Terence Crawford doesn’t look like he’ll be fighting Errol Spence Jr, but also doesn’t look like he’ll be sitting out 2022 entirely.
ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger is reporting that Crawford and David Avanesyan have “signed contracts” for a fight on Dec. 10.
Coppinger’s report says the fight will be available as a $39.95 streaming pay-per-view on BLK Prime. Sources tell ESPN that Crawford “will earn a career-high eight-figure payday,” which sounds pretty crazy for something like this, but boxing is a weird business.
Crawford (38-0, 29 KO), the WBO welterweight titleholder, and Spence, who holds the WBC, WBA, and IBF titles, were at one point expected to meet on Nov. 19, but that fell apart, and Crawford says it wasn’t his lack of interest:
“I was really looking forward to the Errol Spence fight. 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.”
Crawford left Top Rank following his Nov. 2021 win over Shawn Porter, with the idea that he intended to finally make the Spence fight happen. After Spence’s win in April over Yordenis Ugas, both fighters publicly expressed their interest to get the deal done for their next fight, which was a new wrinkle in the long wait and only occasional acknowledgment of one another.
But it just doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, and without a promoter or major connections, Crawford won’t have a major outlet. But if the report is correct, he’ll make the money he wants all the same.
Avanesyan (29-3-1, 17 KO) is 34 years old and the reigning European welterweight champion, and was set to defend that belt on Nov. 19 in England against Jon Miguez, which was a mismatch on paper, as Avanesyan’s last couple of fights have been. He’s on a career-best tear since 2019, but has also sort of sat at the same level of competition.
Earlier this year, Avanesyan reportedly had a deal in place to fight Vergil Ortiz Jr, but wound up passing on the fight instead.
To put it mildly, Crawford vs Avanesyan is not what anyone was asking to see, and could generously be called a sideways step from what Crawford has been doing the last few years. As for Spence, whatever he does now will also not be what anyone was asking to see, but he’ll probably have an opponent that is at least more palatable, and it will at least seem like a much bigger deal, as it will be a PBC pay-per-view.
Spence had already indicated earlier today, without outright saying it, that it was looking bleak for the fight to happen next.
Eimantas Stanionis may get a WBA order to fight Spence now, and Keith Thurman, Jaron “Boots” Ennis, and Cody Crowley could also be in the running as PBC welterweights.