Errol Spence has grown accustomed to fielding questions about when he and Terence Crawford will collide to determine welterweight supremacy.

The good news is that the in-demand undisputed welterweight championship appears to be closer to reality than at any point in the near four-year buildup to such a showdown. The reigning WBA/WBC/IBF champ noted as much while ringside to watch stablemate Jermell Charlo (35-1-1, 19KOs) unify all four major titles at junior middleweight in a tenth-round knockout of Brian Castano (17-1-2, 12KOs) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Prior to the fight, the unbeaten Spence (28-0, 22KOs) was optimistic of facing Crawford (38-0, 29KOs) by year’s end.

“I think it’s gonna happen,” Spence told Showtime’s Jim Grey. “It’s a fight I definitely want. I definitely want it. I think it will happen this year. Hopefully we can make it happen. It can happen because I want it, he want it. Hopefully it can happen by the end of this year.

“It’s a huge fight for both of us. I don’t see any stumbling blocks. I want it. He want it. I got three belts, he got one belt. That’s the only belt I need to become undisputed welterweight champion of the world. That’s been something I’ve been very adamant about doing, so we’re gonna get it done.”

Spence previously treated the matter with a wait-and-see approach, mindful of the growing demand for the pound-for-pound clash but also understanding of the business model that stood in the way of such a fight.

That dynamic drastically changed following Spence’s 10th round stoppage of Yordenis Ugas to win the WBA belt and defend his WBC/IBF straps in their April 16 unification bout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Spence—who hails from nearby Desoto, Texas—solidified his place atop the division as well as at the box-office, with the event generating $5,000,260 at the live gate from 37,022 tickets sold for his third appearance at the state-of-art stadium which is also home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

Following the fight, Spence had no problem name dropping Crawford—insisting that he was coming for Crawford’s WBO belt. A win would create the rare scenario of two undisputed champions training out of the same gym, as Spence and Jermell Charlo are both expertly guided by Derrick James.

The Spence-Crawford fight gained traction after Crawford became a promotional free agent after ending his ten-year relationship with Top Rank following his tenth-round knockout of former two-time welterweight titlist Shawn Porter last November 20 in Las Vegas. There remains work to be done but the signs point in the right direction.

“It’s just talking stages right now. We’re talking about it now,” confirmed Spence, a centerpiece attraction for Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and advised by its founder, Al Haymon. “Al told me he wants the fight. [Crawford has] been vocal about it. I called him out after my fight for later this year. It’s undisputed. It’s the biggest fight in boxing. A lot of fans want to see it.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox