The long-discussed welterweight showdown between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. is seemingly closer than ever to becoming a done deal.
Their representatives have been negotiating terms for their 147-pound title unification fight for months. Their much-anticipated clash, which has tentatively been scheduled for July 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, will become a reality if both boxers sign their contracts.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that neither Crawford nor Spence had signed contracts as of Tuesday night. The date of their fight could change if they don’t finalize their deal in time to properly promote what will be a high-profile Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.
ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger reported Tuesday night, however, that Crawford and Spence have agreed to terms and will finally fight nine weeks from Saturday night. According to Coppinger, whoever loses can activate a rematch clause within 30 days of their fight as part of Crawford’s two-fight deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
The immediate rematch, Coppinger reported, would have to take place prior to the end of 2023.
Barring a draw or no-contest, their fascinating fight would crown boxing’s first fully unified welterweight champion of boxing’s four-belt era.
Crawford and Spence expected to fight in November, but it infamously fell apart in October following months of negotiations.
Crawford contended that it had taken too long to finalize a deal, thus he made an optional defense of his WBO 147-pound title against David Avanesyan. Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) knocked out Russia’s Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KOs) in the sixth round of their December 10 bout at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, the 35-year-old Crawford’s hometown.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, hasn’t fought in 13 months. The IBF/WBA/WBC champ defeated former WBA champ Yordenis Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs) by 10th-round technical knockout in his last fight, which took place in April 2022 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Spence, 33, planned to fight rival Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) in his first fight of 2023 before he and Crawford began speaking to each other directly earlier this year regarding their fight. Spence and Thurman, a former WBA and WBC welterweight champion from Clearwater, Florida, had agreed to move up to the 154-pound division for what would have been a non-title fight.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.