Sources tell ESPN that Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. have reached an agreement to fight for the undisputed welterweight championship on July 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
PBC’s Al Hammon, who advises Spence, and CAA’s Ish Hinson, who advises Crawford, have talks and will now deliver the most anticipated boxing match since the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao megafight in 2015.
Sources said that Crawford and Spence would earn a guaranteed eight figures for each Showtime PPV fight, and have a two-way rematch clause that the loser could activate within 30 days of the fight. Sources said it is a two-fight deal for Crawford with PBC. With a possible return bout between Crawford and Spence taking place before the end of 2023, both fighters are expected to move up to 154 pounds.
If they split the two fights, a trilogy fight is highly likely. And whoever comes out on top is expected to push for a shot at the Undisputed Junior Middleweight Championship, which is currently held by Jermel Charlo. Spence and Charlo train with Derrick James in Dallas.
The deal marks the end of years of Crawford and Spence as the top two welterweights in the world without ever stepping foot in the ring.
But now, they are set to meet in one of the biggest events the sport has to offer, a showdown that will cement supremacy at 147 pounds and claim the winner as the best fighter in the world regardless of weight . Crawford is already ESPN’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, with Spence three spots behind him at No. 4.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) was scheduled to move up to 154 pounds for a summer fight against Keith Thurman, but both Spence and Crawford were determined to fight each other. Sources said the fighters met in March and agreed on general terms.
An integral part of the deal were the respective advisors of the combatants. Haymon and Hinson, who have a long-standing relationship, worked together on the second and third heavyweight title fights between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
And now, another super fight pitting Crawford and Spence against each other is on the horizon, in a fight fans have been waiting for years.
Ever since Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) captured the WBO welterweight title in their debut fight at 147 pounds in June 2018, calls for a summit meeting against Spence began to mount. For years, one obstacle loomed large: rival promoters.
Spence, who holds the WBA, WBC and IBF titles, is with the PBC, while Crawford was previously with Top Rank, organizations that rarely do business with each other. Top Rank promoted Crawford’s title defense against PBC fighter Shawn Porter in November 2021, but that was a WBO-mandated fight.
Crawford, 35, became a promotional free agent after a 10th-round TKO victory over Porter, paving the way for a potential fight with Spence. The parties have been in talks for most of last year and came close to striking a deal in September, but talks broke down at the last minute.
Crawford scored a notable sixth-round knockout of David Avanesyan in December in his native Omaha, Nebraska. The 33-year-old Spence last scored a 10th-round TKO win over Yordenis Ugas in Arlington, Texas, to clinch a third welterweight title in April 2022.
This was Spence’s first fight since undergoing surgery to repair a detached retina in August 2021. He was set to fight veteran Manny Pacquiao later that month, but withdrew from the matchup due to an eye injury. But Spence came back better than ever, as he recovered from a serious car crash in October 2019 that threatened to jeopardize his career.
Fourteen months after that accident, Spence defeated Danny Garcia by decision. And while many fighters have been forced to retire because of a detached retina, Spence returned from surgery—as did Sugar Ray Leonard in the 1980s—to stop Ugas.
Now Spence and Crawford prepare for their toughest challenge yet, the event that will determine their legacies once and for all. And it’s happening because the wrestlers lobbied behind the scenes for the matchup to finally end.