Howdy folks. Welcome back for another edition of matchmaker. Although I start many of my editions with saying howdy, this edition is certainly the most suiting to start this way, as I am going to be talking about a Texan today.
Errol Spence Jr. 25-0 (21 KOs)
This former amateur stud is rising up the professional pound for pound ranks quickly. Errol Spence seems to be a rare breed of fighter. He hits hard but is not a one punch knockout artist. He breaks his opponents down with a high work rate and has enough power behind each punch that it starts to have a lasting effect very soon in each fight. He has very good boxing ability, yet still comes forward aggressively. His chin seems fairly sturdy up to this point as well.
Spence is a stocky young welterweight, who reminds me of a variety of different working horse breeds, like the quarter horse, Belgian, etc. When you ask a quarter horse to go to work, that is exactly what you get. Mine can be a bit rebellious at times, especially in the beginning, but as soon as you get her in a groove and she gets going, there’s not a whole lot that I can say are more enjoyable to watch or be a part of. This reminds me of Errol Spence in many ways. I make this analogy because Spence and the horse kind of flow in the same way. Very smooth, high work rate, powerful enough, yet still fairly agile.
I am a fan of Spence. He seems to be a fairly soft spoken, modest young man, which goes with maturity. Although he is soft spoken, he seems to be very confident and he looks to be a “go getter”. These are characteristics that many people can be drawn to. I can only hope for his sake and the sport of boxing that it leads to him getting the gloves on against many, if not all of the elite boxers near his division. I’m not saying that he is the next “Sugar Ray Leonard” or anything, but I am saying that he has the best opportunity right now to become the next “American Hope”.
#1 Matchup: Terence Crawford 35-0 (26 KOs)
Bud Crawford is one of the most talented boxers in the sport today. Spence and Crawford are the two elite welterweights in boxing right now and this would prove one of them as the best at 147. I put this as the first match simply because the majority of fans seem to want this now. I rarely try to mention anything about belts because I think most of them are nonsense and there are way too many. In this case they have some significance, only because they are both two of the best at 147. Crawford is the WBO titlist and Spence is the IBF titlist. If there were only one championship, this would be more meaningful.
Most everybody who enjoys boxing would like to see this fight happen next and I am also on board for them to strike a deal. This would be a fun matchup, as Crawford can switch from orthodox to conventional, which could get a little confusing for Spence. Crawford and Spence both have similar traits, which is the most interesting part of this fight. Both have good power and fairly good work rates. Both can box and be aggressive. Spence is a little bigger with more natural strength, but not quite as mobile. Crawford may be a little more agile with a little better hand speed. I can see this as being a great fight with many swings in the action. So much so, that it would be very difficult to make a prediction, which is what this sport needs desperately. We can’t afford to have a constant flow of mismatches any more. Let’s make this happen sooner than later.
#2 Matchup: Shawn Porter 30-2-1 (17 KOs)
“Showtime” is typically one of the more enjoyable welterweights to watch. He isn’t the most technically gifted boxer out there, but he usually brings some action. That is why this could be a fun scrap. Both men have stocky big bodies for their class. Spence has the height advantage, but if Porter brought the action, this could get very interesting. It could go either way, although I favor Spence slightly. Porter has a bit of an awkward style that could trouble Spence. For me personally, I would rather see this bout take place first before the Crawford fight and I’m glad it is, if only because I think that Porter is the more proven and experienced of the two.
Porter has taken on many of the best at 147 and doesn’t have any problem continuing to do so. Which is a respectful trait. He has already battled with Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Kell Brook, Yordenis Ugas, Paulie Malignaggie, Devon Alexander, etc. and currently holds the WBC belt, which was earned with the victory over Danny Garcia. Crawford has Amir Khan, Jose Benavidez and Jeff Horn on his 147-pound resume. Those are quality opponents, but not as solid as Porter’s.
Good thing it’s up next.
Tie-#3 Matchup: Manny Pacquaio 61-7-2 (39 KOs)
Errol Spence can probably move up in weight and go after the top guys in the 154-pound weight division, or he could possibly even move as high as 160. However, I would not be enthused with him fighting those names because of what is still waiting for him at 147. At least not yet. Only if he can strike some mega deal against Canelo or something. He should stay at 147 for now.
Simply put, this is a Hall of Famer to have on Spence’s resume. I believe this bout could, or should possibly even happen prior to the Crawford bout, but he has to get by Thurman first, and that’s a big if. This fight would hydro-boost Spence into the spotlight. If this takes place at AT&T stadium in Dallas, this probably sells out in an instant and although I don’t vouch for pay per view, it would be on pay per view and could potentially make huge money. Possibly even more than if he fought Canelo. If any, Pacquiao has of earned the right over any other boxer right now to get payed for pay per view. He earns his money and I am never disappointed after watching him. Even at his age, Manny is still a legit threat to defeat any of these top welterweights. Even if Pacquiao fights beforehand and loses to a top guy like Thurman, I don’t think that it changes the fact that this sells well and is a great name to have on Spence’s resume, whether he wins or loses. Spence clearly would have the upper hand in the size department, though “Pacman” would have the upper hand in speed. Never count Pacquiao out and assume because he is older that he still won’t compete and possibly pull off the win over any of these guys, including Spence.
Tie-#3 Matchup: Keith Thurman 29-0 (22 KOs)
Keith Thurman is also one of the top elite welterweights. He has proven that with wins over other top 147-pounders, such as Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. If there were a tournament bracket similar to the WBSS tournament for the 147-pound division, this would get very exciting. I am currently working on setting up a fantasy fight card and fantasy style boxing bracket that will hopefully be interesting for all of you to enjoy and partake in.
I think Spence should fight Porter now and maybe Crawford can fight Danny Garcia next. That is of course if there were no promotional walls. That leaves more options available to the rest of the welterweights to setup other great fights like this one. As long as the best are fighting the best, that’s all that matters to me and hopefully to you as well.
Thurman currently holds the WBA title; however, he lost a little bit of momentum and traction in the division after his long layoff. Thurman is a superior boxer who moves well and moves his hands enough to provide some action. He has good speed and mobility and also has the power to make a difference in a fight. With Spence probably pressing the action in this one and Thurman being the boxer mover. This would be a very intriguing bout with an opportunity to prove top championship level positioning at 147.
#5 Matchup: Danny Garcia 35-2 (21 KOs)
“Swift” is also one of the best welterweights around today. His losses to top welterweights Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are credible. Even with those two defeats he still gave both of them a close call. Garcia is still a live threat to prove that he is one of the best out there at 147. His style is different. It is a catch-and-shoot counter style that can give anybody trouble, including Spence. Although Spence has a higher knockout percentage on record, Garcia could possibly have a bigger one punch knockout punch. A very interesting fight that could go either way. The biggest factor in this bout would probably be the size and overall activity of Spence.