Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford doesn’t see the need to compare past performances to gauge how well he would do against Errol Spence.
Enough time has passed since Crawford’s arrival at welterweight four years ago to where such a fight would now be for the division’s undisputed championship crown. The two now have a couple of common opponents among them, most notably Crawford’s most recent win when he stopped Shawn Porter in the tenth round of their WBO welterweight title fight last November 20 in Las Vegas.
The fight came more than two years after Spence (28-0, 22KOs) scored an eleventh-round knockdown of Porter en route to a well-earned split decision win in their September 2019 WBC/IBF title unification bout in Los Angeles. Porter was competitive in both fights, coming up just short in a Fight of the Year-level clash with Spence and suffering his first stoppage loss in his title bid versus Crawford.
Neither bout should have an impact on how Crawford and Spence fare in their own head-on collision.
“Styles make fights. Me and Errol have got a different style,” Crawford noted during a recent appearance on The DAZN Boxing Show. “We fought Shawn Porter in two completely different styles. You never know.”
Both have shown elite level talent throughout their respective careers, with Crawford (38-0, 29KOs) carrying his power—among many other gifts—into his third weight division. The switch-hitter from Omaha, Nebraska is a perfect 6-0 with six knockouts since moving up to welterweight in a one-sided, ninth-round knockout of then-unbeaten WBO titlist Jeff Horn in June 2018. Crawford has since scored stoppage wins over then-unbeaten contenders Jose Benavidez Jr. and Egidijus Kavaliauskas and a trio of former titlists in Amir Khan, Kell Brook and Porter.
Spence made a statement in a tenth-round stoppage of Yordenis Ugas this past April 16. The win saw Spence claim the WBA title while defending his WBC/IBF belts at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and near his Desoto hometown. His last stoppage win came four years prior, also in the greater Dallas area when he knocked out Carlos Ocampo inside of a round at Ford Center at The Star, the site of the Cowboys’ practice facility in Frisco, Texas.
In between those wins inside the distance came decision victories over then-unbeaten Mikey Garcia, Porter and Danny Garcia, all former or current titlists at the time. Spence scored a shutout win over Mikey Garcia, outlasted Porter and handled Danny Garcia in his first fight following a 14-plus month layoff after recovering from injuries sustained in a near-fatal single car crash less than two weeks after the Porter win.
Even in Crawford’s stoppage wins at welterweight, he’s shown different ways to beat his opponents on every occasion. The same can be said of Spence, even dating back to his May 2017 IBF title-winning stoppage of Kell Brook in front of a hostile and partisan crowd on the road in Sheffield, England.
Crawford views the resourcefulness of both fighters as the greatest strength that both possess, more so than their actual strength.
“I never got hit by [Spence]. I don’t know how hard he hit,” admits Crawford. “He never got hit by me, so he don’t know how hard I hit. But that won’t determine who wins. You don’t determine the winner and loser by who punches harder. There’s a lot that goes into winning a fight than who hit hard.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox