Terence Crawford Will Fight Avanesyan Instead Of Spence
So much for getting the undisputed welterweight title bout between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence by the end of 2022.
This after Crawford confirmed to ESPN Thursday night that he’s decided to defend his WBO welterweight title instead against veteran David Avanesyan on December 10th in his hometown of Omaha, NE,
Terence Crawford and David Avanesyan have signed contracts for a welterweight title fight on Dec. 10 in Omaha, Crawford told ESPN. Streaming service BLK Prime will offer the PPV for $39.95. https://t.co/a8gJxJRFeQ
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) October 21, 2022
“Welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford and David Avanesyan have signed contracts for a pay-per-view fight on Dec. 10 at CHI Health Center in the champion’s native Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford told ESPN on Thursday.
The fight will be available on BLK Prime for $39.95, a spokesperson for the streaming service told ESPN. Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) will earn a career-high eight-figure payday, sources said.
Crawford remains in talks to face Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed 147-pound championship, but when it became clear to Crawford that PBC was now targeting the first quarter of 2023 for that fight, he decided to push forward with a title defense to ensure he, like Spence, fought at least once in 2022….
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Crawford said. “I was really looking forward to the Errol Spence fight. I started communicating with [boxing manager] 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.
“I agreed to all of their [B.S.] and they’ve been dragging their ass for months. Spence was nowhere to be found while I was trying to make the deal,” Crawford continued. “I explained to Al Haymon and Errol that I was going to fight before the end of the year. … David Avanesyan is a very tough task. He’s knocked out his last six opponents and this guy is dangerous. Once I’m successful against Avanesyan, my plan is still the same: Whoop Errol Spence’s ass.”
How Did Spence-Crawford Fall Apart?
As our Dan Rafael wrote previously, the negotiations were nearing completion and had penciled in to have Spence vs. Crawford for either Nov. 12 or Nov. 19 in Las Vegas, multiple sources had told Fight Freaks Unite and Big Fight Weekend, although Premier Boxing Champions were still exploring other potential venues.
The fight has been in high demand for the past few years but became much more realistic after Crawford stopped PBC fighter and former titlist Shawn Porter in the 10th round in November in Las Vegas and then became a promotional free agent because it was the final fight on his contract with PBC rival Top Rank.
Spence was last in action in April when he stopped WBA champ Yordenis Ugas by TKO to his title to Spence’s WBC/IBF belts. That ran his record to 28-0, 22 KOs, and really left Crawford as the last possible mega-fight for now for both in the 147 lb. division.
Still, a source continued to maintain to Big Fight Weekend that a big part of the delay was that Crawford had not, and would not, agree to terms on a multi-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions, including a possible rematch with Spence. Further, the source told BFW that Crawford was unhappy with the lack of transparency that he perceived for possible Spence fight on his share of PPV monies, etc. beyond his guarantee from PBC.
Now, Crawford will go on his own for the sixth defense of his WBO welterweight belt that he won off Australia’s Jeff Horn in June 2018.
What will Spence do now?
As for Spence, he could choose to fight WBA top contender Eimantas Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs), 27, of Lithuania, who agreed to “step aside” and let the Spence-Ugas fight happen back in April.
You can hear our Dan Rafael lay out in our “Big Fight Weekend Podcast” that PBC would love to have a large fight/card on Saturday night February 4th in the weekend interim before Super Bowl LVII is played in Arizona,
Now, the next move is for Spence and PBC to decide if the possible Stanionis fight would be next for him and when/if a Crawford fight gets back on the discussion board?
Or, will Spence simply move on and look to fight others like former WBA world champ Keith Thurman or unbeaten contender Jaron “Boots” Ennis who both have higher profiles as challengers?