By: Hans Themistode
Legally, Vergil Ortiz is barely allowed to drink liquor. However, that isn’t stopping his current trainer in Robert Garcia from believing his man is ready to face who many believe is the best fighter in the world.
“We are going after Crawford,” said Garcia during an interview with Little Giant Boxing. “That’s the fight we’re going after right now. I think Vergil is ready.”
Obtaining a fight with Crawford, the WBO 147 pound champion, could be much easier than many anticipate due to Ortiz (16-0, 16 KOs) ranking number two in the sanctioning body. But while a win over Crawford would stun the boxing world, the Dallas native has a major roadblock standing in his way in the form of one-time 140 champion Maurice Hooker.
The two are scheduled to meet in the main event slot at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on March 20th. Hooker, 31, is considered by far the toughest fight of Vergil’s career. A win is far from guaranteed, but if Vergil can pull it off, Garcia believes his welterweight contender would be in the best position possible to land a shot at Crawford.
“If everything goes well in the Hooker fight, we want Crawford next. Vergil is already ranked in the top two in the rankings, something like that. Golden Boy and Top Rank have been working together and doing championship fights together so I think it’s the easiest fight to make.”
After spending years facing what many would consider less than stellar opposition, Crawford is now staring down the barrel of a long line of several top contenders. Outside of a possible showdown with Ortiz, Crawford is rumored to be in the running to face either eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao or former two-time 147-pound belt holder, Shawn Porter. The pound-for-pound star was last seen in the ring roughly four months ago.
In an empty MGM Grand arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Crawford delivered a one-sided beating to former champion Kell Brook, dropping and later stopping the British native in the fourth round.
By: Hans Themistode
Former WBO featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson continues to shake his head whenever a possible matchup between Shawn Porter and Terence Crawford is mentioned. With Porter holding the number one ranking in the WBO sanctioning body, the former welterweight belt holder is aiming to knock off Crawford and claim his belt as his own.
By and large, a matchup between the two is viewed as competitive and one that could go either way. To Stevenson on the other hand, he views their possible showdown as one-way traffic.
“Shawn Porter is a fighter who gives a lot of people problems,” said Stevenson during an interview with Fight Hype. “But in my opinion, styles make fights and Terence style is just a really bad style for Shawn Porter. Terence is a sharpshooter that likes to box, Shawn Porter runs in and tries to be ugly. I don’t think that’s a good style for Shawn Porter to try and fight Terence with.”
Although Stevenson has a hard time envisioning Porter giving Crawford any sort of trouble, he did admit that Porter is rugged and as tough as they come. In fact, Stevenson went as far as to say that Porter will find moments of success. However, those moments will be few and far between.
“He’s going to get some punches in don’t get me wrong. Shawn Porter is tough and a really good fighter but I just think Terence is faster than Shawn. He’s also a better and bigger puncher than Shawn. I just think it’s a bad style for Shawn.”
Regardless of whether or not a Shawn Porter vs Terence Crawford showdown is as one-sided as Stevenson believes it will be, most of the boxing world simply wants to see Crawford step into the ring against elite competition.
Despite having three losses on his resume, Porter proved that even in defeat he can give a fighter hell for a full 36 minutes. After losing a close split decision to Spence Jr. in September of 2019, Porter bounced right back with an easy win over Sebastian Formella this past August.
Following the win, almost a day hasn’t gone by where Porter hasn’t called out Crawford. At the moment, both sides are still working on the financial part of a deal while also exploring other options.
If everything can be worked out, then Porter will easily be viewed as the best fighter Crawford has faced as a 147 pounder. Yet, that statement makes absolutely no sense to Stevenson. The last time he checked, Crawford just knocked out Kell Brook a mere three months ago.
Brook, of course, outboxed Porter in 2014 to win the IBF title. To the former featherweight belt holder, the math just doesn’t add up to Porter being the toughest opponent of Crawford’s career.
“Can’t say that’s his toughest fight when he just fought Kell Brook, somebody that outboxed Shawn Porter as easy as possible.”
Steven’s words might technically be true, but many believe Brook was smack-dab in the middle of his prime at that time. Now, at the of 34 and several stoppage losses to his name, the British native simply isn’t the same fighter he used to be.
Still, for Stevenson, his point is the same. It doesn’t matter who is in the ring with Crawford, just do yourself a favor and avoid him for as long as humanly possible.
“A lot of people need to leave Terence alone, he’s a helluva fighter. Terence is a savage man.”
