Terence Crawford wants ALL 140lb titles before moving to 147
By Chris Williams: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) will be making a simple defense of his titles against John Molina (29-6, 21 KOs) on December 10 on HBO Boxing. The fans weren’t too pleased with this selection of the 33-year-old Molina as Crawford’s next opponent, because some of them want to see him move up to welterweight to take on the tougher guys like Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Manny Pacquiao.
Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Errol Spence Jr. However, Crawford says he’s NOT going to be moving up in weight to the 147lb division until he captures all four of the 140lb titles in the light welterweight division. Needless to say, it might take Crawford some time before he accomplishes that goal.
”I’ll move up after I get that WBA and IBF. So the sooner they fight me the sooner you will see me at welterweight,” said Crawford on his social media site.
You have to wonder whether Crawford feels that he’s up to it in moving to the welterweight division at 147. Maybe it’s safer for Crawford to stay at 140 and be a big fish in a small pond than to move up to the 147lb division and end up being just one of the many contenders without the needed physical assets to beat the best.
It’s one thing for Crawford to dominate the light welterweight division, which is limited in terms of talent, and quite another thing for him to move up to the 147lb division and dominate there. How would Crawford do against the Golovkin-esque Errol Spence Jr., who is bigger and stronger than him? We’ve already seen that Crawford likes to move around the ring for 12 rounds to avoid getting hit, but what will he do against a fighter that cuts off the ring the way that Spence does?
Spence has a long reach, and likes to spear his opponents in the midsection while they’re running from him. Getting speared to the body has a way of forcing runners to stop running. Crawford might be forced to fight Spence after a certain point in time, and it might not work out well for Crawford. I think Spence beats Crawford the same way he did Leonard Bundu by cutting off the ring and trapping him to force a fight. Crawford likes to make his opponents miss when they attempt to hit him to the head. Spence is a body puncher, and he won’t miss Crawford’s body. Unless Crawford runs, he’s going to get hit with body shots by Spence. Maybe it’s better that Crawford stays at 140 so that he doesn’t need to fight a guy like Spence?
Other welterweights like Keith Thurman would be a nightmare for Crawford, because his hand speed is just as good if not better than him. What makes Thurman dangerous for a fighter like Crawford is his punching power. Crawford would need to be able to take Thurman’s heavy shots all night long. Even if Crawford avoids most of the shots, he’s going to get hit hard in every round of the fight.
Thurman will keep touching him with heavy shots to the head and body in every round, and the judges will obviously notice that and give rounds to Thurman. We don’t even know if Crawford will be able to handle the power of Thurman. That’s why it might be in Crawford’s best interest to stay at 140. Crawford is safe down there.
If Crawford is serious about wanting to wait until he wins all the titles at 140 before moving up in weight, it could eat up two or three more years of his career. Crawford is currently 29, so we might not see him moving up until he’s 31 or 32. Given that Crawford reportedly rehydrated to 157lbs for his last fight against WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol last July, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense for him to remain at 140 until he wins all the titles.
If it’s a situation where Crawford feels he needs to win all the titles at light welterweight to feel like he’s validated as a fighter, he needs to snap out of it and see things clearly.
Crawford can win all the titles at 140, and still not gain the attention and the respect from boxing fans that he would if he moved up to 147 and beat the top names in the division. What fighters like Crawford and middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin do not seem to realize is that it’s not as important to collect a bunch of titles in the same division.
It’s more important to beat the VERY best names in each division. The fans respect that more than winning a ton of paper titles. Since the last two remaining titles not in Crawford’s possession at 140 are in the hands of IBF belt holder Eduard Troyanovsky and WBA champion Ricky Burns, it’s hardly worth much for Crawford to win both of those titles.
The time spent waiting for those fights to happen will be wasted. Crawford would need to spin his wheels waiting for Burns and Troyanovsky to fight him. It could eat up a considerable amount of Crawford’s career. Even if Crawford does win those belts by beating those guys, the U.S boxing fans aren’t going to take much notice of the news, because Burns and Troyanovsky are not big names in the U.S.
Crawford won’t get the same attention that he’d receive if he were to beat guys like Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter, Kell Brook and Amir Khan. Those wins will help Crawford’s career in a huge way. Beating Burns and Troyanovsky won’t do much for Crawford, because they’re not household names in the U.S. Besides, Crawford already beat Burns two years ago in 2014, and it didn’t do much to increase his popularity. Crawford’s last fight against Postol reportedly brought in an anemic 50,000 buys on HBO pay-per-view. If beating Burns was something that helped Crawford’s career, then it didn’t help him much.
I think Crawford got a lot more of a career boost from beating Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014, then he did from defeating Burns, even though Gamboa wasn’t a world champion at the time. The U.S boxing fans, at least the hardcore fans, were very appreciative of Crawford for him defeating the previously unbeaten Gamboa, because the win said something. However, Crawford clearly had the size advantage over Gamboa, who had moved up from the featherweight division to fight at lightweight at the time.
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