By Chris Williams: Oscar De La Hoya is worried that with the way Terence Crawford & Errol Spence Jr are waiting so long to fight finally, one of them could get beaten.
De La Hoya says he’d prefer to see the Spence-Crawford fight happen “sooner rather than later,” but unfortunately, he’s not in control of either to negotiate.
With Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) turning 36 this year and Spence potentially moving up to 154, it doesn’t look like we’ll see them fight in 2023.
Crawford didn’t help matters by recently bailing out of the negotiations with Spence to defend his WBO belt against David Avanesyan on BLK Prime PPV.
Not surprisingly, the pay-per-view numbers were never released for the Crawford-Avanesyan fight, but it’s rumored to have been quite low. Why that’s important is because Crawford won’t be able to get the split he wants for a fight against Spence if once again shows that he’s not a PPV draw.
In the meantime, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis is quickly catching up to both fighters in terms of star power, and he’s done it so rapidly just by fighting often and entertaining fans with his knockouts.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) will be fighting Keith Thurman in April, and after that, he’s got to decide whether he wants to face Crawford or fight other opposition.
Spence & Crawford are waiting too long
“They’re waiting a little bit too long, but somebody made a great analogy, I guess, when Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvelous Marvin Hagler fought around the same age, and it was an amazing fight,” said Oscar De La Hoya to Fight Hub TV when asked if the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fight is past it’s sell-by-date for their welterweight clash.
“I guess that’s why Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis are so big when it happens in April because both guys are in their mid-20s [correction: Gervonta is in his late 20s] and undefeated,” said De La Hoya in steering the conversation from the original topic of Spence-Crawford to his fighter Ryan Garcia.
The reason Tank-Garcia will be a huge fight is because of Ryan’s nine million+ social media followers, many of which aren’t boxing fans but will still order the fight on PPV because they want to see him.
If Spence & Crawford had the social media following that Ryan Garcia has, their fight would be huge, and they would have already fought a long time ago. Only hardcore boxing fans are familiar with Spence and Crawford, as they’re not crossed over to casual fans.
What’s held those two fighters back is their communication skills outside of the ring, lack of social media presence, and the lackluster opposition that they’ve both had during their careers. If Crawford had fought quality guys that people cared about, he’d be a lot more popular than he is today.
Oscar picks Crawford to win
“I think Crawford is going to do a number on him,” said Oscar in picking WBO belt holder Crawford to defeat Spence. “Stylistically, he’s more diverse, he has better technique, and he moves around more.”
If Spence & Crawford are using walkers or canes by the time they fight, it hardly matters if Terence wins. Whoopee. Just another fight involving two old guys, as we saw with the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, which didn’t happen until both fighters were on the wrong side of 30.
“I love Spence, he’s a great fighter, but Crawford, he knows how to change it up, switch it up,” said De La Hoya. “He has A, B, C, D & E game plans. Spence has A, B, and C, but he’s maybe missing D.
“Yeah, Spence is a big guy. It’s another big fight, it’s a 50-50 fight, but I have to give Crawford the edge.
“What I really don’t agree with is that when these big fights take forever to happen, somebody might lose. Either Spence or Crawford, you run the risk of somebody losing.
“I’d rather have these fights made sooner than later. People are probably saying, ‘Garcia and Tank. Why aren’t they fighting?’ It’s close,” said De La Hoya.