The highly anticipated undisputed welterweight title showdown between WBC, IBF and WBA (Super) welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and former undisputed junior welterweight champion and current WBO welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford is finally upon us.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) and Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) are both in the top 5 of The Sporting News’ pound for pound list and this fight will mark a rarity in boxing when undefeated top pound for pound fighters from the same division meet in the ring. You’d have to go back to Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev’s first meeting in 2016 to last find an instance when that happened.
Spence has collected three world titles by upending Kell Brook (IBF), Shawn Porter (WBC) and Yordenis Ugas (WBA). The 33-year-old has been dominant as a career-long 147-pound fighter but has one more mountain to climb before he can realize his dream of becoming the first undisputed welterweight champion in the four-belt era.
And that mountain is a mighty big one.
Crawford has already been undisputed at super lightweight and will look to become the first boxer to complete that feat in two different weight classes. After cleaning out the 140lbs division in 2017, the 35-year-old jumped up the welterweight and immediately claimed the WBO title by thumping Jeff Horn in 2018. His impressive run at welterweight has seen him stop every opponent he has faced including Porter and Brook. He now has the opportunity to make history with only one person standing in his way.
The Sporting News provides insight on how to bet on this epic matchup.
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford betting odds
Per BetMGM, Crawford is a -175 favorite while Spence currently sits as the underdog at +150.
It’s a similar story across the board. Sports Interaction (Canada) has Spence at 2.28, with Crawford the 1.61 favourite and a draw priced at 13.00.
SkyBet has Crawford priced 4/6 to have his hand raised, with Spence 11/10 and the draw 16/1.
Dafabet prices Spence at 2.37 and Crawford at 1.60, with the draw 17.00.
It’s a similar story with Unibet, who have Crawford a 1.67 favourite, Spence fractionally shorter at 2.28 and the draw in to 13.00
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford betting trends
The following odds are courtesy of BetMGM.
- Spence via KO/TKO: +550
- Spence via decision: +260
- Crawford via KO/TKO: +225
- Crawford via decision: +175
- Draw: +1400
Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford prediction, best bets
It’s rare that two top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world with undefeated records end up facing each other but that’s exactly what makes this fight special and almost impossible to predict.
Spence is a career welterweight who possesses arguably the better resume of opponents with wins over Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia and Kell Brook.
Crawford made his welterweight debut in 2018 after becoming the undisputed super lightweight champion. But since his debut, he’s gone 7-0 with all seven of his victories coming by way of knockout.
Crawford is two years older and 1.5 inches shorter and is certain to be the smaller fighter on fight night but has a two-inch reach advantage and what is perceived as a pretty nasty streak of violence when it comes to taking out opponents.
What this boils down to is the will to win. Although it sounds cliche, their respective skill sets are complimentary of each other and could turn this into a firefight at some point. Spence has an impactful jab and underrated power while Crawford is a sleek switch hitter who beats down his opponents.
Both will have to dig deep against an opponent who will be certain to challenge them at points in the fight. Can Crawford overcome being a notoriously slow starter and work around Spence’s jab? Will Spence be able to effortlessly find a Plan B once Crawford adjusts to his Plan A?
Oddsmakers have favored Crawford’s recent run of violence to push him into the favorite category. As he inches closer to being a 2-1 favorite, the smart money should be on Spence.
The size difference on fight night could be a lot for Crawford to overcome. Spence could easily fight at middleweight (160 pounds) and the weight of his jab could visibly move Crawford backward and be favorable to judges.
I expect Spence to take advantage of a slow start to build a lead — similar to what Shawn Porter did with Crawford — and Crawford will need to dig himself out of a hole in the mid to late rounds. But it will be Spence’s size and jab that neutralizes Crawford’s explosive offense and sees him edge out the decision in a thrilling battle.
Sporting News prediction: Spence via Decision (+200)
Published at Sat, 22 Jul 2023 15:16:25 +0000