Going into last night’s welterweight fight between Errol Spence and Danny Garcia, the big talking point was would Spence be the same fighter he was prior to that nasty October 2019 car crash he was shaken up and beaten up by. Well, we got our answer last night. “The Truth” is, Spence looked as though he had never been away for over a year, like he had never been sent flying through the sunroof of his sports car. Spence, in dominating Garcia like no-one has previously managed, looked superb. The unanimous decision victory might even be enough for Spence to take the 2020 Comeback Fighter Of The Year award. But we want more from Spence: we want to see him prove he is THE best fighter in the world, at least the best welterweight fighter in the world.
How he does that, we think, is by facing, and defeating, Terence Crawford. This fight has been, to paraphrase Bob Arum, “marinating” for many months now. Last night’s brilliant ring display by Spence, now 27-0 (21) should have been followed by a firm calling out of Crawford.
The fact that Spence didn’t call out Crawford, that he didn’t demand the fight next, was the only thing lacking from his whole performance. Bottom line: this fight absolutely needs to happen, it has to happen. Yet neither fighter seems to feel the same way. Okay, the two men fight for different teams, but politics aside, this fight can surely get made – if both sides really want it. Crawford attended last night’s fight, and that must be a good sign. Yet after the fight – nothing.
If this was the 1980s, and if Sugar Ray Leonard had just returned from a significant layoff and Thomas Hearns was there watching him do his stuff, the two rival welterweights would have wasted no time in challenging one another, in front of the whole world, with each star fighter demanding the fight. But this is not the way Spence and Crawford are going about things. Worryingly. Will this fight happen, and if so, will it happen when both men are in their prime years? Spence didn’t say anything to make us believe so last night.
“I’m not worried about Terence Crawford. As I said, I’m gonna enjoy my time with my kids, chill out and just reflect on this year and a half,” Spence said at last night’s post-fight press conference, as reported by Bad Left Hook. “We’re gonna move on, and this summer, I’m gonna see who I’m gonna fight. We’ll see. I gotta talk to my manager, Al Haymon, so we’ll take it from there.”
This is not what we wanted to hear from Spence. Far from it. Perhaps, as fine as he looked against Garcia, Spence does think he needs one more fight before going in with Crawford. Or maybe, as he said, he isn’t “worried” about fighting Crawford. But we fight fans sure are. We’re worried sick the fight doesn’t happen. Of course, Crawford, 37-0(28) should be playing his part, demanding the fight himself. Instead, “Bud” has said that in his opinion his legacy is not reliant on a fight with, and a win over, Spence. The way both Spence and Crawford are talking – or are not talking – is pretty depressing. These two men are clearly the number-one and the number-two of the 147 pound division (argue amongst yourselves who is the top dog), and they need to get it on to settle the debate regarding absolute supremacy.
Spence looked great last night and he certainly deserves the break he spoke about looking forward to taking. But next year, Spence should have one name on his lips and one name only. The same goes for Crawford.