This weekend Jake Paul faces Nate Diaz, and quite frankly, I have no interest in it. I have nothing against it, but it just isn't my cup of ginseng tea. So with that said, some final thoughts in the aftermath of Terence Crawford's dominant 9th round knockout of Errol Spence to become the undisputed welterweight title.
For Crawford this wasn't just another belt to his vast collection, but really vindication and confirmation of his Hall-of-Fame career. He still has some more chapters to write, and the accolades are rolling in.
I asked Larry Merchant earlier this week what he thought of 'Bud', and he said what he saw was a ''transcedent performance''. In my previous column I wrote about how Doug Krikorian, who covered a multitude big events during his time at the Herald-Examiner, believed that Crawford could compete very well with the likes of Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Robert Duran and Marvin Hagler.
Merchant told me that he actually agreed with that assessment.
Hey, if these two give Crawford their seal of approval, who am I to argue?
Much of Crawford's career was spent under the Top Rank banner (after starting with TKO Boxing), and I was curious to see what Bob Arum had to say about what took place. For years, Crawford-Spence was bogged down in the usual boxing politics. It wasn't till Crawford departed Top Rank, that this fight was consummated.
Arum told SNAC.com on Monday, "I laughed, because I kept saying all along that Crawford was a much better fighter than Spence. Also, smarter. Now, nobody has mentioned what the big difference was, look at Spence's body of work, he fought only two southpaws in his whole career. Which indicated to me, that he didn't know how to fight a left hander. A lot of fighters have trouble with lefties, and look at what Crawford did."
From the very beginning, Crawford fought from the southpaw stance, and quickly established his right jab on this night at the T-Mobile Arena. "Spence didn't know how to handle it," remarked Arum. "Crawford won the fight with power in his lead hand, which was his right hand."
While Arum no longer promotes Crawford, and was hit with lawsuit from his former client, he stated, "as far as his ability, he is superb."
On the flipside, Spence has some interesting decisions to make in the wake of his first professional loss. He has indicated on social media that he will enforce the rematch clause. Many have questioned those intentions, and Stephen A. Smith of ESPN went on air and stated that Spence should consider retirement.
Some will state that Smith is overreacting given that it was just his first loss in 29 fights, and he's still just 33(which isn't considered 'old' by today's standards). But there is some nuance to this discussion. Spence has been in a horrific auto accident, had eye surgery, has not always lived the most disciplined lifestyle, and now took a bit of a beating this past weekend.
There are losses where a piece of you is never retrieved. Some defeats leave more than just a blemish on your record.
Marcos Villegas of FightHub TV conducted some really solid interviews this week with the likes of Vergil Hunter and Kenny Porter, who expressed concern over the possibility of an immediate rematch. I spoke to two other well-known trainers, who flat out told me that not only would they not authorize a return bout if Spence was their boxer, they wouldn't even let him back in in the ring for at least the rest of the year.
Crawford-Spence needed to happen.
Crawford-Spence II, does not. At least not immediately.
So is there any chance that newly minted WBC/WBO jr. featherweight champion, Naoya Inoue. who dispatched Stephen Fulton in eight rounds last week in Tokyo, Japan, returns to the States?
"Yes," said Arum, emphatically, who's company has an interest in the Japanese superstar. "He'll be back at least once, next year."
'The Monster' has performed in America three times, but should he continue his winning ways by becoming undisputed against Marlon Tapales later on in '23, he figures to be a much bigger entity in this country this time around. There have been some comparisons to another standout Asian, Manny Pacquiao.
But Arum points out, "it's a different fan-base, there are thousands and thousand of Filipino's in the United States, less so with the Japanese. But Inoue is a great, great young man, and an unbelievable fighter. He has a lot more to accomplish in the sport of boxing."
The veteran promoter says that Los Angeles will most likely host Inoue's return to America in 2024.
On this weeks edition of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule', Mario Lopez and I discuss Crawford-Spence at length, and we are joined in-studio by unified minimumweight champion, Seniesa Estrada. Here is the YouTube link to the show:
And hit the Linktree to subscribe to the show on your preferred podcast platform:
Amanda Serrano faces Heather Hardy on the Paul-Diaz card....Showtime is replaying Crawford-Spence this Saturday night at 9 pm, ET/PT.....The WBC has approved Regis Prograis vs. Devin Haney for their 140 pound title, with Haney being their 'champion in recess' at 135....By the way, when and where is Deontay Wilder fighting again?.....Yeah, I can't wait for some NFL pre-season football....I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org......