By: Hans Themistode
For the most part, WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford, hasn’t heard his name on the lips of many fighters. While some may say that the politics of boxing won’t allow dream bouts against Errol Spence Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to happen, those closely associated with Crawford believe the word “ducking,” is more apropos.
One fighter who has no issue calling for a showdown with Crawford is former multiple-time welterweight belt holder Shawn Porter. Promotional differences and phrases such as “across the street,” be damned to the Akron Ohio native. His persistent pursuit of their contest may come as a shock to some, but not to Crawford’s trainer, Brian “Bomac” McIntyre.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all that Shawn is stepping up and calling out Bud,” said Bomac during an interview with Fight Hype. “He’s considered one of the best 147 pounders and he’s doing what needs to do to continue his legacy and get big fights. So let’s go. We don’t have a problem fighting Porter.”
If Crawford’s last fight was any indication, the 33-year-old is seemingly ready. In November of 2020, he continued his unbeaten run with a fourth-round stoppage win over former titlist Kell Brook. Coming into their contest – the size, skill and experience of Brook was thought to at the very least, trouble Crawford. Despite a few losses, Brook had always given every opponent he faced hell for as long as the fight lasted.
Yet, he was blown out of the water as the first big shot that connected essentially pushed him closer to retirement. In facing Porter, the argument could easily be made that he would be the best fighter Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) has ever faced and in terms of 147 pounders, there’s no debate.
But while he would most likely rank number one on Crawford’s resume, Bomac believes that’s actually a bad thing, not a good one.
“Y’all will see a better version of Terence,” explained Bomac. “If you notice, every opponent that Terence gets, if he’s better than the last opponent, you always see a better and better Terence. If the fight does materialize and Shawn Porter comes with his A-game, then you’ll see an A+ from Terence Crawford.”
For Porter, he’s bounced back nicely from losing a split decision to unified champion Errol Spence Jr. in 2019, by winning every single round against fringe contender Sebastian Formella in August of 2020. Instead of pursuing a rematch with Spence Jr., one he would be granted considering his number one ranking in the WBC sanctioning body, Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) has chosen to chase after Crawford instead. Porter, after all, is also ranked number one in the WBO.
In the eyes of many, a matchup between the two would be a fairly even one. Crawford wouldn’t be expected to simply mow down the former titlist. Rather, a back and forth showdown is more likely to materialize.
With that said, Bomac has no idea why anyone would believe that Porter would present Crawford with any issues. Despite holding an undefeated record, multiple world titles in several divisions and the consensus number one spot on virtually every pound-for-pound list, Bomac believes that Crawford is only scratching the surface of what he really can do.
“The IQ and ring generalship that you’ll get out of Terence will just rise above what Porter has to win the fight with ease. Y’all haven’t seen the best of Terence Crawford yet.”
By: Hans Themistode
The list of fighters Terence Crawford is likely to find standing across the ring from him later this year is dwindling down.
According to promoter Bob Arum, the two front runners for his pound for pound star is Shawn Porter and Manny Pacquiao. No matter who is chosen from that shortlist, fans of Crawford will be ecstatic to see their man face one of the elites of the welterweight division.
With that being said, a number of his supporters will be disappointed that once again, a matchup between Crawford and unified champion Errol Spence Jr. won’t be taking place.
At one point, Crawford consistently called for a showdown between the pair to end the debate of who is the best in the division. However, with numerous hurdles in the way such as Spence Jr. stating that Crawford must be willing to accept a 60/40 or 70/30 split in order to make the fight happen, the Nebraska native has walked from the negotiating table and doesn’t intend on looking back.
“You will never hear me asking for that fight ever again,” said Crawford during an interview with FightHype. “If it happens it happens, if it don’t, it don’t. I don’t need that fight. I’m not worried about that fight.”
Discussing a matchup between Crawford and Spence Jr. has become pointless. Neither side appear close to agreeing on anything and at this point, their contest seems to be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Rather than continue to discuss his frustrations on the failed showdown, Crawford is fully focused on what lies ahead. With Porter and Pacquiao staring him directly in the face, Crawford can only smile as he envisions facing them.
Preference has never been something Crawford has made important during his career. Simply sign on the dotted line and he’ll be ready to take on whomever is placed in front of him.
Yet, in this instance, Crawford is in fact leaning towards one fighter over the other. In absolutely no way, shape or form is he intimidated by either man, but if he had his choice, he knows exactly who he would choose.
“I prefer the Manny Pacquiao fight over Shawn Porter but Shawn Porter is a great fighter in his own right.”
