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Reports Suggest Errol Spence Jr. And Terence Crawford To Battle On July 29, But Why Has There Been No Announcement?

Reports Suggest Errol Spence Jr. And Terence Crawford To Battle On July 29 featured image
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: ( MANDATORY CREDIT: Bill Tompkins / Getty Images ) Errol Spence, Jr speaks to the press during the press conference announcing his upcoming Championship Welterweight fight with Lamont Peterson in January, at the Barclays Center November 29, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

The rumor mill is in full swing again with a bout between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford being once again teased; this time at the end of the July. Oddly, these reports have been swirling over the past four years with sources like Mike Coppinger/ESPN continuously hinting at the possibility of the two facing each other. If the sources are correct, the fight will take place on July 29th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Over the past couple of months, reports of the two fighters settling to fight each other have surfaced increasingly, but no official announcement has yet been made by Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KO’s) or Errol Spence Jr.’s (28-0, 22 KO’s) promotion, Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).

Though the fight hasn’t yet been announced, the details of the negotiations have made their way to the public. Terence Crawford is said to participate in a two-fight deal with the PBC which involves a fight with Spence Jr., and a potential rematch attached to it depending on whether the eventual loser activates their rematch clause within 30 days.

The same reports also suggest that both fighters may move up to 154 pounds following their fight, though it is unclear whether this means a potential rematch could occur at Super Welterweight rather than Welterweight.

If true, the fight between the two that has long been anticipated and might have been over-saturated at this point, can be billed as the biggest fight in 2023 as the fight will involve two pound-for-pound fighters going at each other for the chance to become undisputed.

Zab Judah was the last Welterweight known to have become undisputed in the three-belt era, which precedes the current four-belt era which could see either Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford become the first undisputed Welterweight to hold four world titles if their match is arranged. (Photo by David Yellen/Corbis via Getty Images)

With Crawford in possession of the WBO Welterweight title, while Spence currently bears the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles, a fight that has been years in the making will be a sure-fire attraction; especially given the two fighters are still undefeated with zero draws on their record.

Despite the exciting possibility of a fight between two generational talents finally occurring, there are major consequences towards these rumors not being fulfilled. With both fighters in or close to their mid-thirties, there is a possibility that interest has waned compared to earlier years, but the possibility of either becoming undisputed seems to counteract this potential lack of interest.

A failure to deliver the fight on the proposed date may not bottle fan interest if the fight is set to occur this year, but there are a number of circumstances that can occur if this fight doesn’t materialize this year.

Most prominently, the inability of either champion to defend their titles in voluntary defenses will likely result in both, or one of the fighters being stripped. In particular, Terence Crawford remains in danger of needing to relinquish his title if a fight with Spence Jr. doesn’t materialize. This, because the WBO had ordered Crawford to face the #1 contender, Alexis Rocha (22-1, 14 KO’s) earlier this year, and according to their rules a fighter that fails to fight a mandated opponent may be stripped.

Terence Crawford managed to avoid the possibility of being stripped because of these supposed negotiations with Errol Spence Jr. ― which prompted Rocha to find another opponent. As is custom, unification fights supersede any order or mandate by the sanctioning bodies. However, failure to arrange a fight with Spence would make the relinquishment of his title a possibility, but only if Crawford fails to defend his title within 9 months (section 5 of the WBO’s rules & regulations) of his last compulsory defense ― which took place on the 10th of December last year when he faced David Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KO’s).

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – DECEMBER 10: WBO champion Terence Crawford (R) and David Avanesyan trade punches during their welterweight title fight at CHI Health Center on December 10, 2022 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

This would mean that Crawford would have until September to step into the ring with Errol Spence Jr. or face possible consequences of being stripped.

Though Errol Spence Jr. would normally be subject to the same conditions ― especially given he has three world titles, there does not seem to be an intent by the sanctioning bodies (whose titles he possesses) to enforce their own rules. Specifically, Errol Spence Jr. last defended his titles on the 16th of April last year in a match where he also won the WBA Welterweight title, but as a WBA ‘Super’ champion it seems that he has overcome the WBA’s mandatory period of needing to defend a title within 9 months after obtaining the title, as stated in section C (article 11) of the WBA’s regulations.

Given it is now already past a year, it seems as if the only reason Spence Jr. has not been stripped is because of the negotiations between him and Terence Crawford to unify all their titles. In any other case, even his ‘Super’ champion status would not prevent him from relinquishing his title as he had no extraneous circumstances that could excuse his absence from the ring that’s now gone well over 9 months.

The rumors of this Welterweight unification fight actually happening have also been scrutinized when it came to light that neither fighter have yet signed their contracts, according to BoxingScene, though this may also mean that the fight will be set at a date past July 29, rather than the fight not occurring at all.

In any case, both fighters will need to make a decision on their contracts as soon as possible if they, at the very least, hope to retain their belts ― if not their reputation.