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Crawford says his managers will decide if he’s to go up to 140 or stay at 135

Yuriorkis GamboaBy Chris Williams: WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (24-0, 17 KOs) bagged the biggest win of his career in defeating former IBF/WBA featherweight title holder Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-1, 16 KOs) by a 9th round stoppage last night in front of a huge crowd of Crawford supporters at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.


The victory has many boxing fans wanting to know if the 26-year-old Crawford will be moving up in weight to 140 to possibly challenge Manny Pacquiao – who is promoted by the same promotional company Top Rank – Chris Algieri, Ruslan Provodnikov, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Juan Manuel Marquez, Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios.

The bigger names and the bigger money is at light welterweight, but there are much bigger risks for Crawford as well. He was shook up by the tiny Yuriorkis Gamboa in the 9th round last night, and you have to figure that if a small guy like Gamboa was able to hurt Crawford, then bigger fighters like Matthysse, Pacquiao and Provodnikov could do far, far worse. If Crawford’s managers want to have him milk his WBO lightweight title for smaller paydays over a long period of time, then they’ll keep him at 135. But if they’re risk takers and willing to test him against the bigger and more talented fighters at 140 for much, much bigger paydays, then they’ll have him move up in weight to light welterweight.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. You’ve got to have Crawford move up to 140 to chase the big cash. The money that Crawford can make at 140 and 147 is the kind of cash that will let him live in luxury. But if he stays at 135, he’ll use up his prime fighting the likes of Vazquez, Abril, and Figueroa.

“My two managers, they make the right decisions,” Crawford said at the post-fight press conference in response to a question about whether he’ll move up in weight to the light welterweight division or stay at lightweight. “If their decision is for me to stay at 135 or go up, then it’s on them.”

If Crawford stays at lightweight, the best he can hope for is to fight the other lightweight champions Miguel Vazquez, Richard Abril and Omar Figueroa. None of them are household names the way that Gamboa was. Crawford would gain very little in fighting them, because none of them have a big enough name to excite casual boxing fans, and the fights would be little more than undercard type bouts with guys that casual fans have never heard of.

If Top Rank could match Crawford against WBO super featherweight champion Mikey Garcia, then that would be one reason for Crawford to stay at lightweight. However, the odds of Mikey agreeing to a fight against Crawford are probably less than zero. I don’t see him saying yes to a fight against Crawford, and if Top Rank offers that fight to him, I see Mikey laughing them out the door. Even if he wanted that fight, I believe his trainer/brother Robert Garcia would turn down the fight. It would be a risky fight for Mikey and one that wouldn’t bring him much in the way of money at this point in his career, because Crawford still isn’t a big name as of yet.


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