Terence Crawford: ‘Canelo getting the fights he wants, but I haven’t’
By Matt Lieberman: Terence Crawford is watching Canelo Alvarez get all the essential fights he wants in competing four times in the last year while he’s only fought once during the same period.
It would be easy for Crawford if he could cut to the chase by moving up three weight classes to challenge Canelo, 31, for his four titles at super middleweight. Beating Canelo at 168 would immediately result in Crawford leapfrogging him in the pound-for-pound lists.
However, Crawford will not likely move up in weight to challenge a big puncher like Canelo.
Even if Crawford could get the fight with Canelo, he would be giving away a lot of size and power in meeting him at 168 without the benefit of a catchweight. Crawford isn’t popular enough to force Canelo to agree to a catchweight.
To get a fight with Canelo would require that Crawford be more popular than he is now.
While Canelo is reportedly interested in facing IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence, but that’s because he’s a proven PPV draw. Crawford isn’t.
WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) wants to grab the #1 pound-for-pound spot to be recognized as the best fighter in boxing. Still, it’s been impossible for him to compete with the more active Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs), who has an advantage over him with his ability to get any fight he wants.
Without Canelo’s immense popularity, it’s difficult, if not impossible, for the 34-year-old Crawford to justify that he deserves the #1 pound-for-pound position.
“He is definitely doing things differently to me because he is able and capable of doing those things,” an envious Crawford said to Sky Sports about Canelo fighting four times in the last 12 months.
“He is getting all of the fights that he wants right now. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to. He has fought four times in the past year, and he has become undisputed.
This month, Crawford will be facing easily the best opponent of his 13-year professional career in Shawn Porter on November 20th on ESPN+ PPV. Crawford feels this is where he starts to show the world that he deserves to be the #1 fighter in boxing.
If Crawford beats the 33-year-old former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs), the victory could open doors for him to get the crucial fights against these guys:
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Yordenis Ugas
- Josh Taylor
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Jaron Ennis
- Keith Thurman
- Conor Benn
If Crawford can beat those guys, he’ll be in a great position to snatch the #1 pound-for-pound spot from Canelo. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy for Crawford to get all of those fights, given how he’s been seemingly avoided all these years.
If Crawford’s fight with Porter brings in a lot of PPV buys on ESPN, that could be the lure to get the top welterweights to face him. It’s all about risk-reward. Fighters and their promoters won’t worry so much about losing if they know they can get a massive payday of $7–10 million fighting Crawford.
“It has been frustrating, but what’s meant for me, I will have,” said Crawford. “Everything happens for a reason, and I believe that my time is coming. I feel like I’m already there, but I have to prove it to the world, and it starts with Porter”
“To be the best fighter in the world. Simple. I feel like I’m already there, but I have to prove it to the world, and it starts with Porter.”
It starts with Porter, but Crawford will still have a long haul before he’s able to rip the #1 pound-for-pound ranking away from Canelo. Porter is a good fighter, but he’s getting up there in age, hasn’t fought in 12 months, and has arguably lost 2 out of his last three fights.
Where it starts for Crawford in his journey to take the #1 spot in boxing is for him to beat Spence, Josh Taylor, Jaron Ennis, and Vergil Ortiz Jr.
If Crawford can beat those guys, he’s got a chance of taking the top spot from Canelo, but only if the Mexican fighter gets beaten or plays it safe by fighting weaker opposition.
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