Teddy Atlas and Paulie Malignaggi have been clear in their assessment of a second fight between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.
The two welterweight stars fought in July to crown the first four-belt undisputed champion in that division after years of failed talks. It was billed as a pick ’em fight by many, but turned out to be extremely one-sided in Crawford’s favour.
The Nebraska native dropped Spence early before finishing him in the ninth round, bruised and battered whilst the new champion barely had a scratch on him.
There was a contractual rematch clause, as is the case with too many high profile contests in the sport today, and Spence’s team has confirmed he wants to run it back.
Speaking on ProBox TV, famed commentator and trainer Atlas said that he was concerned for Spence’s health in a rematch.
“I don’t see it changing anything, I’m more concerned about his health.”
“I know they’re good people behind Spence, I know they don’t hate the kid. But really, I think it’s something that has to be re-thought. And definitely not for a while. Even if you go that route, not for a while. Let him rest. I mean not even in the gym, sparring. I don’t mean just in a fight. Give him the rest that he needs quite frankly.”
Malignaggi – himself a two-weight world champion before becoming a popular analyst – agreed, questioning the idea of a two-fight deal in general.
“I’m on the same page as you Teddy, I don’t want to see the rematch. I don’t think there’s a necessity for the rematch. This is how boxing ends up getting a bad name.
It gets a good name for making that fight. It got made when boxing doesn’t make a lot of the fights that it needs to, now all of a sudden, you’ve signed a two-fight deal. It used to be that a rematch would have to be mandated by public demand. How do you know anybody’s gonna be interested? You ended up with a non-competitive first fight.”
Since it was announced Spence had activated his clause for the second fight, nothing more has been reported. Crawford will ultimately decide the weight it takes place at, and it’s thought he’ll opt for moving up to 154.