‘I’m an overachiever. Nobody believed in me when I was coming up, but I made everybody a believer.’
That’s what Terrence ‘Bud’ Crawford said afterwards, according to The Guardian. And that’s quite right, nobody did believe in Crawford’s primacy; the talk, rightly so, was about the closeness of this fight, this being one people definitely wanted, the one people pointed to when boxing fans like me groused about heavyweights avoiding heavyweights.
I don’t buy the Undisputed Era, it makes for shy fighters in my opinion, but here, once the match was made, Undisputed was not the main point. This was about two of the best fighting when they were the best.
‘He was just better tonight.’
You got that right, Errol. Terrence Crawford was more than that, he was stupendous. Errol was, some said, poor and he did tell us that his timing was off. Well, difficult to time your shots when your opponent simply won’t let you.
Terrence had a jab, a ramrod straight, heavy-duty jab, the kind of jab not seen often since Deontay Wilder softened Bermane Stiverne’s face with it in 2018. Wilder is a heavyweight, Crawford is not.
That jab was accurate too, preventing Spence from coming forward. When he did, Crawford showed stupendous counter-punching skills too and nullified Spence completely.
That jab? It put Spence down in the 2nd round for the first time in his career, it almost shocked him, the on-the-button nature of it. But it was more than that, it was tough and smacked the face beautifully.
The Brilliance of Crawford
Shot selection. Body to head, moving it well, picking the shots, using a right hand over the top which seldom missed.
It wasn’t as if Crawford had better footwork on the night, you don’t need that when the jab keeps you coming forward, he believed in his superior speed, precision and tactics.
Spence hit the canvas twice more, both in the 7th, a counter right doing the damage and then a rather disconnected Errol being dropped again at the end of the round.
This was an extraordinary situation, once which was compounded in the ninth, after Spence, with a bloody, puffy face, came out with intent in the 8th, all to no avail, ref Harvey Dock ending the fight when Crawford sent Spence to rubber leg street and then clipped his chin at will.
There was little point in continuing, Spence got through a little, but this masterclass left him badly second.
There are levels to this game, we’re regularly told; tonight, Terrence Crawford ascended to one Spence wasn’t ready for.
The Future of Boxing
‘I’m gonna be a lot better, it’s gonna be a lot closer and the fight is gonna be in December at the end of the year, so hell yeah we gotta do it again.’
That’s what Spence told TalkSport. He has a point, next time he’ll know that Bud is simply brilliant.
Not to say Errol Spence isn’t, he’s a great boxer too, but he’d need to see Crawford on a much worse day. That could happen.
But Bud has the measure of the man now, whilst he may move up to 154 to fight Jermell Charlo – why?
He would be champ on 3 weight categories. No other boxer has done that. And that’s more than being Undisputed. What can’t be disputed is that Crawford produced a performance we’ll seldom see again.