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Crawford vs. TBA, Walters vs. Rodriguez on 3/21

crawford655By Dan Ambrose: Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs) will be fighting on HBO against an opponent still to be determined on March 21st. It’ll be the 27-year-old Crawford’s first fight in the light welterweight division, as he’s moving up from lightweight where he holds the WBO 135lb title at this time.

Crawford wants to get bigger fights in the light welterweight division. As of now there still isn’t a venue for the fight, but it could take place in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

The guy that they were looking to get for Crawford is former WBO 140lb champ Chris Algieri, but he is said to want too much money for the fight, according to Dan Rafael. Unless Algieri is willing to come down in his asking price, he won’t get the Crawford bout. Algieri was beaten by Manny Pacquiao in his last fight in November of last year.

It looks like Top Rank is interested in getting a non-puncher for Crawford’s first fight at light welterweight, because the interest in Algieri is kind of a strange one. They’re going to have to let Crawford fight punchers eventually because he can’t face light hitters forever at 140. They might as well let him get baptism by fire by putting him in with someone that can punch like Ruslan Provodnikov.

Crawford defeated Raymundo Beltran by a 12 round decision in his last fight. It wasn’t a great fight, but he won it. Crawford does better when he faces guys that are willing to take the fight to him like Yuriorkis Gamboa.

When Crawford faces guys that aren’t very aggressive, he tends to stay on the outside and box his way to victories. He’s going to need to become more of an aggressive fighter if he’s to pick up fans outside of the Omaha area because most casual fans want to see action, and not just holding and jabbing like Crawford normally does.

In the co-feature bout, WBA featherweight champion Nicholas Walters (25-0, 21 KOs) will be defending his title against Gamalier Rodriguez (25-2-3, 17 KOs). This could be an interesting fight because Rodriguez, 28, has never been knocked out before, and if he’s able to stay in there long enough to land his own bombs, he could give Walters problems. Walters was shook up briefly in his last fight by Nonito Donaire last October before coming on and scoring a 6th round stoppage victory.

It was thought that Walters’ promoters at Top Rank would get him a big fight, but it looks like they’re going to make him wait until the end of the year to possibly match him against WBO featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko. That will be a touch match-up for Walters, because Lomachenko is tough and he can punch.

Walters might be exposed in that fight if Arum goes ahead and makes it. Sometimes Arum likes to wait a while before he sets up big fights because he wants them to marinate. It he does this with Walters and Lomachenko, he could end up losing the match-up in the future with one of them getting beaten.

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