With speculation running rampant that one of the biggest full unification matches in boxing is in peril, one of the participants decided he needed to give anxious fans a show of confidence.
Recent reports have indicated that negotiations for an undisputed welterweight showdown between WBO titlist Terence Crawford and WBA, WBC, and IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. have reached a roadblock that could even potentially waylay the fight until next year.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN reported last Friday that the fight was “in jeopardy” pertaining to issues that Crawford had with his contract. Coppinger said further delays could cause the fight to take place sometime early next year. November 19 in Las Vegas is thought to be the date penciled in for the fight.
On Wednesday, Spence took to his Twitter account to appease troubled minds.
“Sh!t is happening next all you need to know! [peace sign emoji)” Spence wrote.
A fight that boxing fans have been clamoring for for years stepped out of the realm of imagination into reality this past spring after Spence (28-0, 22 KOs), Desoto, Texas, capsized Yordenis Ugas with a 10th-round stoppage at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The win garnered Spence a third title (Ugas’ WBA strap) and set into motion negotiations with Omaha, Nebraska's Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs), who parted ways with his longtime promoter, Top Rank, the previous year.
It has long been thought that promotional and network schisms—Spence is backed by Al Haymon of Premier Boxing Champions, which has output deals with Fox and Showtime—was the chief impediment to making a match between the two highly regarded welterweights, an obstacle that conceivably no longer exists ever since Crawford became a free agent.
Recently, in response to the news, former titlist Keith Thurman Jr. indicated that he would be ready to fill in as a backup should a deal for Spence-Crawford fall apart. (Thurman, a longtime Haymon client, would ostensibly fight Spence in that scenario).
Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza, whose network could potentially distribute the fight on pay-per-view, also pushed back on rumors that the fight was in dire straits.
“Negotiations are ongoing, and we're still working hard to make the fight,” Espinoza told a follower on Twitter. “Sorry I don't have more to offer, but publicly airing the negotiations would only make it more difficult to make a deal. Oh, and don't believe everything you read.”