Errol Spence Jr has surprisingly backed bitter rival Shawn Porter to defeat Terence Crawford if their all-American clash goes ahead this year.
Porter, 33, revealed last year that he has held talks with Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum about a possible summer showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Spence Jr is well aware of the strengths of both welterweights as he battled Porter for his WBC title in 2019, beating the 33-year-old by split decision, while the WBC and IBF welterweight champion has long been linked with a fight against fellow 147-pound titleholder Crawford.
He believes ‘Bud’ will be able to nullify Porter’s punching power with his boxing skills but has tipped ‘Showtime’ to triumph if their world welterweight title fight gets turned into a brawl.
“If Terence is going to box him and get out of the way like John Molina or like he did Postol, I got Terence Crawford,” Spence said to Barbershop Conversations (via RingNews24).
“If Terence Crawford dogfights him, I got Shawn Porter. Jaron Ennis, I don’t know how well his chin can hold up, but if it can, I have Jaron beating Shawn Porter in a rough, tough fight.”
Spence Jr and Crawford have been at each other’s throats for years – but have never met in the ring.
The 31-year-old Texan southpaw – who will fight Manny Pacquiao on August 21 – has even accused his fellow American of running away from a fight with him.
He did, however, restate his desire to face Crawford in the future, as well as hinting at an eventual move to super-welterweight.
“That fight was going to happen regardless,” he added. “Bob [Arum] talks a lot of things, but Al [Haymon] gets the job done.
“[Yordenis] Ugas was in play. If I didn’t get the Manny Pacquiao fight, I was going to fight Ugas for the WBA. But I got the Pacquiao fight, so I put Ugas on the backburner.
“Once I get that belt, like I told Al, I want that fight with Crawford. If it doesn’t happen, then I’ll probably move up or something because I don’t want to try and fight somebody that doesn’t have any interest anymore.
“He [Crawford] doesn’t want to fight me anymore, but with Manny Pacquiao, he didn’t want to fight him for five years, but he still wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao.
“I don’t get it. If I don’t get that fight [with Crawford], I’ll probably move up.”
The Dallas native also took a shot at Top Rank CEO Bob Arum for what he sees as a lack of promotion for Crawford.
He continued: “I probably got two more fights [at 147] after Pacquiao. He’s got the WBA belt.
“After I take that, then I’m going to go across the street and see what they’re talking about and if they’re not talking about nothing [with Crawford], then I’m going up to 154.
“Terence Crawford has been trying to get that fight against Pacquiao for how many years now? It’s been excuses after excuses for Bob. Pacquiao doesn’t care who he fights.
“He’ll fight anybody if the money is right and everything lines up correctly. Pacquiao would have fought him. It didn’t line up for whatever reason. I say blame Bob.”