By: Hans Themistode
The Welterweight division is viewed as one of the best in all of boxing. But it’s also becoming one of the most stagnant. Errol Spence Jr, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao are the names that are constantly brought up when the division is spoken of. Mix and match them however you want, but most likely you’ll find a competitive matchup regardless.
Contests between them are easy fights to make. They all have ties to Premier Boxing Champions (PBC), so the political issues that have robbed fans of great matchups are non-existent. While a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence Jr or Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter are head turners, WBO titlist Terence Crawford is left with matchups against Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Jose Benavidez Jr. Respectable names of course, but not the sort of fights fans want to see.
Crawford, a three division world champion, is no closer to a mega showdown with Spence or anyone else on the PBC roster. While the rest of the world has swept matchups with Crawford and another big name fighter under the rug, former two time Welterweight champion Shawn Porter still thinks there’s a chance.
“I don’t know exactly what was gonna be said or done,” Porter said Friday as part of Premier Boxing Champions’ Facebook Live. “But there’s still light in that tunnel for those who want ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter versus Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford.”
The light at the end of the tunnel that Porter is referring to looks a long ways away considering the future of sports in general is unknown due to COVID-19. With that being said though, the sports world will eventually unpause from its forced hiatus. And when that happens, it doesn’t matter if you are a part of the PBC roster or if you are promoted elsewhere, everybody is in play.
“Everybody’s on the table. Everybody’s on the board. As y’all already know, Shawn Porter is not a ducker. I don’t duck anyone. If it’s bringing the money and it’s bringing the excitement, it’s bringing ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter. So, that’s what I’m here to do. If it happens to be Bud, that will be a conversation that he and I are gonna have.”
Before a fight between Porter and Crawford can even be thought of, the two will in fact need to discuss it. Reason being, their friendship. The two have been close with one another for years now, and haven’t exactly shown a willingness to push that friendship to the side in favor of cash and notoriety. But even if a fight between them doesn’t materialize, Porter will be just fine. Remember, rematches with Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr are right at his fingertips. Crawford on the other hand, doesn’t have a notable challenger in sight. A problem that he has been criticized for time and time again.
“I do agree that Terence needs a quote, unquote true opponent. “And I’m a little different from most of y’all out there. But, you know, and I think most fighters will say this – we go out there and we put our lives on the line against everyone every time we get in the ring. I mean, the guy could be 0-10 and something still could happen. You know, so in that respect, you have to respect the fighter for whoever he has fought and whoever he’s fighting.”
“Terence’s last fight was against a guy, I think he was from Australia [Lithuania’s Kavaliauskas], I could be wrong. A lot of people were criticizing him about that. And my mindset was it’s still a big fight, good fight for you, against a good fighter. And again, anything can happen. So when you say true fighter, of course there’s levels to this, so we’ll be respectful to that. But at the same time, Terence has not been a multi-time world champion by accident. The dude is the real deal. He’s just a great fighter, great athlete, great person. And so, you know, you have to respect everyone that he fought.”
Everyone certainly deserves respect, but the amount that is dished out isn’t the same. Porter has already gotten his. Sure he’s come up short a few times, but not only has he picked up a number of huge wins. More importantly he knows what it feels like to be under those bright lights.
Under normal circumstances everyone would go in their own direction. PBC would stick to their own stable of fights, while Top Rank and Matchroom would do the same. But COVID-19 has changed everything, and maybe for the better.
“We’re at a point right now where everybody’s gonna kinda have to reset and get everything back into order. You know, some of the fighters that, you know, were champions before all of this happened, there’s no telling what’s gonna happen once we get back going.”