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Crawford says next fight against Benavidez on Oct.13 in Omaha

Jose Benavidez Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford has confirmed that his next fight should be against Top Rank fighter Jose Benavidez on October 13 in Omaha, Nebraska. The fight still hasn’t been confirmed yet, Crawford says, but it’s one that he hopes will get made. The 26-year-old Benavidez (27-0, 18 KOs) has had words with Crawford in the past, and there seems to be a lot of bad blood between them. Jose is the older brother of World Boxing Council super middleweight champion David Benavidez.

The fans want to see Crawford fight IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. That’s the fight that they’re calling for. They’re NOT asking for Top Rank to match Crawford against their stable fighter Jose Benavidez. That fight is little more than a mismatch. Benavidez has NEVER fought a highly ranked contender during his career. His resume is filled with fluff opposition, which is incredibly disappointing given the fact that he’s been a pro for almost 10 years. Top Rank has not taken the training wheels off

Benavidez for some reason. How do you keep a fighter on the payroll for nearly 10 years and not match him against anyone good. Crawford can do a lot better than Benavidez. He should be lighting a fire on his promoters to match him against better fighters than Benavidez and Jeff Horn at this point in his career. Crawford has been a pro for 10 years and the best opposition he’s faced thus far is these guys: Viktor Postol, Felix Diaz, Julius Indongo, Hank Lundy, John Molina Jr., Dierry Jean, Jeff Horn, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andrey Klimov and Ricky Burns. Those fighters would all likely be beaten by a high number of fighters at 140 and 147.

“I believe so. That’s the fight we’re looking at right now,” Crawford said to Fighthype about a fight against fellow Top Rank stable mate Jose Benavidez for October in Nebraska. ”Hopefully we can get everything situated and make that fight happen. It’s going to be fun.”

This is not a fight that the boxing public is pushing Crawford to take. Despite being unbeaten with an impressive 27-0 record, Benavidez has fought poor opposition during his eight-year pro career. The only fighter on Benavidez’s resume that is recognizable is journeyman Mauricio Herrera, who he beat by a controversial 12 round unanimous decision four years ago in 2014.

Benavidez looked to have lost that fight by four rounds, but the Top Rank promoted fighter was given an extremely questionable 12 round decision victory. Never the less, the bad performance by Benavidez appears to have led to him being backed off from facing fringe contenders, as his last five fights since then have all come against non-world level fighters. Herrera is the only contender that Benavidez has fought during his career, and he was a bottom ranked fringe contender at the time he fought him in 2014.

The fact that Benavidez couldn’t beat Herrera without controversy suggests that he doesn’t belong inside the ring with a world champion like Crawford. With Benavidez being with Top Rank, it makes sense for the promotional company to match him against Crawford in what will be an in house fight. It’s not a good move for Crawford though to be facing obscure weak opposition like Benavidez. If the idea is for Top Rank to turn Crawford into a PPV star, then they’re going about it in the wrong way by matching him against Benavidez instead of a good fighter. Benavidez needs to be fighting other lower level fighters because those are the guys that are arguably at his level. It’s unclear why Top Rank hasn’t moved on and let Benavidez go, as there are some talented welterweights in the division that they need to be looking to sign instead of wasting time with fighters with inflated records.

”I like those types of fights where there’s friction and where there’s confrontation, because it’s joyful at the end. It’s joyful to get the job done and say, ‘I told you so,’” Crawford said about his desire to gloat after he wins his fights against opposition that trash talk him.

Crawford (33-0, 34 KOs) has some boxing fans saying he should be pound-for-pound king following his 9th round stoppage win over fellow Top Rank fighter Jeff Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) on June 9th, and his victories over Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz, John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Hank Lundy and Dierry Jean.

”Nothing is confirmed yet. It will be back in Nebraska, but the fight hasn’t been confirmed yet,” Crawford said about his fight against Benavidez.

Top Rank is going to need to do a lot better than Benavidez if they want to turn Crawford into a star. He’s in his 10th year as a pro, and pretty soon he’ll be in his 15th year, and still have nothing to show for all his time as a pro other than winning paper titles against weak opposition that should have never been world champions in the first place. There are a lot of good fighters at 147 that Crawford can be facing instead of weaker guys like Benavidez. Since they lack quality welterweights in their stable, Top Rank needs to reach out with the other promoters and start matching Crawford against the likes of Spence, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Jessie Vargas and Shawn Porter.

Crawford needs to take some risks with his career because he’s facing weak opposition. His promoters at Top Rank haven’t been putting him in with the type of opposition that would give him any real teat. At this point, it’s debatable whether Crawford will ever fight Spence. Some boxing fans believe that as long as Crawford is with Top Rank, the Spence fight will never happen. Top Rank is likely going to keep Crawford in their stable until he’s old and no longer talented enough to beat the guys that they match him against. Unfortunately, Crawford will never become a huge star if all they’re matching him against is guys like Benavidez, Horn, Molina Jr. and Indongo. Crawford needs to start facing the quality fighters in the 147 pound weight class. He didn’t fight any of the talented guys at 140, that’s for sure. Crawford left the light welterweight division without fighting Regis Prograis, the fighter is considered the best in the weight class by many boxing fans.

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