This is why Crawford-Spence 2 makes sense: Rematch clause sets up unavoidable legacy fight

Following a brutal dismantling at the hands of Terence Crawford in their highly anticipated undisputed welterweight title match in July, Errol Spence Jr. has reportedly activated his rematch clause and plans to go right back into a return bout with the man who handed him the first loss of his professional career. 

Crawford’s trainer Brian “BoMac” McIntyre revealed the information in an interview with Pro Boxing Fans. 

“[Crawford] just texted me yesterday and said that Spence activated his rematch,” McIntyre said. “The rematch is confirmed but we don’t have any date and stuff like that yet.”

The loser of the July 30 showdown was contractually granted the opportunity to activate an immediate rematch clause while the winner would determine the weight. However, considering the one-sided beating that Spence absorbed in relinquishing his 147-pound titles, there is an overwhelming majority of fans who think that the former champion should look in a different direction for his next opponent. 

MORE: The Sporting News’ pound-for-pound rankings

Is it the right thing to do?

Maybe not. 

But Spence is a competitor and did everything he could to ensure that an undisputed welterweight title showdown with Crawford — one of the most highly anticipated fights in all of boxing — would happen. He admittedly stayed at 147 pounds longer than he wanted to just so he could face Crawford. Obviously, things didn’t go as planned but there is absolutely no way that one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world is not going to try and avenge his only loss. 

Honestly, Spence wouldn’t be able to look at himself in the mirror if he declined that opportunity. He’s not built that way. 

Of course, it’s very difficult to see the fight going much different in a rematch and McIntyre has suggested that it could be a worse beating than the first time they fought. 

“The performance is still going to be the same (from Crawford),” he said. “It might be even a little bit better so [Spence] might want to watch out before he activates that rematch clause.”

Public interest in the rematch will certainly pale in comparison to the first fight. And even if it is at 154 pounds, very few would give Spence much of a chance after he was savagely beaten in the first fight. Some believe that he may have suffered irreversible damage and could subject himself to further harm if he decides to head directly into a rematch. 

MORE: This is Terence Crawford’s case to be the GOAT at 147 pounds

But a fighter will forever be his or her own worst enemy. The competitive spirit won’t allow them to believe they were bested by the better man. Even if he refuses to make excuses for the outcome of the first fight, you had better believe that he is chalking that up to having an off night and will do everything in his power to adjust his game plan to prove that the rematch isn’t a monumental mismatch. 

There is one thing to consider and that is Deontay Wilder activating his rematch clause against Tyson Fury after “The Gypsy King” steamrolled his way to a 7th round knockout when they met in 2020. The same things were said about Wilder making a massive mistake by fighting Fury again due to how the fight turned out. 

Do you remember what happened?

Wilder and Fury had an encounter for the ages that ended up being regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight fights in recent memory. Wilder made significant adjustments and managed to score two knockdowns before losing by 11th-round knockout. 

It wasn’t the outcome that Wilder wanted but it was far from the mismatch many had anticipated. A fight that went from undesirable to undeniable happened because Wilder believed in himself. Even though he didn’t win, he endeared himself to boxing fans around the world. Without the opportunity to avenge the only loss of his career, would he be as big of a star as he is right now? 

Probably not. 

Flash forward to present day and Spence is being afforded the same opportunity. 

Contractually obligated immediate rematch clauses are a flawed concept that can slow down the momentum of the winner because now they are trapped in a fight rather than moving on to bigger and better things. For Crawford, he has his eyes on a future fight with the winner of the upcoming undisputed super middleweight title clash between Canelo Alvarez and Jermell Charlo. A rematch with Spence could delay that fight from coming to fruition. 

But asking Spence to not try to get his revenge and move on is a silly proposition. He’s a fighter by nature and that’s the only thing he knows how to do. 

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