Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence Jr. rematch? That’s a bad idea

No rematch, please.

It doesn’t make sense for Errol Spence Jr., who was dropped three times, beaten up and finally knocked out in nine rounds by Terence Crawford on Saturday in Las Vegas. It doesn’t make sense for Crawford, the new undisputed 147-pound champion. And it doesn’t make sense for boxing.

Spence said he plans to exercise the rematch clause in the contract for the first fight but that could be the mistake of his career, a notion that I’m guessing he’ll accept when he has time to think about.

First, there’s no reason to believe the outcome would be different. Crawford outclassed Spence because he’s a much better fighter, arguably the best in the world. That isn’t going to change between now and a rematch.

What would Spence do differently? He fought aggressively and was beaten down by counterpunches. He could box more than he normally does but the moments he tried that didn’t work either.

The only scenario that might warrant a rematch would be if Spence had to drain himself to make weight or fought with a serious injury. He said before the fight that he planned to move up to 154 for his next bout.

However, Spence gave no indication that making 147 would constitute a significant handicap in the fight or that he was suffering from some other physical disorder. His problem in the ring was his opponent, not preexisting issues.

As Spence said in the ring afterward, “No excuses.”

Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) would be wise to take a step back, assess his devastating setback, learn from it, move up to 154 and then target anyone not named Terence Crawford. That’s how a fighter begins the rebuilding process after suffering a one-sided loss.

Imagine if Spence and Crawford agree to a second fight in December, Spence’s stated target month, and Crawford pummels Spence again. Spence might never be able to bounce back from that.

I’m not arguing that Spence should never seek a second fight with Spence. I AM arguing that it makes more sense to build toward that. Get some victories under your belt, establish some momentum and rebuild your confidence before tangling with the pound-for-pound king again.

Meanwhile, Crawford, obviously thinking in terms of business, indicated after the fight that he’s open to a rematch.

He believes fans would buy into a second fight, which means it would generate a lot of money for both men. And we now know that it would a low-risk, high-reward proposition for him. He’s 35. He would like to pad his bank account while he can. He can legitimately ask, “Why not?”

The problem, again, is that the first fight was conclusive. Crawford, primed like never before going into Saturday, couldn’t possibly be as motived for a second fight. And my guess is that fans won’t be motivated either. They want matchups that are perceived to be competitive, not mismatches.

Who could Crawford face in another lucrative fight?

Well, here’s one scenario. Junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo said at ringside that he plans to move back down in weight after his September fight with 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez, who most experts believe will emerge victorious.

A Crawford-Charlo fight for the latter’s undisputed 154-pound championship would be well received, in part because Crawford would be seeking to become an undisputed champion in a third division.

And there are other options that would earn him a healthy payday. Crawford vs. the talented Jaron Ennis would be a fascinating matchup for hardcore fans. Keith Thurman, Vergil Ortiz and Eimantas Stanionis would also make a compelling fights.

Bottom line: Crawford doesn’t need Spence any longer.

And, finally, a second Crawford-Spence fight would be a bad look for the sport. Fans would ask the same question I’m asking here: “Why?” They know that rematches are appropriate when the original fight is close, compelling or perhaps controversial. The beatdown on Saturday was none of the above.

Thus, it could be difficult for promoters to generate excitement (read: pay-per-view buys) for a second fight. I’m first and foremost a fan. And I certainly would have a hard time getting up for a rematch after what I witnessed on Saturday.

Crawford vs. Spence is finished business, at least for now. Let’s move on.


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