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Battle for welterweight supremacy harks back to the era of the Four Kings, says Errol Spence Jr

Errol Spence Jr. Photo credit: Alex Sanchez

WBC, WBA and IBF wetlerweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr 28-0 (22) knows exactly what is at stakes when he takes on WBO counterpart Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 39-0 (30) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night.

This fight is about more than the undisputed championship at 147-pounds. It is about more than pound-for-pound supremacy. It is about legacy.

Spence likens the matchup to the terrific round robin of fights that took place between Sugar Ray Robinson, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran in the 1980s.

He sees his bout against Crawford as a throwback to that era.

“This is an old-school fight. This is what my dad used to talk to me about when he used to watch fights 40 years ago with all of the greats, and the four kings,” Spence said on the ‘All Access’ preview show on Showtime.

“Terence Crawford has that dog mentality. I have that dog mentality. You’re going to have an all-out war and action-packed fight. Old school, just like the greats.

“This is what everybody clamours over. The best fighting the best. Once the lights go on and the bell rings, it’s war time. It’s a legacy-defining fight… It’s a match made in heaven.

“It’s going to come down to determination and willpower and see who breaks first.”

The battle will be as much outside the ring as in it, with Spence’s trainer Derrick James and Crawford’s coach Brian ‘BoMac’ McIntyre pitting their boxing brains against each other.

McIntyre is expecting a tough challenge on both sides of the ropes.

“You must be dialed-in when you’re going up against a fighter like Errol Spence Jr with a trainer like Derrick James,” McIntyre said. “We want to keep the outcome in our hands by putting on a dominant performance.”

But McIntyre doesn’t fully believe southpaw Spence, 33, is all he is made out to be.

“The media put him there,” McIntyre said to the Best Womens Boxing Show. “They made Spence where he is today. PBC put him there, Showtime put him there. He got a lot of good fights, but there’s not one fight that stamps to me, oh that’s a great fighter.

“He accomplished a lot but I haven’t seen a performance out of him to say that’s a great fighter. We need to kick his ass.”

Switch-hitter Crawford, 35, is exuding quite confidence too.

“I’m just ready to get back in the ring and take care of business. The time has finally come,” he said.

“I’m just happy to have the opportunity to have the fight I’ve always wanted.

“I’m just here to win the fight. I don’t think about a knockout, I just think about getting the victory and that’s what I’m gonna do.”