A contender for fight of the year, history will be made this week in Las Vegas as Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford square off for all the welterweight gold. Taking place at the T-Mobile Arena, this championship bout will determine the first undisputed welterweight champion in the four-belt era. In one corner stands Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KOs) who holds the WBA, WBC, IBF, and The Ring welterweight titles along with being recognized as the No. 4 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. His opponent, Crawford, also maintains an unblemished record with a remarkable 39-0 mark and is the reigning WBO welterweight champion while also being recognized as a three-division world champion.
For this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from each fighter, a predicted winner, along with more thoughts and notes about boxing wagering.
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Spence Jr. aka “The Truth” is one of the most impactful southpaw strikers in boxing. Currently a multiple-belt champion, the 33-year-old has won the vast majority of his fights via knockout at 22 wins and is coming off a TKO victory over Yordenis Ugás in the 10th round. In that bout, he not only retained the WBC and IBF titles but also was able to win the WBA (Super) welterweight title in the process. This will be his first bout since April of 2022 so he will have plenty of rest heading into this stellar fight.
In terms of chinks in his armor, there are not many for the American boxer. However, the closest he has come to losing was when he matched up with Shawn Porter in September 2019 and the bout came down to a split-decision victory for Spence Jr. Nonetheless, Crawford will be the best opponent the Texan has faced to date. A blistering fighter with tremendous power, Spence will do all in his power to become the unified champion.
A fighter that has held multiple world championships in three weight classes, Crawford aka “Bud” is an incredibly skilled fighter. In terms of his fighting style, the Nebraskan is known for his in-ring IQ, counter-punching prowess, and also his ability to switch effectively from orthodox to southpaw throughout bouts. Recognized as a former “Fighter of the Year” by ESPN in 2014 and 2017, and has 30 of his fights by way of knockout. Moreover, he has not let a fight come down to a decision since 2016, winning his last 10 fights by way of some sort of stoppage.
In terms of recent common opponents, the one that jumps off the page is Shawn Porter squaring off against both combatants. While Spence Jr. was able to narrowly stave off Porter, Crawford stopped him in his tracks in a late 2021 bout where the champion won by way of TKO in the 10th round. Moreover, he was spectacular in his last matchup in December where he knocked out David Avanesyan to retain the WBO welterweight title. If he can keep this same pace going then he has an excellent chance of knocking off Spence.
Prediction: Expect this fight to go the distance, but give the slight edge to Crawford here given his lengthier resume.
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