For Crawford, the now 33-year-old is simply looking to build some legit momentum. After making quick work of former welterweight belt holder Kell Brook in the fourth round of their contest this past November, Crawford found himself on the receiving end of nonstop criticism.
Fans of Crawford believed that Brook was never a worthy challenge. In fact, many are under the impression that everyone Crawford has faced during his welterweight tenure has been subpar.
A matchup against either Porter or Pacquiao on the other hand, would quiet the mouths of just about everyone. Although it’s too early to tell who will be chosen, Crawford will merely continue to pound away at the heavy bag and work on his craft as he awaits confirmation.
“Manny Pacquiao is fast, moves, can punch. Shawn Porter is aggressive, tough, durable. I’ll be ready for whichever one comes to fruition.”
By: Hans Themistode
Shawn Porter has a lot to be proud of. From beating guys such as Devon Alexander, Adrien Broner and Danny Garcia, to wrapping welterweight gold around his waist on two separate occasions, if Porter were to walk away from the sport of boxing right now, he would be satisfied with his career.
For as much as the Ohio native has accomplished, he still believes there’s more left to do. Of course, the now 33-year-old would enjoy nabbing another world title, but more than anything, he simply appreciates sharing the ring with great fighters. While he’s fought just about everyone in the division, if he were to hang up the gloves without facing a certain pound for pound star, his career would feel somewhat incomplete.
“It’s Terence Crawford,” said Porter on the Ak and Barak Show. “It’s something about him and that fight. I think that fight is great. There’s a big argument between who’s better? Terence Crawford or Errol Spence Jr., so that’s why for me it’s like okay, you’ve been in the ring with Errol Spence Jr., now, go get Terence Crawford.”
The argument that Porter alludes too, feels like a never-ending one as both Crawford and Spence Jr. have made absolutely no traction in actually making their showdown come to reality. But while most of the world continues to fulminate over who is the best welterweight in the world between the pair, Porter begins to sport an incredulous look on his face.
After making Spence Jr.’s life a living hell for 12 rounds during their showdown in 2019, Porter knows that he’s just as good as the unified titlist.
“I already fought Errol Spence Jr. and I think that everybody still feels like he’s the best welterweight in the world. I think in my attempt to beat him, that if you still think that he is the best welterweight in the world, Shawn Porter is not even a half step behind him. Shawn Porter is running pace and pace.”
Regardless of whether he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Spence Jr. and Crawford, Porter is knocking on the door of proving that he’s just as good. At the moment, the Ohio product holds the number one position in the WBC and WBO sanctioning bodies. Spence Jr., of course, not only holds the IBF title, but also the WBC. Although a rematch is a route he could go down, Porter would rather chase after Crawford instead.
Despite the pair holding a very close friendship with one another, Porter has stated on numerous occasions that he would have no issue shoving that to the side in order to make the fight happen. In his attempt to get Crawford in the ring, Porter has been met with some resistance. Mostly in the form of dollar signs as promoter Bob Arum has announced that he would not offer Porter more than one million dollars for the fight.
Those numbers though, while eye-catching to most around the world, especially amid a pandemic, were mere pennies to Porter as he has called the offer “disrespectful.”
In spite of the fact that they are apparently worlds apart in terms of money, team Porter is still quietly working behind the scenes to get Arum to add a few more zero’s at the end of Porter’s paycheck.
“I have not given up on that fight. I’ve had conversations with my dad like hey, go get that fight. That’s the fight for me. My dad’s working.”
By: Hans Themistode
While both unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBO belt holder Terence Crawford are grown men, they have seemingly reverted back to children as they simply can’t work out their differences. With both men holding a solidified spot in the pound for pound rankings, the boxing world has clamored for the two to step into the ring to determine just who is the best fighter in the division.
However, the pair have spent more time pointing fingers and blaming the other for the reason why their bout hasn’t taken place. Although fans have taken the side of the fighter they like most, none have been behind the scenes during negotiations.
One person who has though, is promoter Bob Arum.
After picking up the phone to speak with team Spence and his representatives over with Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) and Al Haymon, the 89-year-old is under the impression that all but one person is on board in making the fight happen.
“I’ve talked with Al Haymon,” said Arum on the Three Knockdown Rule Podcast. “He’s amenable to the fight. The only one who’s holding back on it and maybe because he feels that he can’t win the fight is Errol Spence. That’s the truth. The only issue is Spence doesn’t want to fight him. Don’t blame Al Haymon, don’t blame PBC, blame Spence. He doesn’t want to get beat by Crawford. Errol Spence is the obstacle in making that fight, not Al Haymon, not PBC, its Errol Spence.”
