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Terence Crawford’s opponent for May 20th still undecided

Image: Terence Crawford's opponent for May 20th still undecided

By Jim Dower: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford is stills scheduled to fight on May 20 on HBO at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. However, he’s not sure who his opponent will be for that date. The negotiations are still taking place with Felix Diaz, but it remains to be seen if that fight will take place. Light welterweight Adrian Granados was mentioned as a possibility for Crawford’s May 20th fight. That would be an odd move if Granados gets the fight with Crawford because he was beaten recently by Adrien Broner in a grueling 12 round decision fight on February 18. It would be tough on Granados to get back inside the ring to fight Crawford on May 20. That would give him just 3 months of rest between the Broner and Crawford fight.

If that fight doesn’t get made, then Crawford will need to fight the best available contender that is willing to face him. The 29-year-old Crawford would like to face the winner of the Ricky Burns vs. Julius Indongo fight for the last remaining titles at 140, but he’s going to need to wait until the smoke clears from their April 15 fight before he see if it’s possible to fight the winner.

There’s really no reason for the winner of that fight to face Crawford, however. The extra money they can get for fighting Crawford, they could get the same if they kept the two titles unified and simply defended the belt against the top contenders. With Rances Barthlemey in striking distance of the World Boxing Association title, it might be in Burns’ best interest to take a big payday against Crawford rather than fighting Barthlemey and possibly losing that fight for smaller money. Burns could also vacate his WBA title and hold onto the IBF belt if he wanted to avoid fighting Barthlemey.

“I don’t know who I’m fighting,” Crawford said to on. “All I know is that the fight is at Newark, New Jersey and that’s about it. They said it’s guaranteed it’s going to be in Newark, New Jersey. Felix would be a good opponent but like I said, I don’t deal with the business part. I’m a fighter, I’ll fight anybody.”

Diaz would be a good option for Crawford if his promoter can work a deal with Top Rank. It’s unclear whether Diaz wants more money than Top Rank is willing to give him for the fight. With Diaz facing a two belt champion in Crawford, you can understand why he might want a good payday.

The staging of Crawford’s fight in Newark, New Jersey doesn’t quite make sense. Crawford’s fan base is in Omaha, Nebraska. The only way it makes sense for Crawford to be fighting in New Jersey is if Top Rank is putting someone from that area on the card. There’s talk that recent Top Rank signee Shakur Stevenson could be on the Crawford undercard making his pro debut. Stevenson is from Newark, New Jersey. So in other words, Crawford would be fighting in Stevenson’s venue if he winds up on the card. I wonder how Crawford feels about that. He’s supposed to be the star. Why is he fighting in Stevenson’s hometown when the 2016 U.S Olympian hasn’t even fought once as a pro? Stevenson didn’t win a gold medal in the Olympics. He was beaten by Cuban Robeisy Ramirez in the gold medal match.

Crawford is still interested in fighting Manny Pacquiao, but it looks like that fight isn’t going to be taking place right now if at all. Pacquiao going in a different direction with his boxing career. If Pacquiao does face Crawford in the future, it might require that his promoter Bob Arum convince him to take the fight.

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