By: Hans Themistode
There’s little to no denying that Terence Crawford will face a significant step up in competition come November 20th. On the night in question, Crawford will place both his WBO welterweight title and undefeated record on the line against former two-time champion Shawn Porter, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite being a constant staple on every credible pound-for-pound list, Crawford has heard his fair share of criticism for the opposition he’s faced during his 147-pound tenure. In the case of Porter, the Akron Ohio native has swapped fists with just about everyone in the welterweight division, including unified titlist Errol Spence Jr.
But while most are intrigued with how a Porter vs. Crawford showdown plays out, Derrick James, head trainer of Spence Jr., believes the WBO belt holder will be facing a diminished version of the two-time champion.
“I think Terence Crawford is fighting a guy that Errol Spence took a lot out of,” said James on the PBC Podcast. “So we’ll see how that goes.”
On November 28th, 2019, both Spence Jr. and Porter squared off in a fight of the year candidate. From the moment the opening bell rang, there were no feel-out rounds as it bombs away. While Porter had loads of success, he also absorbed plenty of punishment. Of the 745 punches Spence Jr. hurled in his direction, 221 of them found their mark. In the 11th round, in particular, it was Spence Jr.’s most successful and brutal period, as he floored the former titlist.
Although Porter has shown no ill effects of the damage that was inflicted, pitching a shutout in his most recent contest against Sebastian Formella, James simply isn’t convinced that he’s the same ferocious fighter he once was.
Regardless of what could be a diminished version of Porter, James isn’t expecting him to be a pushover or walk in the park. Since suffering defeat at the hands of Spence Jr. and forfeiting his WBC title in the process, Porter has urged the unified champion to face him in the ring once more. While Spence Jr. has elected to move in another direction, James is receptive to the idea of having his fighter take on Porter for the second time in his career.
With that said, James has all but guaranteed Porter that his wish will be granted. If, of course, he can take care of business come November 20th.
“I think Shawn Porter really wants to fight Errol Spence again. In order to face Errol Spence again, he has to beat Terence Crawford.”