By Chris Williams: Welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford are in direct one-on-one negotiations and have agreed to the purse split for the fight.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN is reporting the news of the Spence vs. Crawford negotiations, which has taken place over the phone.
With that said, IBF, WBA & WBC champion Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) is still expected to face Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman next at 154, while Crawford defends his WBO147-lb title in the sanctioning body-ordered fight against mandatory Alexis Rocha.
Coppinger says he’s not optimistic that the Spence-Crawford fight will take place despite their interest. As such, Spence will likely face former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs), and Crawford will stay busy and collect a paycheck against the Golden Boy fighter Rocha (22-1, 14 KOs), who is a southpaw just like Errol.
“I’m told that Terence Crawford has no interest in fighting Alexis Rocha, and that he still wants to fight Errol Spence next,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN+. “I actually spoke to Errol Spence this week directly to try and get this moving along.
“Him and Spence agreed on a purse split that they agreed is fair, and they’re going to try and get this done now and hammer it out. Team Crawford sent a term sheet over to the other side.
“Do I think it happens? No, I don’t. I think we’re going to see Errol Spence go through with the Keith Thurman fight, and then maybe Terence Crawford will have to fight Alexis Rocha to keep his title.
“But there are still efforts being made by Crawford. He wants the fight and Team Spence does too,” said Coppinger.
“Spence don’t want the fight. Change his name to ‘Errol Sprints,’” said Tim Bradley about his belief that Spence doesn’t want to fight Crawford. “He don’t want the fight. You got Inoue and Fulton about to showdown. It didn’t take that long for that fight to get done. Errol don’t want the fight, people.
“Okay, Rocha, I think it’s a great fight [for Crawford]. Why not? It’s stay busy, Crawford. Keep making your money. Keep collecting your checks. Keep sharpening your tools just in case Errol Sprint looks your way.
“I heard through the grapevine that Crawford was thinking about going and signing with Golden Boy. I think they need each other; I really do. I think.
“Golden Boy has a couple of fighters there that Crawford can fight. One is Rocha, and another one is [Vergil] Ortiz, and also, y’all going to think I’m crazy, what about [Jaime] Munguia? Crawford moving up in weight to fight Munguia.
“Golden Boy has him as well,” said Bradley. “I think it’s a great move if it is true that he’s signing with Golden Boy, and we’ll see what happens with this whole negotiation with Crawford and Rocha.”
“I’ll take it as fact that Alexis Rocha is a southpaw, and maybe that’ll help prepare for a southpaw like Errol Spence,” said Bernardo Osuna.
“We can all stay optimistic that one of the biggest fights that can be made will hopefully get made in 2023. Okay, I can dream,” said Osuna about his hopes that the Spence vs. Crawford fight will happen this year.