By Allan Fox: Terence Crawford says he’ll be ready to move up to 168 to take on the winner of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo fights for the undisputed championship at super middleweight.
Without any experience or a ranking at 168, Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) wants to be allowed to jump in front of WBC mandatory challenger David Benavidez, David Morrell Jr and Demetrius Andrade to challenge the winner of the September 30th fight between undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo (59-2-2, 39 KOs) and Jermell.
The odds of Crawford being allowed by all of the sanctioning bodies to skip in front of the top contenders at 168 to challenge the Canelo-Charlo winner are slim.
You can count on the World Boxing Council to allow Crawford to skip the line to go in front of Benavidez, Morrell & Andrade to fight for the belts, but the other sanctioning bodies would likely put their foot down.
Should Crawford be allowed to fight for titles at 168?
Canelo is already freezing the contenders’ careers at 168 by defending against 154-lb fighter Jermell Charlo next. Would the IBF, WBAA, WBC & WBO allow the Canelo-Charlo winner to bypass the contenders at 168 to fight Crawford from the 147-lb division?
It would be making a mockery of the sport if those four sanctioning bodies allowed the winner of the Canelo vs. Charlo fight to face Crawford instead of the likes of Benavidez, Morrell Jr., or Andrade next.
Shouldn’t Crawford have to beat one or more of these fighters to rate a title shot at 168?
- David Morrell Jr.
- David Benavidez
- Dmitry Bivol
- Demetrius Andrade
“That would be my opportunity to show everybody how great Terence Crawford really is. If Canelo accepts my challenge and I come up to 168 lbs to challenge him for undisputed at his weight, then I will show everybody that I’ve got the skills to do it all in that ring,” said Terence Crawford to the 3 Knockdown Rule about his wanting to challenge four-belt super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
That would be a sad day for boxing if Crawford can fight for the undisputed super middleweight championship without ANY experience in the division.
What about the contenders at 168 that have been toiling away for years, waiting for a title shot? Should Canelo or Jermell be allowed to fight Crawford? It’s one thing if it were an exhibition match, but you can’t have a champion at 168 repeatedly defending against fighters from weight classes below.
Crawford wants Canelo-Jermell winner
“I believe if Canelo beats Jermell Charlo, that’s the next fight to be made if me and Spence is not the next one, that’s the fight to be made [against Canelo]. Then me and Spence can fight, and I can ride off into the sunset.
For sure, I want the Canelo fight. I want the [Jermell] Charlo fight, but I’ve got obligations with the Spence fight as well. That’s another fight that’s intriguing, but outside of those three opponents [Spence, Canelo & Jermell], there’s nothing for me to do in the sport of boxing anymore. So my sights are on the big fights,” said Crawford.
What about Boots Ennis?
Terence not only has obligations to Spence, but he also has his IBF mandatory Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, who is waiting for his title shot. If Crawford is just looking to make some coin fighting at 168, he needs to vacate his IBF title so that Boots can fight for the belt instead of holding it hostage.
“I don’t see how big a fight between Charlo and Crawford [with Jermell] coming off a loss. I never fought an opponent coming off a loss because it wouldn’t be as meaningful for me and my career to fight someone that just lost.
“So that just opens the door for the media to say, ‘He just lost. So you’re beating damaged goods. Man, he was just fighting for the money.’ So if Jermell wins, of course, me and him can get in the ring, and I can move up to 168 and fight him because he’s going to lose a title [WBO] at 154 once the bell rings [for the Canelo fight on September 30th].
It won’t be surprising if Crawford winds up fighting Jermell Charlo at 154, with him coming off a loss to Canelo. The undisputed championship at junior middleweight won’t be on the line, because Jermell will be stripped of his WBO 154-lb title the moment he enters the ring to fight Canelo at 168.
WBO mandatory challenger Tim Tszyu has been waiting an entire year for Jermell to return to the ring to face him, and instead of doing that, he’s chosen to further his career and get a big payday against Caneelo at super middleweight.
That’s why the WBO is going to strip Jermell. Crawford may not like it, but you can’t have world champions doing whatever they want, ignoring their mandatory challenges to make money fighting other fighters. Again, it makes a joke out of boxing.
“I think it’s bull s**t. I think he [Jermell] should be allowed to move up [and bypass his WBO mandatory obligations to defend against Tim Tszyu] and fight Canelo and still keep all his belts [at 154] because Canelo moved up and fought guys and was able to keep his belts.”
Would Crawford like it if he were the WBO 154-lb mandatory, waiting for Jermell to stop licking his wounds for an entire year, and then when he’s healed, he decides to ignore him and go up to 168 to challenge Canelo?
It may not seem like a big deal for Crawford that Jermell is bypassing his WBO mandatory Tszyu to fight Canelo, but if the shoe was on the other foot and he was in Tim’s place, he’d be screaming bloody murder and would be furious.
“I don’t know what the situation is with that. I’m just speaking from the outside. I don’t think it’s right, but at the same time, rules are rules, and if they do decide to take his belt when he fights Canelo, then I’ll be open to challenge the winner,” said Crawford.