On Saturday, August 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska Junior water weight champion Terence Crawford became the unified champion of the division when he soundly defeated former WBA/IBF Champion Julius Indongo via 3rd round knockout.
The victory gave Crawford the distinction of laying claim to all four of the division’s titles, WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF. At just 29 years of age with a 32-0 record with 23 knockouts, Crawford has steadily emerged as one of the sport’s top stars and attractions in recent years.
It’s a very rare distinction in the sport of boxing for a fighter to hold four titles in one division and it harkens back to the throwback era of boxing before so much of the sport got overloaded with titles.
Scheduled next for Crawford was a mandatory defense against Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10 KO’s) but now it appears that that match is going to be likely as Crawford will be vacating the title.
As mentioned, it is with great pride when a fighter holds all four tiles one division but it is also an expensive one, as it comes with sanction fees from the organizations in regard to mandatory challenges and defenses.
There was to be a scheduled purse bid that would have been set for August 31 for mandatory challenger Sergei Lipinets, but Crawford already decided to make their move well before the purse bid was set to take place.
It looks as though Crawford has elected to vacate the IBF title, so now Lipinets well likely five for the vacant doubt against one of the next highest ranked challengers.
For the moment that looked like it may have been number four ranked Maurice “Mighty Mo”
Hooker, who lives and trains out of Dallas, Texas, who was going to get the call.
Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KO’s) is coming off of a victory over previously undefeated Courtney Jackson on August 19 in which he made another defense of his WBO NABO Junior welterweight title. The tall and lanky Hooker matched up with the aggressive, face forward style of Lipinets would have surely make for an interesting fight, but it appears now another name has entered the mix for Lipinets.
Unknown Japanese fighter Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16 KO’s) now appears to be getting the unexpected call. Kondo is unproven, and the industry chatter has him as a huge underdog vs. Lipinets if the fight pushes forward.
As for Terence, It looks as though Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is keen on matching up Crawford against the winner of the upcoming Manny Pacquiao versus Jeff Horn rematch, which looks like it may be heading to early 2018.
In the first fight, in Brisbane Australia on July 2 in front of over 51,000 spectators inside of that Suncorp Stadium, Horn upset Pacquiao in a bloody brawl and a second fight figures to make sense.
The real question seems to be when Crawford will move up to the welterweight division. There is no denying that he is the number one fighter had 140 pounds, and I very well could be about 147 pounds where he finds his real challenges.
Outside of the winner of the Pacquiao versus horn Rematch, you have fighters such as Errol Spence, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, and many other prizefighters who could give ‘Bud’ a great battle at 147 pounds.