Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. finally officially announced a welterweight championship showdown Thursday that fans have wanted to see for several years.
Crawford and Spence jointly announced through their social media platforms that they’ll fight July 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Their long-awaited 12-round, 147-pound title unification fight will headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View event and, unless it results in a draw or no-contest, will crown boxing’s first fully unified welterweight champion of the four-belt era.
“The wait is over,” Crawford said in a video released through his Instagram account. “It’s game time. Errol Spence-Terence Crawford, July 29th, Las Vegas, Nevada. Everybody come out, show support and watch me fry this fish.”
Crawford referred to Spence calling himself “the big fish” in their division as part of his announcement. Spence made a prediction of his own via his Instagram account.
“Finally giving the fans what they want!,” Spence wrote. “This one a throwback fight on paper, but it could be a one-sided ass whooping. [One] of the biggest fight(s) of the century!”
The acknowledgement by both unbeaten welterweight champions that they’ve reached a deal for the most anticipated fight in boxing brought to an end more than a year of negotiations that left frustrated fans feeling as though they would never actually square off in the ring.
Crawford, 35, and Spence, 33, seemed more determined than ever, however, to make their fight a reality in recent months, when they began talking directly to one another about coming to terms. Their deal – which was negotiated by Premier Boxing Champions’ Al Haymon (Spence) and Creative Artist Agency’s Ish Hinson (Crawford) – was finalized in recent days.
Their contracts include an immediate rematch clause that the loser must activate within 30 days of July 29. According to language in their agreements, their second fight must take place prior to the end of 2023.
Crawford and Spence initially negotiated to fight last November. Their high-profile fight infamously fell apart in October following months of discussions between their representatives.
A frustrated Crawford contended that it had taken too long to finalize a deal and that Spence didn’t truly want to fight him.
The three-division champion instead decided to make an optional defense of his WBO 147-pound championship versus David Avanesyan. Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) knocked out Russia’s Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KOs) in the sixth round of their December 10 bout at CHI Health Center in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, will end a much longer layoff than Crawford when they fight nine weeks from Saturday night. The IBF/WBA/WBC champ stopped former WBA champ Yordenis Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs) in the 10th round of his last fight, which occurred in April 2022 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Once Crawford went through with his fight against Avanesyan, Spence decided to move on to a bout with Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC). Spence and Thurman, a former WBA and WBC welterweight champion from Clearwater, Florida, had agreed to move up to the 154-pound division for what would have been a non-title fight, but it was never scheduled.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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