WBO orders Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter fight

By Boxing News - 07/22/2021 - Comments

By Chris Williams: In a long-overdue move, the WBO has ordered a fight between 147-lb champion Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter for Terence’s welterweight title. The two fighters have 30 days to agree on a deal, or the World Boxing Organization will order a purse bid.

Some boxing fans believe the WBO should have ordered the Crawford vs. Porter fight well over a year ago, as Shawn has been ranked near the top in the rankings. It looked odd that the WBO hadn’t ordered Crawford vs. Porter.

Now it’s up to Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) and Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) if they want this fight. Porter has talked about wanting to fight Crawford for the longest, but it never happened. Now it’s going down as long as Shawn doesn’t back out or if Crawford doesn’t vacate.

For the 33-year-old Crawford, this should be a dream come true because it allows him to finally face his first quality opponent during his 13-year professional career.

Terence finally getting a big fight

Crawford has been pining away for a fight against one of the top guys like Manny Pacquiao, Porter, Errol Spence Jr, Danny Garcia, and Keith Thurman. Now, he’s finally got one of the big names in the welterweight division.

Crawford has faced some talented welterweights in Amir Khan and Kell Brook, but both of them were over-the-hill and no longer the fighters they’d been back in 2012.

Image: WBO orders Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter fight

Porter isn’t the guy he once was before fighting Spence in 2019, but he’s still likely got enough left in the tank to where he’s better than anyone Crawford has faced since turning pro in 2008.

If you’re Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank, you can’t be overly pleased with the news of the WBO ordering this fight because it’s a very, very risky one for Terence. Top Rank boss Bob Arum hoped to match Crawford against Errol Spence Jr or Manny Pacquiao in a fight that would be a huge payday.

After all those years of promoting Crawford, raving about his talent, he never paid off for Top Rank in a huge way. Indeed, Arum even said he’d lost enough money from his fights to build a house in Beverly Hills, California.

Well, if Crawford loses to Porter, Arum can forget about him bring in the gold bullion that he had hoped after all these years. If Porter beats him, Pacquiao and Spence won’t give Crawford the time a day, and he might do that.

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This is a bad style match-up potentially for Crawford because he’s never fought anyone with the mugging inside style that Porter uses. Crawford has always fought guys that stayed on the outside and let him show off his switch-hitting.

If Porter can smother Crawford’s offense as he did with Spence, Danny Garcia, and many others, he’s going to force him to fight in close range for 12 rounds.

Is Porter’s inside style all wrong for Crawford?

That’s not going to be easy for Crawford to adjust to after all these years. He’s long in the tooth to be fighting on the inside against Porter, and he may not be capable of fighting that way.

Image: WBO orders Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter fight

If you’re Crawford, it might be better to vacate the WBO title so that he doesn’t potentially take a loss to Porter. Unless Crawford is certain, he can fight in close for 12 rounds without being mauled by Porter, giving up the WBO title might save him from taking a loss.

Look at it this way. If Crawford vacates his belt, he can avoid getting beaten and keep his undefeated record, which is the main thing he has going for him. His WBO belt is far less important than his undefeated record and the perception that he’s one of the best if not the best in the welterweight division.