By Keith Idec
That was Errol Spence Jr.’s answer Tuesday when Max Kellerman asked him to identify his ideal opponent for an upcoming “super fight” during a segment for ESPN’s “First Take.” Dissatisfied with Spence’s response, Kellerman pressed Spence until they discussed a potential welterweight showdown with Terence Crawford.
“That fight is gonna happen,” Spence said. “Hopefully he beats Jeff Horn and gets that belt. And like I said, I wanna be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. So when he does get that belt, we can make it happen in the future.”
Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, is scheduled to make the first defense of his IBF welterweight title against Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs), of Washington, D.C., on Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York. Showtime will air Spence-Peterson as the main event of a doubleheader set to start at 9 p.m. ET from Barclays Center.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) will make his welterweight debut against Australia’s Horn (18-0-1, 11 KOs), perhaps April 21 in Las Vegas. The Omaha, Nebraska, native is the mandatory challenger for Horn’s WBO welterweight title.
The 28-year-old Spence told Kellerman’s co-host, Stephen A. Smith, that he isn’t offended by Crawford’s confidence.
“That’s what he’s supposed to want,” Spence said. “He’s a fighter. I’m a fighter, too. That’s what fighters are supposed to do. You’re supposed to want the top guys. You’re supposed to want the guys with the belt. I expect nothing less from Terence Crawford, but to want me.”
Spence is interested, though, to learn if Crawford will be as effective as a welterweight as he was when he cleaned out the junior welterweight division.
“I see Terence Crawford different at 140,” Spence said. “I don’t know how he’s gonna do at 147. [At] 147, it’s a different type of animal. We’re bigger, we’re faster, we’re stronger than a lot of guys at 140. I don’t know how he’ll do at . He hasn’t proven himself at 147.
“I mean, it starts out with Jeff Horn. He needs to worry about beating Jeff Horn and getting that belt first, before he’s talking about lining it up with me and Keith Thurman.”
That said, Spence expects Crawford to become a three-division champion when he challenges Horn.
“Terence Crawford should out-box him and beat him,” Spence said. “But Jeff Horn, he’s a rough, rugged fighter. I mean, Jeff Horn always comes to fight. But I think Terence Crawford should win that fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.