Of Jim Calfa: Chris Algieri says the way Terence Crawford has grown into the welterweight division puts him on par with triple-belt champion Errol Spence Jr. As such, Algieri says Spence-Crawford is a “50-50 fight” in his mind. now.
Algieri feels Spence’s eye injury and car accident negate any advantage he would have over the aging 35-year-old Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs). If not for the injury and the car accident, Spence would have had a clear advantage over Crawford.
“It’s a very interesting fight, obviously, and one of the biggest fights that can be made. Possibly the biggest fight,” Chris Algieri told Fighthype about the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fight.
“I’ve always said I favor Spence in the fight. But like Crawford has been able to do the job he’s done in the welterweight division and really grown into the weight class.
“It has become a 50-50 battle in my mind, and I’m very curious to see how the run-up is going to be. It’s the kind of fight where I’m going to go with my gut. It’s not there yet. It must be close to match night.
“Crawford is such an anomaly with the fact that he can fight either way. Right-wing, left-wing. If that doesn’t work out with his orthodox stance, he’ll switch southpaws. I think he will be better off with orthodox against Spence. Who knows?
“The ability to have that switch and still be effective and even more so at times is a real ace up his sleeve. Crawford is so hard to read and that’s what makes him so dangerous.
“He’s a type of guy who develops as the rounds go by. He picks things up and analyzes all the time. But Spence puts so much pressure on you that it’s hard to think and analyze.
“He is [Errol Spence] entering directly through the front door. The guy is like the terminator. He takes shots and has a lot of power. He is physically very strong and is huge for his weight class. I think he would be the bigger man.
“I think you have to look at the fights where Spence had problems, Algieri said when asked what advice he would give Crawford to beat Spence. “The Shawn Porter fight and I hate to compare fights. I hate doing boxing mats.
“Crawford was able to stop Porter, but Porter gave Spence trouble. It doesn’t really work that way. Anyone who knows how to box doesn’t work like that. But the erraticness that Shawn was able to use to prevent Spence from applying the constant pressure could be very beneficial.
“His in and out. He’s actually very good,” Algieri said of Spence. “He comes from a big amateur background. So he has that push-pull style. He’s a lot harder to hit than he looks.
“He takes such a good hit that he doesn’t care. He walks through to get the offense going. But if he doesn’t want to be hit, he won’t be hit. Watch the Mikey Garcia fight.
“I’ve been saying that since I fought him [Spence]. I was really impressed with his boxing ability and the Mikey Garcia fight showed the world that he can really box. Mikey is one of the best boxers out there and has been for a long time.
“So for him to go out and outbox the boxer, I think it opened a lot of people’s eyes. Time-wise, this might help Spence a little bit more, but Spence has also had the car accident; he’s got the eye injury.
“So, I don’t know,” Algieri said when asked if Spence catches the 35-year-old Crawford at the right time with him not as good as he once was. It comes down to leveling the playing field in terms of where they are time-wise.