Terence Crawford had nowhere to go but up. After completely dominating the junior welterweight division and unifying the four major belts, he found himself having to give up his titles and move up to 147 in search of new blood.
His first opponent has been decided by the WBO, and Crawford will be the mandatory challenger for Jeff Horn. That is of course, if the undefeated Australian (17-0-1, 11 KOs) can get by Gary Corcoran. That fight will take place December 13th in Australia, and Terence, along with Top Ranks’ Bob Arum, will be in the audience to watch that fight.
For those who were not too familiar with Horn prior to July of this year, he made himself known here in the States with the casual boxing fan when he defeated Manny Pacquiao. While the decision victory for Jeff was considered a bit controversial, he was awarded the unanimous decision, when it was thought that Pac Man should have the win in the bag. That was not to be.
But none of that matters to Terence. He has easily made the move up in weight, and one can only expect to see an even stronger Crawford at 147. That welterweight division is rich in good fights to be made and the prospects for Bud are exciting. Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Jessie Vargas just to name a few – the list is endless.
One name I did not include is the afore-mentioned Pacquiao. Obviously, Manny was a great fighter for many years and gave us a lot of super fights. But he is not the same boxer now. There was a time when, in order to make a statement, one had to either beat Pacquiao, which was quite difficult to do for a long time, or at least make an impressive attempt to do so.
Now however, I really don’t think that it would be a big feather in the cap of Crawford if he took a fight with Manny and won. It hurts me to say that, because Pac was special. But it is time for a new, very skilled fighter to continue to impress, and right now that fighter just might be Terence.
Assuming that Horn wins his fight, by the time he and Terence meet, the 30-year-old Crawford will have been fighting professionally for 10 years. He first walked into Las Vegas in 2012, where he faced off against Andre Gorges at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. He won that six round fight in five, knocking his opponent out in the first minute of round five.
In 2013 and back at the Mandalay Bay, he fought his first 10-round bout. This time he found himself on the undercard of the Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado main event. He took a fight with Breidis Prescott with just three days’ notice, filling in for the injured Khabib Allakhverdiev, and won by unanimous decision.
Since then, Crawford has faced a plethora of opponents with very good skills and records. Less than three months after the Prescott fight Terence fought for his first title, the vacant WBO NABO lightweight belt. He handed Alejandro Sanabria his second loss and captured his first title. He traveled to Glasgow to face Ricky Burns and grabbed the WBO World lightweight title.
He kept that belt after destroying the then undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa, and defended it again and got the UD over Ray Beltran. Fighting for the vacant WBO World super lightweight title, Crawford dominated Thomas Dulorme, dropping him three times in the sixth round before the fight was stopped.
He has continued to grab different titles, as he finished off Dierry Jean, Hank Lundy, the then undefeated Viktor Postol, John Molina, Jr., and Felix Diaz. The pinnacle came when four World super lightweight belts were on the line for his fight with Julius Indongo, another man who, until he faced Terence, was undefeated.
Indongo was knocked down in the second and third rounds, with the fight ending in that third via a knockout. Crawford boxed his way through the lightweight division, and as previously mentioned, had to make the move up. Don’t expect him to change his winning ways any time soon. While there are really good fighters in what will be his new weight class, Terence has more than enough talent to go toe-to-toe with many of them and give us good fights.