In the case of Spence Jr., long before he claimed two world titles, the Dallas native expressed his desire in becoming an undisputed world champion. His quest in achieving said goal, ultimately runs through Omaha’s Crawford.
Despite the skills that are constantly put on display by the former three-division titlist, Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) has exhibited an extraordinary amount of confidence in a possible showdown between them. Regardless of the faith he has shown in himself, Arum believes it’s all a lie.
Spence Jr. may come across as someone who is confident in his abilities but to Arum, the long-time promoter believes he knows exactly what’s running through his mind.
“We’re very confident in the fight. We believe that Crawford will beat him but unfortunately, Spence believes the same thing.”
Crawford, of course, is currently battling the court of public opinion. In mid-November just last year, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) dismantled former IBF titlist, Kell Brook, via fourth-round stoppage. While his performance may have been highlight-worthy, many were expecting it as Brook doesn’t appear to be the same fighter he was several years ago.
Upon announcing that Crawford would be taking on Brook, fans of the Omaha native began bellyaching about his opponent selection. Despite winning world titles across multiple weight classes and regardless of holding a seat as either the best pound for pound fighter in the world or at worst, the second-best behind Canelo Alvarez, fans of Crawford have long wanted to see him take on elite competition.
The cries and pleas of the fans haven’t fallen on deaf ears. For Arum, he fully understands that like the fans, Crawford wants to partake in some of the biggest matchups in the sport, and by all accounts, Arum and his Top Rank promotional company believe they are trying their best to placate everyone.
“Terence wants big fights and we hope to deliver big fights for him.”
By: Hans Themistode
In the sport of boxing, sometimes words can get misconstrued. However, former two-time welterweight belt holder Shawn Porter made his words as clear as possible when regarding who he wants to step into the ring next.
“I prioritize Terence Crawford,” said Porter following Errol Spence Jr.’s win over Danny Garcia.
Porter, of course, held a birds-eye view as he watched Spence Jr. dismantle Garcia during their pay-per-view main event late last year. While Porter is positioned to take on Spence Jr. due to his high ranking in both the WBC and IBF sanctioning bodies, the Ohio native appeared more interested in taking on WBO belt holder Terence Crawford.
Although Porter currently sits in the mandated position, promoter Bob Arum is apparently playing hardball with the welterweight contender. During a recent interview, Arum revealed that the guaranteed dollars he would be willing to offer Porter would fall well short of what the rugged fighter has grown accustomed to making.
“I’m not guaranteeing more than a million dollars,” said Arum during an interview with Barbershop Conversations. “I’m just not, not in these times.”
“These times,” that Arum is referring to, is the current worldwide pandemic. Still, even with fans absent from arenas, Porter believes Arum’s excuse for not offering him more zero’s at the end of his paycheck is flat out bullshit.
Considering his stature in the sport of boxing, as well as what Arum paid Crawford’s most recent opponent, Porter simply isn’t buying the excuses that Arum is trying to sell.
“I said it before, I will not fight Terence Crawford for a million dollars,” said Porter on his podcast The Porter Way Podcast Clips. “You paid Kell Brook two million, reportedly, to fight Terence Crawford. What makes Kell Brook worth more than Shawn Porter at this point in time? Especially in the United States.”
While at one point, Brook was considered the cream of the crop of the welterweight division, the 34-year-old has suffered numerous knockout losses, making his fourth-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Crawford not surprising.
With Porter’s bank account is currently filled to the brim with millions upon millions of dollars, accepting a lesser offer then given to Brook simply doesn’t make sense to the 33-year-old.
Although the potential of raking in a million dollars would make most individuals jump out of their seats, Porter merely yawns and remains stone-faced.
“I get it, for a lot of people a million dollars is a lot of money. However, with the money that I’ve been able to make I understand the business of boxing. To even begin negotiations at two million dollars is an insult. Everybody in the sport of boxing knows that the welterweight division is the hottest in boxing and if anything, second to heavyweight. We command a lot of money and attention. This fight would do all of that and more. A million dollars isn’t chump change to somebody else but to Shawn Porter, it’s chump change.”
“I guarantee that if there’s fans in the stand, that we will fill up whatever stadium you want to take the fight to,” continued Porter. “If we do it on pay-per-view we’re going to sell more pay-per-views than Terence Crawford’s ever sold before because now he’s fighting Shawn Porter and I am a pay-per-view draw.”
For years now, Arum has said time and time again that Terence Crawford isn’t just the best fighter in the welterweight division but also that he’s the best fighter in the world. Those words however, ring hollow to Porter. Sure Arum may say one thing about the skills of Crawford but for the number one ranked contender, he believes Arum wants to keep Crawford as far away from him as possible.
