Whether you want it it or not, the rematch between undisputed welterweight champion, Terence Crawford, and Errol Spence will be taking place. It was reported late last week that Spence had formally triggered the rematch clause.
Which has triggered many boxing fans who would rather see another bout, or at least not see Crawford-Spence II immediately.
Back on July 29th, Spence came into this bout as the WBC/WBA/IBF welterweight champion, and considered the best in the weight class. While Crawford had the WBO strap around his waist coming into the highly anticipated clash. What was thought to be a competitive bout, instead became a one-sided thrashing that saw Spence sent to the canvas thrice, and then stopped in nine
The gap in both skill and execution seemingly widened after ever round. The harder that Spence tried to press the action, the more he was made to pay for his determination by the sharp, accurate counter-punching of 'Bud', who was razor sharp on this night. This wasn't so much a prizefight but a coronation for Crawford who staked his claim as the best boxer of this current generation.
With the one-sided nature of this bout, the consensus is that a rematch was unnecessary and unwanted by the masses. After all, return bouts should be reserved for fights that are competitive, or marred in some sort of controversy.
This was neither.
Esther Lin/Showtime Sports
But Spence made it clear at the post-fight press conference that he would like another go at it. Those statements were then confirmed recently, and it looks like Crawford-Spence II is inevitable.
There are those like me who believe that immediate rematch clauses should be banned. My view is that in an era where world-class boxers perform so infrequently, that unless there is a public outcry for a second chapter of a fight, the game would be better off with more variation in terms of match-ups. But since I'm not the commissioner of boxing, that wont happen any time soon.
The selling point for the rematch from Spence's followers (some would say 'cult') is that he was weight drained after a decade plus as a professional at 147. Which is in direct contrast to the party line that stated coming into their initial bout that Spence was the natural welterweight, and therefore bigger and stronger than Crawford. The belief is that at junior middleweight, Spence will be back to his old self.
In the agreement for their first fight, the loser had the option to exercise the rematch clause, with the winner to determine the weight class. So as of now, it's now guaranteed that their next bout will take place at the junior middleweight limit.
When asked about this on 'the 3 Knockdown Rule', Crawford stated," I'm in charge now, the ball's in my court. I'm the point guard, so I'm able to do whatever I want at this point in time -- at whatever weight."
But there is an argument that this is the price to pay to have gotten Spence and Crawford in the ring to begin with after five long years of posturing from both sides. It does beat a scenario in which they never meet inside the ring. If there was no insurance policy for certain marquee boxers, many of these big fights would never come to fruition. You could say that these rematch clauses are the 'Allstate' policies for boxing.
I want to make this clear, I am not against rematches. They have been a vital piece of boxing history, and they absolutely should not go away. I still recall that many of the great rivalries of the past were multi-fight series had fights that took place over several years, with other bouts taking place in-between for the combatants. A good example would be Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales who had a legendary trilogy that played out in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
But perhaps that from a bygone era of boxing, the business had changed in a lot of ways (and not all of it for the good), and this is simply the new template for the major events. It is what it is.
The price to have gotten Spence-Crawford I, is to have Crawford-Spence II.