Spence vs. Crawford KOs Claims Of Boxing’s Demise


Later tonight, boxing fans will finally get to watch the superfight they’ve been clamoring for when Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and Terence “Bud” Crawford face off in one of the most anticipated fights over the last few decades.

Spence (28-0), the unified WBC, WBA and IBF Welterweight World Champion, and Crawford (39-0), the WBO Welterweight World Champion have been talking about and waiting for this fight while the politics of boxing ran its usual course day after egotistical, financial and political day.

But the excuses and delays are finished and fight day has finally arrived.

This fight squashes the claims of boxing’s demise and MMA had surpassed pugilism in combat sports popularity.

While the latter holds some weight, the former is far from true.

Boxing has been going through a period of transition as it struggled to find its next superstar after Floyd Mayweather’s retirement.

Mayweather’s legendary career began to wind down after schooling Canelo in 2013. But he still retained his position as the PPV king, generating hundreds of millions in his 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao and 2017 crossover “fight” against UFC star Conor McGregor.

Over the last six years, no one has been able to match his PPV dominance. And while that’s mostly because the PPV model changed, it’s also because the sport didn’t have a true superstar, which led to taunts by MMA fans that boxing was done.

They were wrong then and they’re wrong now.

Boxing, while it has its problems of organizing premier fights, was in a state of transition and finally realized that instead of a single superstar, it needed to identify more of its stars and actually let them fight.

Over the last two years, fight fans have watched Canelo vs. Billy Joe Saunders, Canelo vs. Caleb Plant, Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua twice, George Kambosos Jr. vs. Teofimo Lopez, and Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder 3, one of the greatest heavyweight bouts in division history.

They also witnessed the greatness of Amanda Serrano and Claressa Shields, who continue to win and make boxing history.

This year is another iconic year for boxing thanks to Tank Davis vs. Ryan Garcia, David Benavidez vs Caleb Plant, Devin Haney vs. Vasyl Lomachenko, Canelo vs. Jermell Charlo and of course, Spence vs. Crawford.

Tonight’s fight is for all four belts and bragging rights not only in the welterweight division but also in the P4P rankings.

And the winner could become the new face of the sport, a position many have given, and others have refused to give, to Gervonta Davis.

The only thing tonight’s fight lacks is animosity, something boxing traditionally thrives on.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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