“You know the only way you can stay away from Shawn Porter and justify it is by saying that a million dollars isn’t chump change. You really don’t want Terence Crawford to have that fight.”
By: Hans Themistode
Former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman tore Bob Arum a new one with a seething rant recently. The Florida native had long expressed an interest in facing WBO belt holder Terence Crawford. However, talks broke down as Arum refused to acquiesce to Thurman’s financial demands.
Words such as “cheap,” and “a piece of shit,” were at the top of Thurman’s list in terms of how he felt about the long time promoter.
After taking the time to listen to what Thurman had to say, Arum is puzzled as to why he is the target of his derogatory rant.
“I saw that but what the hell is he talking about?” Asked Arum during an interview with IFL TV. “I’m being cheap? I’ve been in this boxing business for many years. There were fighters that always said promoters like myself and particularly (Don) King, that if there was a pie, that we were getting this percentage and that we should get a smaller percentage.
“That was one thing, that was legitimate. As a promoter are we taking too big a share of the pie? That makes sense but what doesn’t make sense is to say to a promoter that we know that it’s a pandemic and we know that there’s a limited amount of money but go into your own pocket and pay me what I want to get paid. For Christ’s sake, there has to be some kind of business element. Don’t tell me I got to go in my pocket for millions of dollars to make the fight happen. Why? What’s the reason for that? It makes no sense.”
For Thurman, his argument surrounding the need to get paid more money stems from Crawford’s level of opposition. As of late, the pound for pound star has received a ton of criticism for the lack of well known and established fighters on his resume. Despite Thurman’s recent defeat against Manny Pacquiao and his penchant for sitting on the sidelines due to injuries, no one questions the credentials of the former unified welterweight titlist.
In the mind of Arum however, he isn’t keen on losing money during the midst of a pandemic. As for the matchup itself, the 88-year-old promoter believes it’s a terrific one. But he doesn’t plan on shelling out the money in order to make it happen. Instead, he has offered another idea to make their bout come to fruition.
“I would tell Thurman have somebody else promote the fight and let them lose money. I promise I’ll buy a ringside seat to watch the fight.”
By: Hans Themistode
Regardless of how much Shawn Porter believes he should be paid to face WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford, promoter Bob Arum refuses to open his wallet anymore than he has to.
For the former two-time welterweight titlist, Porter currently finds himself in an ideal situation. At the moment, the Ohio native occupies the number one spot in both the WBC and WBO sanctioning bodies, as well as the number two ranking in the IBF.
With a wide variety of championship bouts at his disposal, Porter expressed a desire to take on WBO belt holder Terence Crawford. However, with Arum offering Porter only one million dollars for his services, the former champions balked at the offer, claiming that it was somewhat of a slap in the face. To Arum, on the other hand, he simply doesn’t understand how Porter, or anyone for that matter, could scoff at the possibility of pocketing a cool million dollars.
“I read someplace that he felt that I insulted him by only offering him a million dollars,” said Arum during a recent interview with Barbershop Conversations. “I’m old fashion, I don’t know why a million dollars would be an insult to anybody.”
For the 33-year-old Porter, there’s a reason why he feels offended by what he believes is a paltry offer from Arum. Not only is the Las Vegas, resident a multiple-time belt holder, but he also managed to rake in over 300,000 pay-per-view buys in his September unification bout against unified champion Errol Spence Jr. in 2019.
When juxtaposing resumes to previous Crawford opponents, Porter believes he is of a much higher stature. In Crawford’s most recent appearance in the ring, the WBO belt holder made quick work of British product Kell Brook with a fourth-round stoppage victory. While Brook was once a former champion in his own right, at the age of 34, his best days are seemingly behind him.
Although his time in the ring against Crawford was a short one, Brook was reportedly paid two million dollars for his efforts, making Arum’s one million dollar offer to Porter an even bigger insult according to the rugged contender.
Still, even with Porter viewed as the most accomplished and dangerous opponent Crawford has ever faced, Arum has drawn a line in the sand.
“He should work a deal with me on upside. I’m not guaranteeing more than a million dollars, I’m just not, not in these times.”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s been a bit of a debate taking place amongst boxing fans, pundits and even boxers themselves. Depending on whom is asked, the question of who is the best fighter pound for pound will generate a different answer.
For the most part, there are two names at the top of the list. Canelo Alvarez would be one and the other is current WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford. Although the three-division titlist has been lauded for his skills in the ring, trainer/manager of Alvarez in Eddy Reynoso believes that in terms of competition and overall accomplishments, Alvarez should be given the nod over him every single time.
