Crawford calls out Spence, Thurman & Porter
By Chris Williams: WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford took to social media on Monday to call out 147-pound champions Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter for a unification fight. An increasingly frustrating sounding Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) is hoping that one of those champions will agree to fight him. At this point, it’s unlikely that the 31-year-old Crawford will be fighting of those guys anytime soon unfortunately.
There are some big fights coming down the pipeline with Thurman facing Manny Pacquiao, and Spence battling Porter in a unification fight. For his part, Crawford is looking at potentially fighting Kell Brook, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Luis Collazo in that order. There’s a BIG difference between the fights that the big three – Spence, Thurman and Porter – have available and the fights that Crawford is looking at.
The chances are high that the only guy that Crawford ever gets a chance to fight from that three-fighter list is Spence, and that might not workout too well for him by the time they face each other. Spence is younger, bigger, stronger and he can box as well he can. The way that Crawford looked against Amir Khan last month their disappointing fight on ESPN pay-per-view on April 20, Spence would likely be a HUGE favorite to defeat Terence with the same ease he did against Mikey Garcia. Crawford is a good fighter, but he’s not powerful or big for the welterweight division. He’s better suited for the 140-pound weight class.
What could keep Crawford from fighting Spence, Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman and Porter is the Top Rank vs. Al Haymon cold war that is going on right now. Until those two patch things up, we’re not likely to see Crawford fighting any of those guys. Crawford has been a pro for 10 years now, and he’s not getting any younger. Crawford likely has another three to four more years before he’s no longer an elite level guy. Since Crawford’s game is based on his hand speed, reflexes and movement rather than power, he’s going to have problems when he hits his mid-30s. That’s why it’s crucial that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum does what he can to get Crawford a fight against one of Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions elite level fighters from that list. It’s kind of a now or never of type of thing.
Not too long ago, Crawford had a chance to fight Spence, Porter and Thurman, but then the Nebraska native re-upped with Top Rank, and there went his chance. Crawford re-signed with Top Rank, and it’s unclear how many more years he has left with them before his contract is up. If it’s five years, then he can probably forget about fighting any of those guys unless Spence wants to venture across the pond to fight Crawford before he ages out.
Spence and Crawford are viewed by a lot of boxing fans as #1 and #2 in the 147-pound division respectively today. There’s no way of knowing whether they are the two best. Neither guy has a deep resume at 147. Crawford’s best wins have come against Amir Khan, who has been considered over-the-hill for many years, Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez Jr. Those are weak opponents. Spence has fought Mikey Garcia, a lightweight, Kell Brook, who was coming off of a fractured eye socket from a loss to middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, Lamont Peterson and Chris Algieri. That’s it. Spence’s resume at welterweight is about as thin as Crawford’s. Right now, you can’t say for sure who the best welterweight is in the division. For all we know, it might be Keith Thurman. He was considered the top dog before he suffered an elbow injury against Danny Garcia that resulted in him losing two years of his career with him sitting on the shelf, licking his wounds from that fight. Crawford is ranked #2 in The Ring’s pound-for-pound list, but that’s meaningless stuff. That’s all guesswork make believe put together by a small group of people. Crawford was given his pound-for-pound ranking by beating soft opposition at 140 with wins over Julius Indongo, Viktor Postol, Thomas Dulorme, John Molina Jr., Hank Lundy, and Dierry Jean.
Leonard Ellerbe made it crystal clear recently in saying that Spence has got a lot of options in fighting PBC fighters. Ellerbe likely feels the same way about Porter and Thurman. They don’t need Crawford. It’s the other way around. If PBC continues to pick up high quality welterweights to add to their stable, it’s going to leave Crawford out in the cold without anyone to fight. Crawford could move up to 154 or move back down to 140, and maybe can scare up a fight or two, but at 147, things are looking bleak for him. Crawford recently beat the shot to pieces Amir Khan, but ruined the fight by hitting the British fighter with a blow blow in the sixth round. It was a blow it move on Crawford’s part, and it looked like he got frustrated when Khan suddenly started taking the fight to him in the sixth round. Khan was turning the fight around, and Crawford seemed unhappy about it. The next thing you know it, Crawford hits Khan with a low blow that ends the fight. Whether it was an intentional thing or not for Crawford is unknown. Hopefully this doesn’t become a pattern with Crawford’s fights. Crawford has to realize that fighters want to win, and they’re just going to let him be the only one that throws shots. Crawford has gotten used to having things his own with a lot of the soft match-making that he’s had. He bailed from the 140 lb division just when heated up with Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor and Ivan Baranchyk emerging as new talents. The timing of Crawford moving up to 147 looks bad. Crawford should have stayed around at 140 and proven himself against those guys.