With the sweat barely dry after his classy victory over Australian former champion Jeff Horn 18-1-1 (12), newly-minted WBO welterweight kingpin Terence “Bud” Crawford 33-0 (24) is already surveying the landscape at 147-pounds.
And there is one fighter that the 30-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska has his sights firmly set on: IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr.
The undefeated 28-year-old London Olympian claimed the IBF crown with an eleventh round knockout of Kell Brook in front of the Englishman’s home crowd in Sheffield, Yorkshire in May last year.
There would be some work to do to get the two rival welterweight champion in the same ring. While Crawford is tied to Bob Arum and ESPN, Spence is locked in with Showtime and Al Haymon.
“I just think business-wise it has to make sense,” Crawford told ESPN. “Al isn’t going to send his fighters to ESPN if it doesn’t make sense and Bob isn’t going to send me to Showtime if it doesn’t make sense.
“If it makes sense, the fight will happen.”
Right now, Crawford versus Spence is the only fight that makes sense for both southpaws. With WBA champion Keith Thurman 28-0 (22) on indefinite hiatus as he continues his rehabilitation from his a “deep bruise” to his left hand, and former champs Danny “Swift” Garcia 34-1 (20) and Shawn “Showtime” Porter 28-2-1 (17) scheduled to meet at Brooklyn’s Barclay Centre on August 25 for the vacant WBC title, there’s not a lot of option left.
Even secondary champions like WBA “regular” titleholder Lucas Matthysse 39-4 (36) has his dance card booked with a July 15 date in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao 59-7-2 (38). Beyond that, we start looking at fringe contenders like Adrien Broner and Jessie Vargas.
Craford remains confident that a fight with the 23-0 (20) Spence can get made.
“I’ve already fought two Al Haymon fighters, so I don’t think that will stop a fight getting done,” continued Crawford. “It’s boxing, so anything can happen. A lot of people are leaning towards me and Errol Spence, but we never know what tomorrow brings.”
Crawford, a former lightweight titleholder and undisputed junior welterweight champion, claimed the WBO welterweight title in his first proper fight in the 147-pound weight class when he stopped Horn in nine rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night. The 30-year-old Australian was making the second defence of the title he won from Pacquiao last July in Brisbane, Australia.