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Terence Crawford: ‘I’ll fight whoever they put in front of me’

Image: Terence Crawford: 'I'll fight whoever they put in front of me'

By Barry Holbrook: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has done a lot of talking about wanting to match Terence Crawford against Errol Spence Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in 2020, but it doesn’t appear that either of those will fight him this year.

WBO welterweight champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) is willing to float along and face whoever his promoter Arum sticks in front of him this year. This situation isn’t good right now for Crawford, 32, to get one of the big names because of the pandemic.

That might be a key reason for Crawford’s wishy-washy attitude about his next fight. He’s fighting to fight anyone that Arum shoves in front of him because he knows the timing is bad for him to get a worthwhile fight this year.

For Arum to have a shot at getting IBF/WBC 147-pound champion Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) or WBA champ Pacquiao (62-7-2, 29 KOs) for Terence in 2020, he would likely need to take the fight outside of the United States.

Crawford’s chances of fighting Pacquiao or Spence this year:

  • A foreign country offering to host the fight
  • Pacquiao and Spence need to see value in facing Crawford
  • It needs to be pay-per-view worthy fight
  • U.S fans having expendable money for PPV

Image: Terence Crawford: 'I'll fight whoever they put in front of me'Atlas wants Crawford to fight Spence

“I want to see him against Spence. I hope Spence comes back and is 100%,” said Teddy Atlas about Crawford. “God willing, he will and mentally too because, in an accident like that, you see your life pass in front of you.

“Your life does pass in front of you when you flip a car like that. You hope that mentally and emotionally, he can come back and not just physically. But I would like to see a 100% Spence against a 100% Crawford because that would be size, strength and will against skills, instincts and will,” said Atlas on Crawford.

Errol Spence said he would like to fight Crawford, but his management isn’t going to be too keen on letting him take this fight in 2020 for various reasons. It’s not the best time to stage the fight between the two warriors this year, given that they would likely need to take the fight outside of the United States.

Arum’s ideas of staging his Top Rank cards outside of the U.S in the Far East probably won’t sit too well with Spence and his manager Al Haymon. Under the current climate with the pandemic, Spence isn’t likely to agree to take an important fight with Crawford to the Far East to fight him in China or Macau.

Spence wants to fight Danny Garcia, and he’s already stated his intentions of making that fight happen this year after the lockdown. The only way that fight doesn’t happen is if Pacquiao chooses to face Danny.

If Pacquiao wants Garcia, then he’ll forget about Spence Even in that situation, Spence probably won’t agree to fight Spence. Spence needs a good tune-up level fight he’s coming off of a bad car accident. Taking on Crawford after that kind of accident would be foolhardy.

Terence will fight whoever Top Rank picks

“Whoever they want me to fight, I’m taking them all,” said Crawford when asked ‘who does he want to fight.’ “I don’t hand-pick them; I just fight them.”

“You’re so cocky because that level of confidence when you talk about instincts, usually a fighter on top, will survey the landscape and say, ‘That guy is different. I’m going to have to prove it against that guy,'” said Max Kellerman. “You don’t see anyone out there like that on your own level?” Max said.

“I read a quote recently where you said you’d proven more than like in the PBC,” said Kellerman to Crawford. “In various other weight classes but at 147 pounds because they get to fight each other, we’ve seen Spence, and we’ve seen [Shawn] Porter.

“We thought Spence would beat Porter up in a good fight, but it didn’t happen that way. Like until you fight the guys, we don’t know. We just suspect. So what does it mean to you to not have those fights available yet at 47?”

This is par for the course for Crawford to take whoever his promoter Bob Arum puts in front of him, which is why he’s failed to become a star.

A lot of boxing fans believe that Crawford has stunted his own career by not being assertive enough about the match-making being done for him, and his decision to re-up with Top Rank.

Had Crawford signed with Premier Boxing Champions, he would have put himself in a position to fight Pacquiao, Spence, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Keith Thurman a long time ago.

The downside of Crawford making that move is he could have been exposed by one or more of those fighters. Top Rank is doing a good job of matching Crawford against beatable guys like Amir Khan.

Image: Terence Crawford: 'I'll fight whoever they put in front of me'

Would Mayweather fight Crawford?

“He’s #1 in the world, you’re #1 pound-for-pound, I don’t think anybody will question that,” said Stephen A. Smith about Crawford. “But forgive me for being a trouble-maker, people, but I’m going to bring up this thing. Floyd [Mayweather], Max was talking to me the other day, saying, ‘He’s not trying to fight anybody but UFC fighters’ and stuff like that.

“I told him, ‘No, Floyd Money Mayweather did go on social media saying he will be coming out of retirement in 2020.’ Do you [Crawford] believe Floyd Mayweather will come out of retirement to fight fighters like yourself?” asked Smith.

“No, is that quick enough?” said Teddy Atlas in responding to Smith’s question of whether Mayweather would come out of retirement and face Crawford. “Floyd was a tremendous fighter during his time and a tremendous defensive fighter.

“He’s also been a tremendous manager and a great handicapper, a great match-maker. He picks his spots really well,” said Atlas about Mayweather.

If Floyd Mayweather comes out of retirement, he’s not going to fight a boxer like Crawford. Mayweather is focused on fighting MMA guys explosively. It’s quite possible that if Mayweather knew how easy it is to make big money fighting UFC guys, he would have done it long before he retired in 2015. The money is too good.

It’s safe to say that if Mayweather came out of retirement, Crawford would be the LAST boxer he would face. The only boxer Mayweather might fight would be Pacquiao.

Pacquiao could have fought Crawford

“That fight was available, and they were with the same promoter [Top Rank], and it didn’t happen,” said Kellerman on the Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight.

Pacquiao could have fought Crawford when the two were both with Top Rank, but there was no money in it. Crawford was never popular due to the weak match-making done for him. Although Crawford captured world titles in three divisions, he won those titles against no-name fighters.

Crawford won his world titles against these fighters:

  • Jeff Horn – WBO 147
  • Julius Indongo – IBF/WBA 140
  • Viktor Postol – WBC 140
  • Thomas Dulorme – WBO 140
  • Ricky Burns – WBO 135

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