Derrick James envisions Errol Spence Jr. eventually fighting Terence Crawford.
Spence’s trainer realizes that is the welterweight championship match most boxing fans want to see above all others. James just doesn’t think that a Spence-Crawford fight is big enough yet to satisfy what both of the undefeated champions should earn from it.
That is especially true now, according to James, because the COVID-19 pandemic has made pricey pay-per-view events unrealistic for the foreseeable future.
“The money for the fight, from my perspective, is not there yet,” James told BoxingScene.com. “Promoters can put whatever they put up, but they’re in the business of making money. And if the money’s not there, especially anytime soon with this coronavirus crisis and most people who buy these fights are not working right now, this will be something that happens down the line. It just pushed the fight back a little bit further, I think. But the money’s not there right now. My perspective is the numbers aren’t there, so we’ll see.”
Spence-Crawford is one of the biggest fights that can be made in the sport, but both boxers want eight-figure guarantees that could make it very difficult for Bob Arum, Crawford’s promoter, and Al Haymon, Spence’s adviser, to put together even in 2021.
The 32-year-old Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, could defend his WBO title against Kell Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) in his next fight. Spence knocked out Brook in the 11th round nearly three years ago to win the IBF belt in Sheffield, England, Brook’s hometown.
The 30-year-old Spence (26-0, 21 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, would like to battle WBA champion Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) or former WBC champ Danny Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) when he returns in October or November.
The IBF/WBC 147-pound champion has not fought since suffering cuts to his face and body and dental damage during a one-car accident October 10 in Dallas. Spence was charged with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated as a result of that accident.
“I hope that it happens,” James said of the Crawford fight. “I want for [Spence] what he wants for himself. If Crawford keeps winning – and I don’t think Kell Brook is better than the last guy he fought [Egidijus Kavaliauskas] – so if he keeps winning and he keeps doing what he’s doing, and Errol keeps winning, we’ll see. It could be possible. I believe that it will happen eventually, but who knows?”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.