Sources: Spence-Crawford at risk; delay likely

Boxing

The Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford undisputed welterweight championship fight is in jeopardy because of a lingering dispute regarding the contract, sources told ESPN.

If the pay-per-view fight set for Las Vegas is finalized, it won’t take place on the targeted date of Nov. 19 but rather in December or even January, sources said.

Spence and Crawford had agreed to terms, with Crawford set to earn the short end of the financial split, ESPN reported earlier this month. The issue: Crawford wants transparency related to event expenses since the contract contains no guaranteed purse, sources said.

Since Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) will earn a percentage of the net revenue, he wants the ability to approve expenses, sources said. Crawford is a promotional free agent after parting ways with Top Rank, but sources said the proposed deal includes a bilateral rematch clause.

If the rematch clause is triggered, the winner will earn the majority of the revenue for the return bout, sources said. But if talks for the first bout continue to drag out, it’s conceivable that Crawford, 35, will want another fight before facing Spence.

The 147-pound meeting for all four belts is one of the biggest fights in boxing. Crawford, ESPN’s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer and top welterweight, last fought in November, a 10th-round TKO victory over Shawn Porter to retain his WBO title.

Spence, a 32-year-old from Desoto, Texas, who is aligned with Al Haymon’s PBC, returned from surgery to repair a detached retina to score a 10th-round TKO of Yordenis Ugas in April to add the WBA belt to go along with his WBC and WBA titles. Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) was set to fight Manny Pacquiao in August 2021 but withdrew from the matchup because of the eye injury.

It was the second major setback of Spence’s career after an October 2019 car crash led to him being hospitalized. He did not fight again until December 2020.

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