One of the most exhilarating moments in sports, is being live at a major boxing event. The ring walks, the intros and those few minutes just before the first round bell. Even the most casual fan can experience that hair-raising sensation. There's nothing quite like it. One of my favorite sports to cover throughout my career.
This past weekend one of the best pound for pound boxers in the world Terrence "Bud" Crawford defended his WBO Welterweight belt with a signature 10th round TKO over "Showtime" Shawn Porter, one of the toughest opponents Crawford had faced to date. Porter is a past champion, and even in his 3 previous losses, had never been knocked out. Until he got into the ring with Crawford. With the win, Bud extended is record to a still perfect 38-0.
The fight itself was an all out war. Porter came out trying to maul Crawford. Using his signature energy and relentlessness, "Showtime" was giving the champ more problems early on that many expected.
But after a few rounds, (even though after the fight he said it was after the 1st round) Crawford began to figure his opponent out. You see, Crawford is arguably the most technically sound fighter in the game. The best pure boxer in the sport right now. Once he began to download all of the information on Porter's moves in his brain, the 8th round happened. That's where Crawford began to truly hurt Porter.
In the 10th round, Crawford showed why he's also one of the best finishers in the ring. Porter was as aggressive as ever, but Crawford took advantage of that. When Porter's head came down after a combination, a Crawford upper cut sent him down to the canvas.
Porter got up and fought on, but a few seconds later, Crawford caught him with a vicious right hook and down he went. Porter's father who is also his trainer, stopped the fight from his corner. Crawford won and began to celebrate.
But there was another reaction in the crowd. There sat another Welterweight champion, Errol Spence. But not for long as he and his crew popped up, shrugged their shoulders and walked out right after the fight was stopped.
In his post match interview in the ring, Crawford was told that Spence was in attendance at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
"Spence was at my fight? No, that boy said he was never gonna be at my fights but now he’s at my fights? You see what I did compared to what he did,” Crawford said, comparing his knockout of Porter to Spence’s split decision win over him in 2019. “Now wait, my thing is – who’s No. 1 in the welterweight division now? You know who I want. I’ve been calling him out all day – maybe Spence will get his tail out of his butt and fight me."
In the press conference after the fight, Crawford announced that he would be leaving Bob Arum's Top Rank, who is contractually linked to ESPN, and opt for free agency.
THAT right there, that was the biggest moment of the night. Even after an instant classic of a fight.
This is a Public Service Announcement to the powers that be in the Boxing world...
GIVE US TERRENCE CRAWFORD VS. ERROL SPENCE NEXT!
Bob Arum and Top Rank failed to make this fight happen. You see, his relationship with Al Haymon, who runs Premier Boxing Champions which manages Spence, isn't exactly great. The two outfits rarely cooperate.
However the news of Crawford abandoning Top Rank, gives him options and now gives us our best chance to see this dream boxing rivalry finally play out in the ring.
For years we've been asking for this matchup. The two best welterweights in the world in their primes, and we have not been able to see it. It would be an absolute joke and a failure to not make this happen.
Sometimes in boxing the best fights aren't always the most hyped. Nobody moves the needle now like Canelo Alvarez. Floyd Mayweather was of course another one, even though his fights sometimes left you unsatisfied. He wasn't the most entertaining fighter to say the least.
There can be argument about who the best pound for pound boxer in the world is. There always is. But one thing you cannot say about Terrence Crawford is that he is not entertaining. He wants the fight, he's been calling him out. The ball is in Errol Spence's court now.