Crawford Becomes WBO Mandatory for Tszyu – Fundora Winner

By Jay McIntyre - 03/19/2024 - Comments

Terence Crawford has used his WBO ‘Super Champion’ status at 147 to skip the line to become the mandatory winner of the March 30th Tim Tszyu vs. Sebastian Fundora fight.

Crawford can make good money from the Australian PPV market by fighting Tszyu, which he wouldn’t get facing any other fighters at 147. The downside of Crawford’s decision is that he will be inactive until the summer.

Terence has been out of the ring since July, so he’s probably looking at Crawford being on the shelf for a year before he gets a chance to fight the winner of the Tszyu vs. Fundora clash.

The Cost of Inactivity 

That’s not good when for a 36-year-old fighter, as Crawford has failed to take advantage of the popularity boost he got from his win over Errol Spence Jr. last July. Crawford wasted a lot of time campaigning for a fight with Canelo Alvarez rather than getting back in the ring and fighting the best possible opponent, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.

Crawford doesn’t want to fight him, though, so he’ll lose another year of his career sitting idle, making no money, and watching his popularity drop. He’s too dangerous, and Crawford might lose. So, he’s focusing on a more winnable fight against the slow but powerful Tszyu, who hasn’t been tested as a pro and has struggled at times.

This move lets the 36-year-old be the next in line to fight for the WBO 154-lb title against whoever emerges as the winner of the Tszyu-Fundora fight, which many expect to be Tszyu.

Calculated Risk or Missed Chance?

It’s a move that makes sense for the Nebraska native Crawford because he’s not going to get a rematch with Errol Spence, he’s not interested in fighting Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis at 147, and undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez is giving him the cold shoulder.

This is the wrong Crawford to get the golden parachute retirement payday against Canelo. He wouldn’t be proving anything by capturing a belt at 154, which is too far away from the 168-lb division, to improve his chances of getting that money fight. Crawford needs to move up to 168 and knock off one or two of the big dogs.

The winner of Tszyu-Fundora probably won’t grumble too much about having to fight Crawford because it’s a good money fight.