“Saul has been fighting better fighters than Terence Crawford, and that’s what really counts,” said Reynoso to boxingscene.com. “Crawford has not yet accomplished what Canelo has.”
The aforementioned accomplishments of Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) took another step forward following his latest victory. Just a few short weeks ago, the Mexican native picked up another world title. This time, at the expense of previously undefeated Callum Smith. In front of a socially distanced crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, Alvarez stripped Smith of both his WBA and Ring magazine super-middleweight titles in dominant fashion.
It’s wins such as those, coupled with his victories in three separate weight classes over the course of one calendar year, that has Reynoso scratching his head whenever Alvarez isn’t listed as the number one pound for pound fighter in the world.
If given a truth serum however, Reynoso believes that even the most devoted opposers of Alvarez would have no choice but to acknowledge him as the best fighter in the world.
“Saul is accomplishing feats that no one else has had before in boxing. He’s cemented his career and legacy. That’s why he’s the best, pound for pound. The politics of anti-Canelo people is the reason why he’s not No. 1 on some lists. If anti-Canelo people were to vote with their guts, I would acknowledge it.”
By: Hans Themistode
The big fights are easy to identify. Even the most casual fans will tune into matchups headlined by Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. or Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua. While those fights are undoubtedly huge, discussing them has become incredibly repetitive.
The sport of boxing doesn’t revolve around those obvious big fights, and more times than not, those marquee matchups either take years to materialize or fail to happen at all. The anticipation would go through the roof if Canelo Alvarez agreed to take on Jermall Charlo or if Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford came to a bout agreement. But there are a ton of other possible matches that are floating under the radar. One’s that would make fight fans and even casuals run to their television screens. Let’s take a look a look at some of them now.
Luis Ortiz vs Andy Ruiz Jr
When it comes to the heavyweight division, much of the attention is on unified champion Anthony Joshua as well as WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury. There is little doubt that their showdown would entertain. However, a contest between former champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) and multiple time title challenger Luis Ortiz would possibly produce even more fireworks.
Both big men know how to box but more importantly, they know how to bang and enjoy doing it. Outside of his defeats to Deontay Wilder, Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) has never come close to losing a fight. The now 41-year-old is fresh off a first-round knockout win against Alexander Flores in early November. Ruiz Jr., on the other hand, is still searching to get back on track following his one-sided loss against Anthony Joshua in late 2019. Both men hit hard, have sturdy chins and need a big fight.
This one has fight of the year candidate written all over it.
Jermall Charlo vs Chris Eubank Jr
WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) has been described in a variety of ways. Brash, brazen, loquacious and even arrogant. In many respects, so has WBA interim titlist Chris Eubank Jr.
Charlo, 30, has done his best to quiet his doubters with his most recent performance, an easier than expected win against perennial contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Eubank Jr. though, is in a similar position. Sure his world title win was a bit fortuitous considering his opponent in Mat Korobov dislocated his shoulder in the second round of their matchup, Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22 KOs) proved in his prior fight that he can not only compete with the elite but beat them convincingly. That much was proven after sending former champion James DeGale into retirement.
In terms of Charlo and Eubank Jr., both men have expressed plenty of interest in facing each other. With nothing set in stone for either man at the moment, both should look to make this showdown happen next.
Erickson Lubin vs Jarrett Hurd
Has there ever been a boring fight involving Jarrett Hurd? Of course not. The former unified Jr middleweight champion was once viewed as the class of the division. Those thoughts however, have mostly dissipated following his surprising defeat to Julian Williams in mid-2019.
Still, with only one loss plastered to his record, the Maryland native is far from done. A possible matchup with Erickson Lubin would prove just that, provided he wins.
Lubin, much like Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs), saw his stock take a considerable hit the moment his head bounced off the canvas courtesy of a Jermell Charlo left hand in 2017. He’s rebuilt himself nicely since then reeling off five straight wins. If he wanted, Lubin could sit back and await his second crack at a world title but the 25-year-old loves a good fight. Ironically enough, Hurd loves himself a good scrap as well. It’s a matchup made in boxing Heaven.
Terence Crawford vs Keith Thurman
No not Manny Pacquiao and no not Errol Spence Jr. Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) should pick a fight with former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman. By all accounts, Spence Jr. is the top name in the division and the one Crawford should continue to lure into the ring. With that being said, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) was Spence Jr. long before he broke into the championship mix.
