Terence Crawford says 'now is the time' for 'biggest fight in boxing' with Errol Spence Jr as he eyes undisputed title

TERENCE CRAWFORD admitted 'now is the time' to face Errol Spence Jr in what he calls: 'The biggest fight to make'.

The unbeaten welterweight champions have long been on a path that surely leads to a blockbuster rivalry.

But as of yet, WBO champion Crawford and Spence, who has the WBC and IBF belts, have been kept separated by their promoters.

Now, Nebraska's pound-for-pound star is ready to share the ring with his American rival to determine the division's No1.

Crawford, 33, told SunSport:"Without a doubt I still feel like that fight is the biggest fight to make in boxing right now.

"The sooner the better, but if it has to carry on growing, then so be it.

"But now is the time to fight all the big names, I've paid my dues in the sport of boxing and now is the time to glove up."

Crawford & Co are keen to avoid the mistakes Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao made following five years of failed talks between them.

In the end, Mayweather emerged victorious in 2015, bringing an end to the long running saga that resulted in boxing's most lucrative fight.

But it left no time for a rematch as the door was empathically slammed shut.

It remains to be seen how Crawford's situation with Spence is handled by the matchmakers outside the ring.

But he admits to the frustration fighters have when politics stands in the way of the best fighting the best.

He said: "It's always frustrating not getting what you want, but that's life.

"You've got to roll with the punches."

Before Crawford can begin to think about unifications in the future, he has to first face Kell Brook, 34, this Saturday live on Premier Sports.

But afterwards, his promoter Bob Arum is confident in securing him a mega-fight with either Manny Pacquiao, 41, or Spence, 30.

It would put the three-division champion on the cusp of superstardom – a far cry from his early days as he quietly rose through the ranks.

After turning pro in 2008 as he missed out on an Olympic spot in Beijing, the American fought in front of little fanfare across the country.

Struggling to catch a break, he was forced to fight up to five times a year all across the country, with his talent receiving little recognition.

But after blowing Timothy Bradley away in their sparring sessions, it helped Crawford earn a contract with legendary promoter Bob Arum.

Since winning his first world title in 2014, the switch-hitter has been filling out venues across America – especially in his home of Nebraska.

But as he sits on the brink of welterweight supremacy, he reveals those early struggles are what carved him into the fighter he is now.

Crawford explained: "It was hard from the ground up. No hand outs were ever given to me, no gifts, it was a rough bumpy road.

"But I feel like those moments in my career made Terence Crawford the man he is today.

"Coming up as a kid sparring different calibre of sparring partners and fighting different styles, me having to figure it out at a young age, by the time I turned pro I knew what to do and how to do it."

Crawford has not fought since knocking out Egidijus Kavaliauskas in round nine last December.

And his mission to unify the division was put on the back burner amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But he is grateful to be returning to the ring before the end of the year even with no fans in the usually packed out MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Crawford said: "Once I get in there it doesn't make a difference if there's fans or not.

"I actually wanted to fight more times this year, I wanted to stay active but Covid has messed up a lot of things in the world today.

"I'm just blessed to even have a fight, it's very important."

"Keep winning in tremendous fashion. Keep my name ringing bells and beating guys like Kell Brook, that's where it all starts."

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