The WBO have sent out a letter to promoters for welterweight titlist Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter, ordering negotiations for a title fight with a 30-day window to get a deal done.
Crawford (37-0, 28 KO) has been expected to face 140 lb contender Jose Zepeda, likely on Oct. 23, but this move means there’s a very strong chance Porter (31-3-1, 17 KO) will be getting a fight that has been talked about a few times, and has been given the “green light” before by PBC on Porter’s side.
If a deal isn’t made within 30 days, the bout would go to purse bid, with a minimum of $200,000, and a 60-40 split in Crawford’s favor.
The move is rather unexpected, which gives the impression that this is a fight that’s going to get done. The reports of Zepeda being Crawford’s next foe were met with about as much enthusiasm as you’d expect (very little), and Crawford and Top Rank have taken a beating from fans and media as fight after fight has gone by without “Bud” facing someone considered a top-flight contender in a division that has names.
Of course, reality has been that the names in the division have been PBC guys, but that’s started to sort itself, too. Errol Spence Jr and Manny Pacquiao will fight on Aug. 21 — Pacquiao-Crawford was also reportedly considered — and Spence has already beaten Porter and Danny Garcia, with Keith Thurman inactive for about two years now and just starting to work out again with nothing concrete in the works, it seems.
This is the best option out there for Crawford right now, and surely for Porter, too, there’s no bigger fight he can make. He’s also fought Garcia — who is planning to move up to 154, anyway — and Thurman, and Spence and Pacquiao are busy with one another.
Here’s hoping it gets done. It’s a good fight and I think everyone would welcome it.