WBO welterweight titleholder Terence “Bud” Crawford has made plenty of headlines in recent weeks, first for the build-up to his April 20 fight with Amir Khan, then the goofy finish of the fight itself, then as part of a fight that boxing fans are demanding but unlikely to get: a unification with IBF titleholder Errol Spence Jr.
Crawford and Spence are seen as the top two welterweights in the world, in whatever order, and are both unbeaten, in their primes, and also considered top pound-for-pound combatants by most.
But that fight is not any closer to happening today than it was a couple weeks ago. The media feud between Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum and PBC mastermind Al Haymon — though entirely carried by Arum since Haymon doesn’t do public statements or appearances, though the likes of Leonard Ellerbe are very open to speaking on his behalf — is very real, and it’s a significant divide for a fight like this.
Simply put, it’s not happening any time soon, and for that matter neither is Crawford facing other top PBC welterweights like WBC titleholder Shawn Porter, WBA titleholder Keith Thurman, WBA secondary titleholder Manny Pacquiao, or Danny Garcia.
But Crawford, 31, is making clear that he wants these fights, specifically calling out Spence, Porter, and Thurman for unification:
It’s a frustrating situation for fight fans and for Crawford at this point — perhaps frustrating for Spence, Thurman, and Porter, too, of course, they may want the fight just as much. But Spence, Thurman, and Porter all have each other to fight, plus Pacquiao and Garcia in the pool. The current summer plans, at last rumor, are Spence-Porter and Pacquiao-Thurman. That leaves Garcia, and maybe a deal for Crawford-Garcia could be made, but Top Rank offered that some months back, and wound up having to go with Khan instead for April 20.
While the PBC stars have that pool to pick from and arguably be placated by, Crawford’s pool of potential opponents is a lot more shallow. As we’ve discussed more in-depth, Top Rank’s in-house options are, frankly, rather pitiful — we’re talking about Luis Collazo, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Chris van Heerden here. It’s not to dump on those guys, they’re all solid fighters. But they’re not credible opponents for Terence Crawford at this point, not in their careers nor in his.
That may leave Top Rank to look to Matchroom Boxing for another opponent, as they did with Khan. This time, it could be Kell Brook (38-2, 26 KO), a former titleholder at 147 who has fought at junior middleweight in his last two outings, and didn’t look great in a December win over Michael Zerafa. Crawford-Brook isn’t the best fight, but it might be the best fight Crawford can get right now.