Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter are building some momentum toward a possible spring fight, exchanging Tweets today with Porter initiating the challenge toward the WBO welterweight titleholder:
just stay on stand by because now you trying me.— Terence Crawford (@terencecrawford) March 12, 2021
Closed mouth don’t get fed, and I’m ready to give everybody what they need! #BESTFIGHTINGTHEBEST— ShowtimeShawn Porter (@ShowtimeShawnP) March 12, 2021
Crawford (37-0, 28 KO) and Porter (31-3-1, 17 KO) have a pretty extensive history at this point considering they’ve never fought. The idea for Crawford-Porter first got some traction in Dec. 2019, when Crawford promoter Bob Arum said it was a fight he was interested in making. Porter, a PBC fighter, was reportedly “given the green light” to make it happen.
It didn’t happen in 2020, and that’s not really on COVID, either. Porter fought in August, beating Sebastian Formella in a one-sided PBC on FOX main event, while Crawford returned in November to thrash former titleholder Kell Brook.
Crawford-Porter came up as a possibility again recently, with “Bud” said to be looking for fights with either Manny Pacquiao or Porter. Pacquiao seems to be going toward a bout with Mikey Garcia instead.
Crawford, 33, really doesn’t have many interesting fights he can actually make. The much-desired unification with WBC/IBF titilst Errol Spence Jr just is not happening next, and it looks like Spence will instead fight WBA titleholder Yordenis Ugas, who was elevated to full title status when Pacquiao was moved to “champion in recess.”
Porter, 33, isn’t the fight, but he’s a good fight for Crawford to make, as good as it’s going to get. Without Pacquiao, it’s really just Porter for Crawford right now, other than maybe fighting Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia, and both of them are coming off of losses. Otherwise you’re getting into the likes of David Avanesyan, a rematch with Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Custio Clayton, etc. Porter is at least something of a name, and if nothing else boxing fans know he always brings the effort and the fight.
As for a May date, it’s possible. Right now for U.S. primetime fights, May 1, May 15, and May 29 are open, while May 8 has Canelo-Saunders on DAZN and May 22 has Ramirez-Taylor on ESPN. Crawford-Porter could be an ESPN fight, but really might need to go to pay-per-view, and we do know PBC are planning an April 24 PPV, however ridiculous it might seem, which comes right after the Jake Paul-Ben Askren PPV on April 17, however ridiculous that might also seem. There’s a potential for wallet fatigue from the audience. And we also don’t know when/where the aforementioned Pacquiao-Garcia might land, either. Matchroom are also working on Haney-Linares for May, for what it’s worth, and that’d land on DAZN.
What seems pretty clear is we’re going to get a run of (mostly overdue) good matchups starting in the spring as things begin to open up more. It may not be exactly “normal” again, but a lot closer, and there are a lot of good fights in the works. And with fights that are all actually somewhat marketable, people really are going to want to avoid head-to-head matchups more than they would, say, running Smith-Vlasov against Ennis-Lipinets on April 10; those are both pretty good fights, but not particularly big fights.
Anyway, we’ll see, and hopefully this just gets done. It’s a good fight; it’s as good as Crawford is getting right now, and that goes for Porter, too.