Home Boxing News Terence Crawford lines up for a shot at Tim Tszyu vs Sebastian...

Terence Crawford lines up for a shot at Tim Tszyu vs Sebastian Fundora winner

Tim Tszyu. Photo credit: Gregg Porteous/No Limit Boxing

Undisputed welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 40-0 (31) is being positioned to challenge for the WBO junior middleweight title by the middle of the year.

Current champion Tim Tszyu 24-0 (17) will defend the belt against Sebastian Fundora 20-1-1 (13) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 30 in a bout that will also be for the vacant WBC belt.

Crawford has petitioned the WBO to install him as number one contender in the 154-pound weight class.

The WBO has all but confirmed they will accede to his request and have publicly stated that the winner of Tszyu versus Fundora will have five days after their bout to commence negotiations with the Puerto Rican-based sanctioning body’s nominated mandatory challenger.

Australia’s Tszyu, 29, discovered this around the same time he learnt that 26-year-old Californian southpaw Fundora would be replacing original opponent Keith Thurman 30-1 (22), who withdrew less than two weeks out from the fight after injuring his biceps in training.

“I found out last night and then also I saw that Terence Crawford has submitted [a request]to become the mandatory for the WBO [title],” Tszyu said earlier this week.

Omaha, Nebraska’s Crawford has already won world championships in three different weight classes. The 36-year-old southpaw is widely regarded as pound-for-pound the best boxer on the planet.

“That’s every fighter’s dream, I guess, to be fighting on the biggest stage of them all, but now the dream is to unify so I’m happy that we’re fighting for both the WBO and WBC,” Tszyu said.

Retired boxer turned pundit Chris Algieri thinks it’s a clever move by Crawford to target the winner of Tszyu-Fundora.

“I see this as a powerplay [by Crawford]. You have a younger guy in Tim Tszyu. He has a title, is younger, and [Crawford] has to move up a weight class. Crawford’s problem was that he didn’t have a dance partner,” Algieri explained to ProBox TV.

“There were no big fights for him out there. We were talking about who he should fight next. Guys like me were saying, ‘Hey, fight Tim Tszyu’. I think it is a great fight. He gets to fight for another title, and if he wins, that is a world title in his fourth weight class. But it is a very tough fight.

“Now, if Tim Tszyu wins, he will have two world titles, or [Crawford] will fight Fundora, who will also have two belts.

“Now, Terence can fight at 154 and possibly win two titles, so this fight makes a lot more sense for ‘Bud’ Crawford.

“The way he [Crawford] has been moving recently has been very, very calculative and very, very smart.

“He does a lot of baiting and switching lately; he has been doing it before. He said they were talking about the fight up at 160 with Chris Eubank Jr, which got people intrigued. People were saying, ‘You are moving up two weight classes to fight a former super middleweight and maybe throw your hat into the ring to fight Canelo?’

“But now that this comes up, Terence is smart for being able to throw in that WBO mandatory position at the winner. Bud now has a lot of options. Two days ago he had no options but today, he has all the options in the world.

“And they all look good in my eyes.”