In this Q&A session, world class trainer and BoxingScene.com contributor Stephen "Breadman" Edwards gives his thoughts on Saturday night's highly anticipated showdown pitting Errol Spence Jr. against Terence Crawford for welterweight and pound-for-pound supremacy. The fight takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and is available for purchase via Showtime pay-per-view and ppv.com.
BoxingScene.com: Now that the fight is here, have your thoughts on the fight changed versus when it was first talked about 2 years ago?
Stephen Edwards: When the fight was first talked about I thought Crawford had a 60/40 edge. He just seemed a little more advanced and Errol didn't look spectacular to me vs Danny Garcia. But the Ugas fight gave me Spence vibes when he fought Lamont Peterson and Chris Algieri. Boxing going forward, heavy handed destructive volume. After the Ugas fight my gut impression is that Errol and Terence are operating on even terms and whoever wins will have to be having his best night.
BoxingScene.com: Spence has fought once since 2020. Do you expect that to play a factor?
Stephen Edwards: I don't know. Every fighter is different. Some fighters get more rusty than others. I really can't say if the inactivity will hurt Errol but being active does help.
BoxingScene.com: With that being said, how much will Crawford benefit having taken a fight in December?
Stephen Edwards: Boxing is a game of skill. Skill requires repetition. So inactivity doesn't affect everyone the same. But Crawford knows activity is a good thing. That's why he fought in December.
BoxingScene.com What do you believe is the key to the fight?
Stephen Edwards: People in general fall in love with their gifts and success. Good looking women wear clothes and hair styles to let you see their beauty. Muscular men wear shirts so you can see their muscles. It's the same with fighters. Errol is a consistent, volume power puncher. He's going to want the world to see that. Terence has evolved into a patient KO punching killer. Same there.
But here is the caveat. Sometimes your gifts can be your curse. Terence can't just wait around and get down 4 or 5 rounds before he decides to cook. Errol may not allow himself to get KO'd. He may have the will and determination to take whatever he has to take. Taking a punch can be a state of mind. If Errol knows he's winning on scorecards going into the last few rounds he's going to be very determined to stay on his feet.
Likewise, Errol can't get greedy. He can't just over punch and make Crawford's job easier. Crawford is a supreme counter puncher and he wants you coming into his wheelhouse. Fascinating contrast.
That was a conceptual view. From a tactical point of view I believe Errol has to establish his jab, break Terence's rhythm and get out to an early lead.
I believe Terence can't let himself get down too much on the scorecards. He has to keep track. If you lose 7 rounds then you lost the fight. He has to be very aware of that. I think he has to find a way to challenge Errol's jab, and hit Errol's body. Crawford doesn't get enough credit for his body punching. It may slow down Errol's volume boxing. Crawford also has to punch with Errol. Crawford is one of the more gifted punches I have seen in exchanges. He's a sniper.
BoxingScene.com: Final prediction?
Stephen Edwards: Fight of the century that we all enjoy. This fight should be 15 rounds. I don't have a solid winner. From my observations, both can win by KO or decision. I think Errol has a better chance to win by decision because of his volume, jab and Crawford's patience and Bud is more likely to score a KO because he's simply in a groove with his ability to snipe. He's been really good at knowing exactly when to go for it. He also punches with opponents as good as anyone and that's when a fighter is most vulnerable. When he's punching.
BoxingScene.com Anything else you want to tell the fans?
Stephen Edwards: Enjoy this moment and don't be so critical of whoever loses. These young men put themselves through a lot to get here and boxing fans are always disrespecting boxers which makes no sense. It's why fighters shy away from these fights because if they lose they get dumped on. There is always a winner and loser. You have to respect the game and respect Errol and Terence.
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