The biggest wins on the Dallas native’s resume came at the expense of Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. While they were impressive victories, Thurman took care of business against both men in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Injuries, of course, have held back the 32-year-old Thurman. And despite his loss to Pacquiao in his last ring appearance, he proved that there’s still plenty left in the tank.
Fans have grown tired of begging and groveling for a matchup between Crawford and Spence Jr. Instead, they should switch their focus and hope that Crawford faces Thurman. The former champion may have lost countless fans due to his inactivity in the ring but he’s still one of the best fighters in the world.
By: Hans Themistode
WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford has long wanted to face WBA titlist Manny Pacquiao or unified champion Errol Spence Jr. However, the 33-year-old has gained no traction in terms of negotiating a fight between them.
While taking on his fellow champions is his top priority, the Nebraska native could find himself standing across the ring from WBO number one contender Shawn Porter instead. For years now, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) has been reluctant to face the two-time champion due to their friendship. With that being said, Crawford is fully aware of Porter’s place in the rankings.
“Of course, that’s my mandatory,” said Porter during an interview on Therealayeverb Music on YouTube.
Porter, 33, is a few months removed from a one-sided victory against fringe contender Sebastian Formella. Before he notched that lopsided win, Porter participated in a back and forth war with Spence Jr. in late 2019. Porter, of course, would go on to lose a close split decision, dropping his WBC belt in the process.
As it stands, Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) has a bevy of options. Currently, the former titlist holds the number one ranking in the WBO but he also holds the number two spot in the IBF and WBC sanctioning bodies as well. Should he decide to go in another direction, Porter will once again find himself up against Spence Jr., a rematch he has been calling for.
But while their contest was close, Porter revealed that he would rather face Crawford instead.
“Honestly, I’ll fight whoever,” said Porter on The Jake Asman Show a few weeks ago. “But the preference is Terence Crawford simply because you guys have not seen me against Terence. Styles make fights and now my style needs to be set up with Terence Crawford.”
Throughout it all, Crawford has remained steadfast in his preference in facing his fellow belt holders. Still, if Porter is so inclined on making their contest a reality then Crawford realizes he would have no choice.
“If he goes to the WBO and says I need that fight then that fight has to happen. If I don’t get Errol Spence or Manny Pacquiao then I would have to fight Shawn Porter.”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have been dancing around each other for years now. Most of the world has the pair ranked at the very top of the welterweight division. Deciding who is the better all-around fighter is a question that has yet to be answered, and by all accounts, it doesn’t seem as though we’ll find out anytime soon.
Recently, Spence Jr. has made expressed a desire to jump up two or three weight classes to take on four-division titlist Canelo Alvarez.
While many have viewed Spence Jr.’s ambitions as brazen, former two-division champion Tim Bradley views his desire to do so as money-hungry.
“Why would go up and face Canelo but you won’t face Terence Crawford in the same weight class as you?” Said Bradley during a recent discussion with Andre Ward, Mark Kriegel and Joe Tessitore. “That’s a money thing for him.”
In the case of Alvarez, the Mexican superstar is viewed by many as the number one fighter in the world. He’s also considered the sport’s number one attraction, routinely raking in tens of millions of dollars for each appearance in the ring.
In his most recent bout which took place last week against former WBA/Ring magazine super-middleweight champion Callum Smith, Alvarez reportedly pulled in north of 20 million for his one-sided victory. In September of 2018, Alvarez signed a 10 fight, 350 million dollar deal with DAZN. Although their contract has since been terminated, Alvarez continues to see lucrative offers, including a three-fight deal worth $75 million from Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) earlier this year.
With a career-high payday likely if he were to secure a showdown with Alvarez, although Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) is only 30 years of age, Bradley believes that the Dallas product simply wants to load up his duffle bag with cash and exit stage left.
“I think that Spence is at a point now and correct me if I’m wrong but I think he just wants to get the money and leave the game.”
For Bradley, a matchup between Spence Jr. and Crawford is one that he fantasizes about but doesn’t expect to happen. One constant issue that has prevented the two from fighting one another is Spence Jr.’s association with PBC and Crawford’s alignment with Top Rank. With that said, Crawford is currently under contract with Top Rank for only one more year. A possible landing spot for Crawford once his contract does expire is PBC.
Still, even if Crawford were to sign on the dotted line with the same promotional outfit as Spence Jr., Bradley still won’t get his hopes up.
“He has no intentions of fighting Terence Crawford. Even if Terence Crawford was to jump ship and go over there to PBC, I still don’t see the fight happening.”
By: Hans Themistode
Stop asking about it.
