A true mega fight takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday evening, as Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford finally collide for all of the marbles at welterweight.
TNT Box Office broadcast Spence vs Crawford live in the UK, while SHOWTIME pay-per-view pick up the US rights.
This one has been brewing for an awfully long time, but thankfully we get to see two pound-for-pound stars at the peak of their powers clash in Sin City.
Spence Jr (28-0, 22 KOs) is the reigning WBC, WBA ‘super’ and IBF champion, but inactivity has halted his progress in recent times.
After coming of age in ripping the IBF belt from Kell Brook in 2017, knocking out the Sheffield man in ten, the Texas native defended against Lamont Peterson (RTD7), Carlos Ocampo (KO1) and Mikey Garcia (UD12) in just over a one year period.
’The Truth’ then added the WBC title by taking a split decision against Shawn Porter, and then outpointed Danny Garcia to round out 2020 after returning from a near fatal car injury.
The 33-year-old wouldn’t be seen again until last April, after recovering from an eye injury which shelved a showdown with Manny Pacquaio.
Spence claimed the WBA ‘super’ belt with a tenth round stoppage of Yordenis Ugas.
Inactivity is a concern here, and Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs), is a man that will exploit any potential weakness in the armoury of his compatriot.
After reigning at lightweight in 2014, the Nebraska native cleaned the super lightweight division out by 2017, and announced himself to the 147 pound division in 2018, halting Jeff Horn to take the WBO belt.
The 35-year-old has defended six times since, all by stoppage against the likes of Amir Khan and Kell Brook along the way.
‘Bud’ stopped common opponent, Porter in ten in 2021 and then dismissed David Avanesyan in five rounds in his last outing in December.
Prediction: I think that this could be a chess match in the early going, but I favour the more active and rounded Crawford to take a decision win, that could be contentious and close on the cards.
Donaire returns against Santiago
Back for more on this bill is Nonito Donaire, who returns once more in a vacant WBC bantamweight title bid against Alexandro Santiago.
Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) was last seen last June, hammered in a two round defeat to the gifted Naoya Inoue in a rematch of their original thriller, and he gets an immediate shot at his old title left behind by the Japanese sensation.
He should have enough left to take victory against Santiago (27-3-5, 14 KOs) though, who has won his last three.
Prediction: A points win for ’The Filipino Flash’ is the likely outcome.
Giovanni Cabrera (21-0, 7 KOs) can become the new WBC Silver lightweight champion, by taking the vacant belt with a points win against current holder Isaac Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs).
In ten rounders, Cuban starlet, Yoenis Tellez (5-0, 4 KOs) is matched tough against former European champion, Sergio Garcia (34-2, 14 KOs), and should come through on the cards at super welterweight.
Jose Salas Reyes (12-0, 9 KOs) can stop Aston Palicte (28-5-1, 23 KOs) in their meeting at super bantamweight, and at super middleweight, Steven Nelson (18-0, 15 KOs) can do the same against Rowdy Legend Montgomery (10-4-1, 7 KOs).
View this post on Instagram
The sole eight rounder should see Demler Zamora (11-0, 9 KOs) halt Nikolai Buzolin (9-4-1, 5 KOs) in their lightweight clash.
In six round affairs, welterweight prospect Kevin Ceja Ventura (11-0, 8 KOs) can outscore Deshawn Prather (15-1, 2 KOs), and Jabin Chollet (7-0, 6 KOs) should take his lightweight contest with Michael Portales (3-1-1, 1 KO) inside schedule.
At super featherweight, Justin Viloria (2-0, 2 KOs) can see off Pedro Penunuri Borgaro (5-0, 3 KOs) on the cards.