As the year winds down, the boxing community is awash with speculation and anticipation. The rematch between the formidable Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr., initially expected by the end of 2023, seems to be ensnared in a web of delays and negotiations. With Stephen Espinoza of Showtime hinting at a possible push to 2024, many are left wondering about the intricacies behind this strategic postponement.
One of the primary reasons cited for this delay is the sheer logistics of “running out of time” to fit in such a significant bout in the already crammed calendar of 2023. However, looking beyond the surface, the weight class for the fight stands out as another contentious issue adding complexity to the scheduling drama.
Spence’s activation of his rematch clause doesn’t make things straightforward. Espinoza shed light on the complexities involved, saying, “Errol did exercise the rematch clause. It’s not just saying, ‘Hey, I don’t want to fight at this class. I want to fight this class.’ It’s a discussion.” This dynamic involves more than just a fighter’s preference; it embodies the spirit and integrity of the sport.
Espinoza’s cautionary words indicate that the weight class shouldn’t be a smokescreen to evade challenging matches. If a boxer, for instance, commits to 147, he shouldn’t then circumvent a rematch by hopping to a 154 bout soon after. The essence, as Espinoza put it, is to ascertain where a fighter genuinely intends to compete. He emphasized, “It’s sort of like, ‘No, let’s figure out where are you actually going to be fighting at.”
Amid this backdrop of negotiations and strategic decisions, Crawford’s potential preferences add another layer to the narrative. The grapevine suggests his possible inclination towards battling the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo match. This revelation comes amidst Crawford’s explicit wish to transition to 168, eyeing a face-off with the Canelo-Jermell victor. Adding to the intrigue, Jermell’s recent hints about moving down to 154 to possibly challenge Crawford raises questions about his confidence in clinching the Canelo bout.
Crawford’s perspective on the rematch with Spence reveals a tapestry of tactical decisions and strategies. A December showdown at 147 lbs seems to be on the cards, as confirmed by Crawford. He stressed the stipulation in their contract, stating, “The contract states that either one or the other has got to notify in writing.” Given this clause, Crawford’s preference for 147 might be more than just convenience. A potential weight-drained Spence at 147 might be less of a challenge compared to a fully-prepared Spence at 154. Such decisions offer insights into the nuanced strategies of top-tier boxers, each move meticulously planned to increase the odds of victory.
Yet, in the grander scheme, Crawford’s gaze seems to be set further afield. Beyond the highly anticipated rematch with Spence, he is eying a monumental face-off with Canelo Alvarez. Such an endeavor means bypassing notable contenders in the 168-pound category, such as David Benavidez, David Morrell Jr., Diego Pacheco, and Demetrius Andrade. Crawford’s ambitions, while lofty, are clear indications of his desire to solidify his legacy in boxing history.
On the upcoming Spence rematch, Crawford stated with clarity and conviction, “He [Spence] exercised the rematch, and that’s the fight that should happen next.” This emphasizes the weight and significance of their forthcoming duel. However, Crawford’s remarks about Spence suggest more than just competitive spirit, bordering on rivalry. Asserting his dominance, Crawford claimed, “When you compare Errol Spence to Terence Crawford, there is no comparison.”
Navigating through these layers of strategy, ambition, and pride, the Crawford vs. Spence rematch saga is shaping up to be more than just a bout. It encapsulates the essence of professional boxing – where every decision, both inside and outside the ring, can tip the scales of legacy, honor, and history.