial $85 asking price for the PPV broadcast, coupled with the absence of the charismatic appeal associated with legends like Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Tyson Fury, could potentially impede their pay-per-view expectations.
Those who bore witness to their previous encounter can attest to Crawford’s commendable performance. His strategic mastery was evident, flooring Spence on three separate occasions, culminating in a resounding ninth-round knockout. Such displays transcend mere victories; they carve a boxer’s name in the annals of pugilistic greatness.
The impending rematch bears monumental significance. For Crawford, the allure of a potential face-off with Canelo beckons. Conversely, Spence eyes redemption and the possibility of reinvigorating his legacy. Canelo, an interested observer, remains cognizant of the formidable challenge Crawford presents, aware that underestimating him might have profound repercussions.
Crawford’s aspirations to engage with Canelo are beset with challenges. To truly entice Canelo, Crawford might need to assert his dominance in the 168-lb weight class, clinching the pinnacle position. If personal enrichment remains Crawford’s sole drive, the much-anticipated bout with Canelo might elude him. However, should he prioritize his legacy, the arduous journey might indeed culminate in a showdown with Canelo.