Did you really think Errol Spence-Terence Crawford was going to take place this spring? At this moment there is a better chance of a third meeting between Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns than that mythical match-up.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN has reported that Spence (the unified welterweight champion) will be facing former welterweight titlist, Keith Thurman in April.
On the surface, it's a pretty good fight, albeit a bit past its best-buy date.
The caveat is that this fight will be a non-title affair at junior middleweight, despite Thurman being named the WBC welterweight mandatory challenger awhile back. Spence has looming obligations with Jaron 'Boots' Ennis, who is rated number one by the IBF, and then the winner of the clash between Eimantas Stanionis and Vergil Ortiz for the WBA strap.
With all those other options, it's unlikely that Crawford, who holds the WBO strap, is next.
For Spence, this will be his first bout in about a year, after he scored a 10th round KO of Yordenis Ugas last April. There is the possibility that after a decade as a welterweight, that the 32 year old will just simply stay at 154. Generally, most veteran fighters, once they move up in weight will stay there as a natural progression.
As for Crawford, it's not clear what direction he will go after he took care of David Avanesyan in December on BLK Prime.
There was a time when Thurman was considered an elite boxer, as he unified two of the welterweight belts. Back then Spence was just a promising young boxer on the rise, and Thurman was very dismissive of him. In recent years as their career fortunes have turned, it was Spence who promised to never give Thurman a payday.
Well, things change.
The harshest critic will call this a meaningless stay-busy fight. The PBC pom-pom wavers will call this an elite pairing. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. But this is a fact: since Thurman defeated Danny Garcia in their welterweight unification bout in 2017, he has performed just three times (losing to a 40-year old Manny Pacquiao) back in 2020. His other two victories have come against Josesito Lopez and Mario Barrios.
Right now, SIG Alert Spence is really holding up traffic at 147.
So this much is clear, Spence-Crawford will not be taking place during the first half of 2023. Which means that if somehow this fight is actually consummated by the fall, Spence will be 33, and Crawford will be 36. Which would make them basically a full decade older than when Leonard and Hearns met in their first encounter in 1981.
That's if it happens, ever.
We might very well be looking at the modern day version of Lennox Lewis-Riddick Bowe.
A bout I really like has been announced by Matchroom Sports for February 18 between WBA featherweight titlist, Leigh Wood, and Mauricio Lara, which will take place on February 18 in Nottingham, England. This bout will be aired on DAZN.
Wood is coming off his memorable battle versus Michael Conlan, where he scored a dramatic 12th round stoppage, while behind on the cards. Wood-Conlan is the consensus choice for 'fight of the year' in 2022.
As for 'Mayhem' Lara, he is simply one of the most entertainingly violent operators in the sport. As I like to say, he doesn't just fight like he's double-parked, he fights like he's robbing a bank. In other words, Lara is in a rush to get outta' there. Boxing fans in the UK are very familiar with him as he bludgeoned Josh Warrington in nine rounds in their first match in 2021.
This figures to be an all-action affair in front of a frenzied audience.
ESPN has a card this Saturday night from (My) Verona, New York at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, that features a mai event between heavyweights Efe Ajagba and Stephen Shaw. In another heavyweight hook up, Guido Vianello takes on Jonathan Rice....Also on this card is a crossroads battle between Adam Lopez and Abraham Nova, along with prospects, Bruce 'Shu Shu' Carrington and Brian Nova.....Matchmaker, Robert Diaz, has parted ways with Golden Boy Promotions. I'm sure he'll bounce back soon in the boxing industry...DAZN has announced that they will stream the Liam Smith-Chris Eubank Jr bout on January 21 in the States....I can be reached at email@example.com.....