Boxing News had the privilege to sit down and chat with Showtime’s boxing connoisseur, Brian Custer, about the upcoming blockbuster fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
“The energy at Thursday’s press conference was through the roof,” said Custer, excitement flashing in his eyes. “I felt like a referee instead of a host, as if a fight might break out right there on the stage.”
There was a thick tension between not just the fighters, but their trainers as well.
“When you’ve got two alpha males, each one itching to prove their worth, the air crackles with anticipation,” Custer explained.
Despite a courteous start to their rivalry, as the fight approaches, niceties have been replaced with passionate words and intense glares.
“Thursday was like a volcano waiting to erupt,” Custer chuckled. “Both fighters, realizing they are on the brink of etching their names in history, had their emotions bubbling at the surface.”
Their motivations, while similar, are also profoundly personal. Spence feels he has faced a higher caliber of opponents compared to Crawford. Crawford, on the other hand, seeks to prove that he is the true titan of the boxing world, no matter how many belts Spence has around his waist.
“Both fighters are striving to prove their mettle,” said Custer. “They each believe they have more to offer, and there’s only one way to settle that—inside the ring.”
Hosting a press conference with high stakes isn’t for the faint-hearted. The task requires a delicate balance between allowing the fighters to express their thoughts and ensuring the discourse doesn’t escalate into chaos.
“You’ve got to gauge the room,” Custer explained, “I usually let the guys vent, but when it starts involving their families, I step in. No good ever comes from entourages taking things too far.”
With a beaming smile, Custer reflected on the recent triumphs of Showtime Boxing, citing the fight between Tank Davis and Ryan Garcia as a turning point for the younger generation of fighters.
“I’ve got to say, this year has been phenomenal for boxing,” he said. “From the face-off between Plant and Benavidez to Charlo challenging Canelo Alvarez, we’ve had some unforgettable moments.”
Custer believes 2023 will be remembered as a landmark year in boxing, with a series of gripping matches and a new breed of fighters ready to risk everything in pursuit of glory.
“Fighters today seem to understand that their legacy is just as important as their paycheck,” Custer opined. “They’re stepping up, embracing the uncertainty, and saying ‘If I lose, I lose, but if it’s a great fight, people will want to see me again.'”
The Spence vs. Crawford showdown could very well determine the new pound-for-pound king. Custer believes that the victory, and not necessarily the spectacle, could push either fighter to the top spot.
“It’s not just about the fight, but about the magnitude of the win,” Custer pointed out. “If Spence topples Crawford, he’s the best. If Crawford does the same, he cements his place in the annals of boxing history.”
“This is the beauty of boxing,” he said, “Two men, in their prime, putting it all on the line to prove who’s the best. Boxing doesn’t get any better than this.”