Spence vs Crawford Fizzles While Crawford Chooses David Avanesyan? Why Is Boxing Still Not Making The Fights Fans Want?

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Boxing was on a roll, with undisputed championship fights happening faster and more frequently. From Claressa Shields vs. Savannah Marshall to Devin Haney vs. George Kambosos Jr., “generation now” has impacted your father’s boxing fan base while incubating a younger group of boxing fans. However, with Terence Crawford’s recently announced decision to fight David Avanesyan next in a streaming pay-per-view main event on Dec. 10 and Tyson Fury’s decision to face Derek Chisora for the third time instead of Oleksandr Usyk, skepticism about the boxing business has returned.

The world was hoping to see the top two welterweights, Terence “Bud” Crawford and Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr., face off in an undisputed welterweight championship fight. The initially reported plan was for the two to fight on Nov. 19, which quickly fell apart, with another date of Feb. 4 floated as the new date. Then Crawford vs. Avanesyan was announced, sending the fans’ hopes into a tailspin.

However, in the world of closed-door deals and egos in the high stakes of make-or-break boxing, Spence has proclaimed he did everything he could to make the fight happen.

“N***a been stalling for months I could’ve fought in November,” Spence tweeted.

Crawford is the WBO 147-pound champion, and Spence holds the IBF, WBA, and WBC welterweight titles. A fight between the two would crown an undisputed welterweight champion, something even former welterweight superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. couldn’t accomplish. Spence (28-0, 22 KO) fights under his own promotional company, Man Down Promotions, which works with Premier Boxing Champions and its founder Al Haymon, who advises Spence.

Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. promoted Crawford for most of his career, but he is now a promotional free agent because his contract with Arum’s company expired. Crawford decided not to re-sign after his 10th-round stoppage of former champion Shawn Porter, citing racism at the company as one of the causes.

Crawford will fight on BLK Prime pay-per-view streaming service at $39.95 and reportedly “will earn a career-high eight-figure payday,” per reports. However, with the breakdown between Crawford and Spence potentially being over billing, revenue sharing, venue location, and more, the legacy fight might never happen or will be when the fighters are a little past their prime, like Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

Crawford (38-0, 29 KO) feels like he is not at fault with the change of opponent.

“I was really looking forward to the Errol Spence fight,” Crawford said to ESPN. “I started communicating with Al Haymon and PBC back in June. And unfortunately, they represent a fighter in Errol Spence who didn’t want the fight as bad as I did.”

Much like the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson, Terence Crawford now represents himself without a promoter. That also means he does not have a broadcast deal, making him a small fish in the negotiations. Spence and Premier Boxing Champions work with Showtime and Fox Sports interchangeably. With the politics involved in making a fight of this caliber, Crawford is undoubtedly going to move cautiously, and making Spence wait could be as much of a tactic as it is a risk.

However, with the trust of the boxing fans in mind, Errol Spence and Terence Crawford are playing with the emotions of a fickle boxing public that has shown they will easily watch the consistent events hosted by the UFC if there is nothing else.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.