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De La Hoya ready to make Terence Crawford vs. Vergil Ortiz

Image: De La Hoya ready to make Terence Crawford vs. Vergil Ortiz

By Sean Jones: Moments after Vergil Ortiz Jr picked up his 17th consecutive knockout last Saturday against Maurice Hooker, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy promotions took to social media to send Terence Crawford a message, telling him to contact his promoter Bob Arum to begin negotiations for a Crawford-Vergil Jr fight.

Ortiz (17-0, 17 KOs) had to fight tooth & nail to defeat Crawford’s stable-mate former WBO 140-lb champion Hooker (27-2-3, 18 KOs) by a 7th round knockout on DAZN at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

It was a so-so performance by Ortiz, who looked good at times, but it wasn’t the kind of performance that he needed to put pressure on Crawford to force him to give him a voluntary title shot.

Crawford took advantage of Ortiz’s less than a spectacular performance by telling the media last Saturday that he’s “not ready” and that he needs to earn the shot.

“@terencecrawford have @BobArum call me,” said De La Hoya Twitter last Saturday night to start negotiations for a Vergil Ortiz vs. Crawford fight.

Did De La Hoya shoot off this email to Crawford just to let Vergil Ortiz Jr know that he will at least try and make the fight?

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Other than just for the sake of appearances, De La Hoya has no chance of putting a fight together between Vergil and WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0 28 KOs).

Ortiz, 22, is what you call a high-risk, low reward type of opponent, and Crawford is trying to get a big payday fight against Manny Pacquiao.

If De La Hoya wants to put pressure on Crawford, he’s going to need to get Vergil experience against top-level welterweights. It’s a good start that Golden Boy Promotions matched Vergil Ortiz against Hooker, but they’re going to need to do better than that if they want to get a fight with Crawford.

There are probably not too many top welterweights that will agree to fight Vergil at this point because he’s too dangerous.

In fact, I doubt that any of the notable ones will want anything to do with Ortiz because he’s not a world champion, and he still hasn’t become a star.

Ortiz could increase his chances of getting interesting opponents if he were willing to fight 154-pounders.

If Ortiz were to beat some of the top junior middleweights, that would help him put pressure on Crawford However, if Ortiz does that, he’ll be viewed as a 154-pounder, not a 147-pounder, and that will make him even more avoided than he already is.

Crawford would likely beat Vergil Ortiz, but he would be pushed to the limit by him, and he would take a lot of punishment. Vergil would not be an easy out for Crawford like the fodder that Top Rank has been setting him up with since the Nebraska native moved up to 147 in 2018.

Crawford still hasn’t fought a quality welterweight in the three years he’s been in the weight class. To say that he’s had it easy with the poor opposition he’s been matched against is an understatement.

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Crawford’s opponents since moving to 147:

  • Jeff Horn
  • Jose Benavidez Jr – not to be mistaken with his talented brother David Benavidez
  • Egidijus Kavaliauskas
  • Amir Khan
  • Kell Brook

If Terence can’t get a fight against the 42-year-old Pacquiao, his Plan-B is Shawn Porter.

The problem with Crawford fighting Porter is it’ll cost too much to make the fight because Shawn will want a lot of money. That’s likely why Crawford and Top Rank want Porter to activate his WBO mandatory status.

Once he does that, Porter is entitled to a 75-25 split as the mandatory, which will leave him a lot less money than if he were to negotiate the fight with Crawford without going the mandatory route.

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