Spence (on the left) holds the titles of WBC, IBF, and WBA ‘Super’ welterweight champion, while Crawford (on the right) is the WBA titleholder.
Terence Crawford v Errol Spence Jr. – the undisputed WBA, WBO, WBC & IBF welterweight world titles.
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas Date: Saturday, 29 July
Coverage: Live text updates from 03:00 BST on Sunday, 30 July on Sport Newes Center website & app
The face-off between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford is indeed an extraordinary match. Truly magnificent. However, it seems to lack a hint of sparkle, of glamour.
These two individuals have been welterweight world champions for the past half-decade, and now, they are finally confronting each other. The victor will earn the status of the finest in the division and potentially the pound-for-pound star in global boxing.
But in all honesty – and this is in no way an attempt to downplay the match – as wonderful as it is, it may not be as monumental as boxing enthusiasts perceive it to be.
And if you’re not acknowledging this absence, then I believe you’re fooling yourself. Sometimes we get caught up in a boxing bubble.
This isn’t a repeat of Sugar Ray Leonard versus Thomas Hearns. Nor is it Floyd Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao, even though that match arrived years too late.
In terms of personalities, neither of them is Roberto Duran, Oscar de la Hoya, or even Ricky Hatton.
The two competitors have put significant effort into promoting the match in the last six weeks, but outside the boxing circle, not many individuals will recognize Crawford or Spence.
It might seem absurd, considering their records, but this match could, in many aspects, be a game-changer for the winner, propelling him into the mainstream.
The Fury-Ngannou match will gather more attention
Spence Jr. (on the right) has a flawless record of 28 victories, including 22 knockouts.
While we discuss the potentially underrated Crawford and Spence, the same point could be argued for the astounding showdown that took place in Tokyo on Tuesday, where Naoya Inoue defeated Stephen Fulton to become a four-weight world champion.
That bout could also be seen as a generational event that slipped under the radar. The reason lies in the fact that boxing is currently focused on peak events.
Tyson Fury versus MMA fighter Francis Ngannou in October exemplifies the greatest crossover sensation that has ever legally occurred in a boxing ring.
Though it’s a ‘real’ fight in Saudi Arabia – governed by boxing rules, using boxing gloves, and covering boxing distance – it’s utterly mismatched.
Nonetheless, it will generate significantly more revenue and attention than Spence v Crawford. Such is the nature of the beast.
Reflect upon Tommy Fury’s bout against Jake Paul. It was colossal, arguably the greatest eight-round beginner’s match in history. Look at the attention it received.
Think about the sheer magnitude of some of Mayweather’s fights. Some may not have been the best spectacles, but they were colossal events. It was all about Mayweather’s sparkle, to use that term again.
‘Savvier’ Crawford might just have the upper hand
Undefeated Crawford boasts a professional record of 39 victories, including 30 knockouts.
In an ideal scenario, I would have preferred this bout to have happened two or three years ago, yet I don’t sense either contender is beyond his prime.
They might have reached their peak, but I see no signs of decline.
Searching for weaknesses in either boxer’s game is challenging. From individuals who have competed against or sparred extensively with them, only compliments are heard.
Crawford and Spence are both precise and intelligent fighters, economical with their punches, powerful, capable of inflicting damage, and able to swiftly seize an opportunity to finish a bout.
While Spence Jr. might have the ability to floor you faster, Crawford has the knack for wearing you down.
Spence has been a welterweight since around 2013, and Crawford was competing at lightweight or super-lightweight around the same time. But I don’t think size will play a decisive role.
I’ve observed them both, in person and while preparing for fights. Upon examination, they seem quite alike.
It might boil down to who’s the wiser in the ring. Many believe that to be Spence, but I suspect Crawford might be the shrewder.
The crucial unknown regarding this fight is who has more stamina. My hunch is that Crawford might have the edge.
However, even if I’m leaning towards Crawford, I would be completely shocked if one of them dominates this bout. I would be astounded if there emerges a single master.
Regardless of who triumphs this weekend, his next fight needs to be another massive welterweight clash, perhaps against Jason ‘Boots’ Ennis or Virgil Ortiz Jr, two rising stars waiting for their chance.
Defeating one of these contenders can propel Crawford or Spence to light-middleweight to challenge a champion in that division, always aiming for greater glory.
For the one who doesn’t emerge victorious, this could be the fight that ages him prematurely, a possibility in this sport.
Steve Bunce shared his insights with Sport Newes Center’s Kal Sajad.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Spence Jr. v Crawford match
Who are the contenders in the upcoming welterweight world title match?
The contenders are Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
What titles do Spence Jr. and Crawford currently hold?
Spence Jr. holds the WBC, IBF, and WBA ‘Super’ welterweight champion titles, while Crawford is the WBA titleholder.
Where and when is the Spence Jr. vs. Crawford fight scheduled to take place?
The fight is scheduled to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, 29 July.
Who does Steve Bunce believe might have the upper hand in the Spence Jr. vs. Crawford fight?
Steve Bunce believes that while both are strong contenders, Terence Crawford might have a slight edge due to his savviness in the ring.
What does Steve Bunce mean by the fight lacking “stardust” or “glamour”?
Bunce suggests that despite the boxing prowess of both fighters, the bout lacks the level of celebrity and fanfare associated with famous boxers like Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.
What does Bunce suggest for the winner and the loser of the match?
For the winner, Bunce suggests a future match against rising stars like Jason ‘Boots’ Ennis or Virgil Ortiz Jr. For the loser, he hints at the possibility of this fight marking the start of their decline in the sport.