That was the gist of what WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford was saying when he heard the words uttered from unified champion Errol Spence Jr.
“It could happen,” said Spence Jr. during a recent interview when asked about a showdown with Crawford before ultimately switching his attention to someone else entirely. “We gotta see how it go but I can move up to 160 and fight Canelo Alvarez.”
For years now, a bout between Spence Jr. and Crawford has been tabbed as one of the biggest in all of boxing. But for whatever reason, neither side has come close to hammering out a deal. According to Spence Jr., their showdown failing to come to fruition is due to team Crawford and his promoter Bob Arum. To make things easier on the pair, the 30-year-old Dallas product left an ironclad list of things that needed to happen in order to move their contest closer to the finish line.
“It’s just about Al (Haymon) and Bob to sit down and for Bob to stop lying,” explained Spence Jr. “We’ll see but it definitely could happen. Just gotta sit down and talk numbers so it definitely could happen. But like I said I’m the big dog in the welterweight division. He has to take a backseat and take that 60/40 or 70/30 or whatever we give him.”
As Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) continued to detail his demands, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) couldn’t help but laugh. The 33-year-old former three-division titlist, like most of the boxing world, listened closely to what Spence Jr. had to say. Not only was he left discouraged from what he heard but he has ultimately decided to pick up his ball and head home.
“And they said it was me,” said Crawford on his social media account. “I rest my case now, on to the next. That chapter is now close.”
While Crawford could reverse course, there isn’t much time to do so. Spence Jr. has always been regarded as a big welterweight. And for as dominant as he has been throughout his career, the undefeated titlist is ready to move on sooner rather than later.
“I’m a guy that sucks down to 147. I really think that people only see 80-70% percent of me at 147 pounds. I’m a guy that’s outgrown the weight. I’m just holding around because I want to be undisputed champion at 147.”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman had grown accustomed to watching his name get dragged through the mud. The former unified welterweight champion has been accused of spending too much time on the sidelines due to various injuries. He’s also been criticized for what many believe is a lack of dedication to his craft.
Those comments however, no matter how wrong he believes they are, is something that Thurman doesn’t care to defend himself from. Yet, in the case of the disparaging words that were aimed in his direction by current WBO titlist Terence Crawford, Thurman won’t sit idly by.
Several months ago, Thurman threw his hat into the Terence Crawford sweepstakes, telling the Nebraska native to “send the contract,” for a November showdown. That, of course, never happened as reports surfaced that Thurman asked for ten million dollars. The financial request left both Crawford and his team irate as fans began questioning if Thurman ever wanted the fight to begin with. Now, after staying silent on the subject, Thurman says all of it was absolute bullshit.
“There was an article that said Thurman asked for ten million dollars but I don’t ask for money,” said Thurman to Jeandra LeBeauf of BoxingInsider. “I only ask for what you’re willing to put out. I don’t put a number on nothing. Everything is negotiable.”
With their fight at a complete standstill, Crawford opted to go in another direction entirely, choosing to fight former IBF belt holder Kell Brook instead. Brook on the night, quickly proved to be nothing more than a warm-up for Crawford as he was dropped and stopped in the fourth round of a one-sided contest. For his efforts, Brook pocketed two million dollars. The same amount Thurman reportedly turned down during negations.
Amongst the many reasons that Crawford became irritated with their stalled fight talks, is allegedly from Thurman’s refusal to accept two million to face him. For Crawford, he couldn’t understand why a fighter such as Thurman would be willing to accept two million to face Manny Pacquiao but not himself.
Although reports did surface that Thurman made roughly $2.5 million for the July 2019 contest, the former belt holder says don’t believe everything that you hear as his pockets were filled with much more than just that.
“Terence Crawford came out with some weird whack article saying I only made two million fighting Pacquiao. I don’t know where he got his information from but I ain’t made two million since PBC started. If they paid Kell Brook two million dollars then that’s what two million dollars will get you, look at that performance. I come through with the action.”
At the moment, a showdown between the two is still plausible. Thurman has expressed on numerous occasions that he would be more than willing to face him, while Crawford on the other hand, listed Thurman as one of the top five fighters he would love to fight before he closes the curtain on his career.
If however, the pair circle back to the negotiation table, all Thurman asks for is some respect attached to whatever contract is slid in his direction.
“All it takes is a willing fighter and a willing promoter and it is what it is. That’s why doing things on the PBC side is very easy. When trying to fight people on their terms, it just has to make sense. At the end of the day, I’m real easy and fair in negotiations. A lot of things that people have talked about are bogus. I just want a fair fight contract. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to get the respect that I deserve.”