Terence Crawford, ESPN’s No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter, could be gearing up for a quality jump in competition.
The WBO ordered a fight between the welterweight champion and former champion Shawn Porter on Wednesday night.
In the letter, sent to Crawford’s promoter, Top Rank president Bob Arum and Tom Brown, who works with Premier Boxing Champions, the parties were informed that they have 30 days to negotiate the fight. If no agreement is reached during that time period, an auction will be ordered for the rights to the championship fight.
The fact that a fight is ordered by a sanctioning organization is no guarantee that it will happen, but this confrontation is natural. There is no chance that Crawford is willing to give up his belt; it’s just as difficult to see Porter miss another title shot.
“I’ve been begging for a real challenge for years,” Crawford told ESPN. “All the so-called elite welterweights have shown no interest in fighting me. Now one of them is finally forced to do it. ‘
«I will show once again why I am the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Get ready.
Allowing the fight to proceed to auction is risky, as Top Rank learned in February when it lost the rights to the undisputed lightweight title fight between its champion, Teofimo Lopez, and George Kambosos, a fight Triller won with a bid. of more than $ 6 million. A fight between Crawford and Porter is substantially more commercial.
Despite his immense talent, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) has never faced a big-name opponent in his prime. The three-division champion battled a faded version of Amir Khan on ESPN + PPV in 2019. His knockout win over Julius Indongo in 2017 was the first fight of Top Rank’s long-term deal with ESPN.
A local attraction in Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s stoppage win over Jeff Horn was the first notable boxing event on ESPN +. Even against non-elite rivals, there has been one constant: Crawford’s ability to generate a substantial audience. And another: his ability to finish off his enemies.
A fight with Porter, ESPN’s No. 4 welterweight, would easily be the ambidextrous fighter’s most important to date. It could also be the final fight of his long-term partnership with Top Rank. Crawford’s deal with the promoter has one fight remaining on the contract, sources told ESPN.
Prior to this WBO decision, the 33-year-old Crawford was offered a fight with contender David Avanesyan, according to sources, a fight that was being watched for Oct. 23. Atlanta was a potential location.
With the WBO surprisingly ordering the fight, attention will now turn to Porter. The 33-year-old from Cleveland won his first 147-pound title in 2013 when he outpointed Devon Alexander. The pressure fighter lost his belt to Kell Brook the following year and was defeated in his next title bid, a fight of the year candidate against Keith Thurman.
A rematch between Thurman and Porter was being explored for later in 2021, according to sources.
Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) regained the title with a win over Danny Garcia in 2018, but two fights later, Errol Spence Jr. defeated him in a title unification fight.
A fight between Spence and Crawford, ESPN’s number one welterweight, has remained one of the best potential matchups in boxing for years, but politics has blocked it. Top Rank and PBC rarely do business with each other; A two-fight deal between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder is a rare exception.
Like Spence, most of the world’s best 147 pounds are lined up with Al Haymon’s PBC: Porter, Thurman, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas, and even Manny Pacquiao.
The legendary Pacquiao and Spence will duel on August 21 for Spence’s two welterweight titles. If Crawford-Porter happens later, everything would be set for the winners to meet next year in a high-stakes mega fight. (ESPNDEPORTES.COM)