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Terence Crawford Questions Errol Spence’s Cataracts Claim Before Undisputed Fight: “Fighters Get Their Eyes Checked”

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 29: Terence Crawford speaks to Errol Spence Jr. after defeating him in the World Welterweight Championship bout at T-Mobile Arena on July 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Terence Crawford has questioned Errol Spence’s assertion of suffering from cataracts prior to facing Crawford on July 29th in 2023. With Crawford having won their match by stoppage through a dominant one-sided performance, Spence’s claims have already proven to be damaging to Crawford’s resume as other media outlets have started joining in on the belief that Spence had cataracts prior to the welterweight undisputed fight. However, Crawford made note of one key aspect of professional boxing that threatens to debunk Spence’s cataracts claims; medical requirements.

In every professional combat match, fighters are medically checked on every possible injury, ailment or complication; this includes eye diagnostics and even brain scans, all to help ensure each fighter’s safety. It is therefore highly implausible that Errol Spence Jr. (28-1, 22 KO’s) was medically cleared while suffering from cataracts, unless he and his team had purposefully misled the medical teams that performed examinations on him.

Through his Twitter account, unified welterweight champion Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KO’s) put doubts on Spence’s statements as he revealed the commonly-known fact of fighters needing to go through mandatory medical check-ups for each bout.

Last I can recall we definitely get our eyes checked before every fight; I’m just saying. Any boxer would know that. But casual fans will say and make up anything.Crawford Tweeted.

As a matter of standard practice, the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports have defined the exact medical requirements that fighters have to go through to be cleared for a fight. Eye exams are included amongst these requirements.

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Medical requirements for fighters participating in bouts held in Nevada.

As can be observed above, Nevada―where the July 29th bout between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. was held―requires fighters to go through eye exams.

Spence’s claim of cataracts, if factual, only further plunges the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) into disrepute just days after referee Tony Weeks suggested fighter Fredrick Lawson was approved to fight despite two examinations showing positive results of brain aneurysm in the state of Nevada.

However, disingenuousness from Spence’s part is also a possibility in this case as Errol Spence has yet to provide any other proof for having cataracts prior to the fight. While he did appear to have recently gone through an eye surgery, this surgery occurred more than six months after Spence’s July 29th fight with Crawford.

The timing of Spence’s surgery suggests that his claims do not entirely add up. While it is possible for people to wait for months to go through surgery, Spence has the resources to speed up the date of a surgery, but more importantly his condition of cataracts should have been addressed long before his match with Crawford was even announced.

Between April of 2022 and May of 2023 (when the fight between Spence and Crawford was announced), there was plenty of time for Spence to address his cataracts issue. As Spence had stated himself, his surgery was “past due”, thus it stood to reason that this matter should have been handled beforehand.

Years prior, Spence had gone through a different eye surgery for a torn retina which resulted in his bout with Manny Pacquiao being canceled. However, Spence did not relate his latest cataracts injury to his previous one.

The NSAC was reached for commentary but did not provide any reply on this subject.