What’s Keeping the Welterweight Division from Unifying?

By Ken Hissner: There are only two world champions with all the belts. The Super Middleweight champion is Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who lost his last fight, but it was at light heavyweight. The Super Welterweight champion is Jermell “Iron Man” Charlo.

Alvarez was allowed to defend against Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, who holds belts at middleweight. Previously Canelo tried re-winning a title at light heavyweight and lost to WBA champion Dimitri Bivol, but never defended against any of his super middleweight contenders.
Charlo had one title defense, and it seems he hurt his hand in training which called off his upcoming scheduled fight.

Both the WBA, WBC, and IBF World Welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr., 28-0 (22), and WBO World Welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, 39-0 (30), both said if and when they meet, they are moving up to super welterweight afterward. Their plans to meet each other recently fell apart.

Crawford was allowed to go a year without a fight and then fight No. 6 ranked contender David “Ava” Avanesyan, 29-3-1, whom he knocked out in six rounds on December 10th. Both Crawford and Spence are compelled to fight their No. 1 ranked contender at least once a year.

Spence went eighteen months without a fight and fought WBA Super World champion Yordenis “54 Milagros” Ugas, not one of his contenders. Errol may be fighting former WBA Super World Welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman, who isn’t the same fighter he once was since suffering an injury.

Spence, on the other hand, since suffering an injury, seems to be just as good as he was.

In the meantime, two of the top contenders being unbeaten Jaron “Boots” Ennis, 29-0 (27), and WBO International champion Vergil Ortiz, Jr., 19-0 (19), are being avoided by both Crawford and Spence.

Ennis last fought in May, stopping previously unbeaten Custio “War Machine” Clayton, 19-0-1, and has an upcoming fight on January 7th against Karen Chukhadzhian, 21-1 (11). Ortiz last fought in August, stopping previously unbeaten Michael McKinson, 23-0, and has nothing scheduled at this time.

Crawford and Spence may be waiting for Ennis and Ortiz to meet one another to put one of them out of the picture that both have been avoiding defending against.

So, what’s keeping the welterweight division from unifying?