Like it or not, there is one name that sends shockwaves down the spines of top level welterweights whenever it’s mentioned. Errol “The Truth” Spence, JR., 24-0, 21 KO’s. He’s the reigning IBF world welterweight champion of the world but in the eyes of many he’s the unquestioned king of the welterweight division. In Spence, JR’s next fight he’ll be taking on undefeated WBC world lightweight champion, Mikey Garcia, 39-0, 30 KO’s. Garcia will be conceding both height and weight, and sheer girth, as he moves up to 147 challenge himself against the guy known as the ‘boogeyman’ of the welterweight division. It will be a daunting feat, but best of luck to him.
All things aside, the best fight in the welterweight division and the most intriguing fight in the sport as a whole will be that off Spence, JR., taking on undefeated WBO world welterweight champion, Terence “Bud” Crawford, 34-0, 25 KO’s. The boxing world believes this fight will eventually happen though at the current moment the two are linked to different management and promotional groups. Being that Spence, JR., is a part of the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) stable, there isn’t a shortage of other elite level welterweights for him to take on. At face value it seems that these fights are rather easy to make. But are they?
When you think about PBC, the majority of the top 147 pounders are a part of the stable and managed by Al Haymon. When Spence, JR., picked up the IBF title with a statement stoppage victory over Kell Brook, 37-2, 26 KO’s, in 2017, fans knew immediately he had arrived. This sent the welterweight in a frenzy as fans sought a mouthwatering matchup between Spence, JR., and then WBA (super) and WBC world welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman, 28-0, 22 KO’s. This fight was to see two of the top welterweights in the world face off in what was a legitimate 50/50 fight.
Fast forward to now, and ultimately 2019, and Spence, JR., fight against Thurman is no closer to being made than it was in 2015. Thurman underwent elbow surgery after his win over Danny “Swift” Garcia, 34-2, 20 KO’s, in March, 2017. Thurman will now make his first return to the ring since such when he faces off with exciting veteran Josesito Lopez in January, 2019. PBC recently held a press conference laying out their schedule for the remainder of the year through April, 2019. They essentially brought out the ‘Who’s Who’ of their boxing stable. One thing that became very apparent during the press conference is the fact that regardless of all of the posturing and talk, no other welterweights seemed to be 100% committed to facing Spence, JR.
This is no slight to either fighter as this is a business, and the hurt business at that. When asked who he wanted to face next, Danny Garcia made it clear that he wanted a rematch with either Thurman or Shawn Porter, 29-2-1, 17 KO’s, the latter in whom he just lost to. Not a single mention of Spence, JR. Porter picked up the vacant WBC world welterweight title in the win over Danny Garcia. With that, another fight that many thought would take place next was a unification matchup between Spence, JR., and Porter. All things seemed to be in accord as far as the two verbally agreeing to such while also being under the management and advisement of Al Haymon. As with the potential for anything non-binding, the fight isn’t happening as of yet and Porter will defend his title against Yordenis Ugas in March, 2019. When asked why the fight didn’t happen, the WBC mandatory was mentioned by Porter.
When the smoke clears, all roads seem to lead to Errol Spence, JR. The major question is who will be the next elite welterweight to step in the ring with him. Mikey Garcia is a formidable opponent and one of the top 10 pound for pound boxers on the planet. But, this isn’t the fight fans were clamoring for, though we’ll certainly be watching. I’ll now be up to the fighters to get in the ears of their promoters and/or advisers to make it happen. If they truly want to face the best, don’t let anything stop it. Not Bob Arum. Not Al Haymon. Not PBC. Not Top Rank. Until then it’s essentially….Errol Spence Vs Everybody!