By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Lou DiBella doesn’t dispute Terence Crawford’s greatness.
Crawford’s last two wins were a knockout of Julius Indongo, who’s now promoted by DiBella, and a technical knockout of Felix Diaz, who’s also promoted by DiBella. If Crawford fights Errol Spence Jr. at some point, DiBella envisions an extremely competitive contest either fighter could win.
That was one of the many scenarios DiBella discussed during the post-fight press conference following Spence’s stoppage of Lamont Peterson on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I think that Crawford, somewhere down the road, that could be real interesting,” said DiBella, the promoter of Saturday’s card. “But I don’t know who you’d make Errol Spence an underdog to, if anyone. And when you can’t think of anyone you can’t make a 147-pound fighter an underdog to, you’ve gotta start thinking maybe he’s the best.”
That said, DiBella doesn’t anticipate Bob Arum, Crawford’s promoter, to rush to make that fight after watching Spence annihilate Peterson.
“By the way,” DiBella said, “you think Bob Arum is sitting in Las Vegas right now, saying to himself, ‘Oh damn! I’d really like to put Crawford in with Errol Spence. Man, that’s really what I’d like to do right now. ESPN, get ready, because I’m gonna spend my own money to get my guy beat.’ I doubt it.”
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is expected to make his debut at 147 pounds against Australia’s Jeff Horn (18-0-1, 11 KOs). They’ll fight for Horn’s WBO welterweight title sometime in April.
Spence (23-0, 20 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, likely will return to the ring in May or June against an undetermined opponent.
Meanwhile, Crawford-Spence has developed into one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing. Their partnerships with different handlers and networks will make it a difficult fight to put together, however.
Crawford’s fights air on ESPN, whereas Spence’s recent fights have been broadcast by Showtime. Spence technically works without a promoter, but is advised by Al Haymon and is part of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions organization.
DiBella doesn’t necessarily think that’ll prevent the fight from ever getting made. He just figures a Spence-Keith Thurman welterweight title unification fight will occur first because both boxers are represented by Haymon.
“Anything is realistic that can make enough money,” said DiBella, who has promoted three of Spence’s past four fights. “Now that being said, I don’t expect that you’re gonna see [Spence-Crawford soon]. I think you’ll see a Keith Thurman-Errol Spence fight before you’ll see either one of them fight Crawford because it’s simply easier to make. And Arum’s out there with ESPN, doing his thing, and no one’s sitting here hating on him. He’s entitled to do his thing.
“And he’s out there and he’s investing his own money in it. But it’s also probably no surprise that if he’s investing his own money, he would probably wanna use his own guys. So I don’t think [for] that fight, anyone’s starting negotiations for one of those fights soon. I think you’re far more likely down the line to see guys that are more accessible to be fighting Errol.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.