On Wednesday, as boxers Errol Spence Jr. and Terrence Crawford squabbled in Palladium Times Square ahead of a much-postponed and anticipated bout later this summer, techs said the promotion The event was streamed on an outdoor billboard. The fighters arrived in Manhattan less than 24 hours after attending a similar press conference at the Beverly Hills Hotel near Los Angeles, highlighting boxing’s connection to the world of entertainment.
Showtime Sports executives and those involved in the preparations of the game have used two major media outlets in the United States to promote the game, which is both the centerpiece of the sport and the attention of the general public. We see the market as a necessary stop. Generally interested in or paying for boxing events.
After nearly five years of hype and a false start, Spence (28-0-22 KOs) and Crawford (39-0-30 KOs) will meet in a 147-pound unification bout on July 29 in Las Vegas.
Crawford holds the World Boxing Organization belt and Spence is the champion of the other three major sanctioning bodies, meaning the winner will become the first undisputed champion in the division since 1988. do.
This is a rare match between two of the world’s greatest boxers in their prime, remembering Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao in 2015 and Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns in 1981. It has been compared to the rest of the matchup. .
“We have to show people in suits, and we have to show other fighters that taking risks pays off,” Spence, 33, told reporters Wednesday. said. She added that she “fights her best and is rewarded accordingly.”
As each player progresses throughout their career, so does the demand for the game. The two nearly settled their match last fall, but negotiations broke down. Crawford, 35, has instead agreed to face lesser opponent David Abernetian on lesser-known streaming service BLK Prime in December.
“Negotiations with Spence and his team didn’t go as planned, so we got to the game in the meantime,” Crawford said in a short interview scrolling through Instagram on his phone.
The fight was not scheduled until 2021, largely because Crawford’s former promoter Top Rank made little deal with Spence’s promoter Premier Boxing Champions due to a dispute over the distribution of the fight. Because Showtime Sports president Steven Espinoza said in an interview that negotiations were easier after Crawford became a free agent in 2021, but it was “a little surprising” that Crawford withdrew in the fall. said. After Crawford defeated Abernetian by technical knockout, Espinoza said negotiations moved quickly with added urgency.
“There was a huge disappointment with everything in the fall, but that was the biggest motivation,” said Espinoza. “No one liked that feeling, so when we got back to the table, everyone tried a little harder and it worked.”
That process involved Spence and Crawford talking to each other on video calls from time to time. In an interview, Spence said she felt the gesture helped them get to know each other personally and facilitated agreement. On the conference call, Spence and Crawford said they also discussed compromises they could make to settle the fight, such as splitting salaries and managing revenue for non-pay-per-view buyers.
Spence and Crawford are not the first boxers to engage in political bargaining over future bouts, especially highly anticipated ones. The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight notoriously happened years later than fans expected. Red tape among promoters, financial disagreements, and fear of losing a fighter’s record are the three biggest reasons why elite matches often take a long time to materialize. It’s becoming
But this year’s boxing calendar was quickly filled with tantalizing fights, including Gavonta Davis’ seventh-round technical knockout over Ryan Garcia in April and Devin Haney’s unanimous decision victory over Vasily Lomachenko in May. . Espinoza said he hopes this type of bout will become more common as boxers come to view bouts as cultural events.
“You can’t win an undisputed title unless the best fights the best,” Espinoza said.
The July 29 winner is considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, and although it took time to finalize, fans will be happy, Spence said.
“Everyone has been matching us for years,” Spence said. “The time has come. For me all roads lead to him, and for him all roads lead to me.”