By: Hans Themistode
The Welterweight division is currently in a golden era. This current group of fighters, aren’t just great in this era, but they would be in any era. An argument can be made for anyone ranked within the top five in the division to be considered number one.
The best way to end any debate is by taking a look at not just a fighters skillset but also by taking a look at their resume. Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter are widely regarded as the best that the weight class has to offer. Ranking them however, can get a bit tricky.
It seems as though this calendar year, they are all determined to stand alone. There is one problem with that notion. With the exception of Terence Crawford, they are all signed to Premier Boxing Champions. This is where the problem begins and ends for Crawford.
As mentioned earlier, these fighters represents the best in the Welterweight division. Danny Garcia is two weight world champion and has defeated many hall of fame level fighters including Zab Judah, Erik Morales and Amir Khan to name a few. Shawn porter has managed to win the Welterweight world title on two occasions and is undoubtedly one of the most physical Welterweights the division has ever seen.
Former unified Welterweight champion and current WBA belt holder Keith Thurman arguably has the best resume of anyone in the entire division outside, of Pacquiao. IBF champ Errol Spence Jr is a monster inside of the ring. Simply put, he has everything needed to rule the division for quite some time. Manny Pacquiao is an all-time great fighter.
As boxing’s only eight division world champion, the accolades of Pacquiao stands alone. Even at the age of 40, he has shown no signs of slowing down. Last but certainly not least is Terence Crawford. To describe Crawford with one word would be virtually impossible. Too sum up the Omaha native is simple. He is the closet we have ever seen to Sugar Ray Leonard. Yes he’s that good.
These Welterweight stars have a loaded boxing calendar in front of them. Well, most of them do.
Both Spence and Porter are headed towards a unification contest that is set to take place sometime in the fall. Pacquiao and Thurman have their own battle that will be taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 20th. Danny Garcia, has been rumored to have his own monumental showdown with four division world champion Mikey Garcia in the second half of the year as well. What does these bouts say about this current group of fighters? They want to be the best.
With that being said, where does that leave Terence Crawford? The undefeated WBO titlist isn’t just viewed as the best Welterweight in the division, but many believe he is the best fighter in the world.
After successfully unifying the Jr Welterweight division, Crawford has picked up a few noticeable wins in his new weight class. His size, power and skill has translated seamlessly in his new found division. For as good as Crawford is however, he hasn’t truly, been given the opportunity to show it. With all of the top names facing one another for supremacy, it has effectively left Crawford out of the mix.
There seems to be no end in sight as Crawford is being positioned for a November showdown against WBO number one contender, Egidijus Kavaliauskas. The hard hitting Lithuanian has shown promise in his young career, but lacks not just the skill, but the name value to provide Crawford with the type of bout he deserves.
Manny Pacquiao is an absolute lock for the hall of fame. Garcia, Porter, Thurman, Spence and Crawford are all building their own case.
When this era of boxing is done and over with, how will it be remembered? One of the best eras for the Welterweight division, that’s for sure. It’s great that all of these top notch fighters are getting the chance to prove their worth. It’s just a shame that Terence Crawford might possibly be the best of them all, but he isn’t being given those same opportunities that his peers are currently enjoying.
Terence Crawford needs a big fight now, more than ever.