Terence Crawford says Shawn Porter could be next for him if he’s unable to get a unification fight against welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr or Manny Pacquiao.
Given that Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) is rumored to want a 50-50 split with Pacquiao and a 60-40 cut in his favor against IBF/WBC 147-lb champion Spence, it would seem unlikely that he’ll be facing either of those guys in his next fight in 2021.
Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) is Crawford’s #1 ranked WBO contender and a fighter that has expressed interest in facing him. Whether the two of them can negotiate a fight between them is another thing.
It’s a big enough fight that it would need to be staged in front of a live crowd for the two to take advantage of the interest. Whether that can happen in the first half of 2021 will depend on if fans are allowed back in or not.
Top Rank could take the match to Texas, but it’s debatable whether the locals would want to see the two.
WBO champion Crawford wants a big fight, and his time is running out on his contract with Top Rank.
Porter could be next for Crawford
“Of course, that’s my mandatory,” said Crawford to Therealayeverb when asked if Shawn Porter is his next likely opponent.
“If he exercises his mandatory and goes to the WBO and says, ‘I need that fight,’ then that fight will have to happen unless I have other obligations with a unification.
“The only fight that can trump that is [Porter] is a unification fight. So if I don’t get Errol Spence or Manny Pacquiao, then I will have to fight Shawn Porter,” said Crawford.
Hopefully, Crawford doesn’t get his hopes too high on Top Rank to set up a fight against Pacquiao or Spence because that doesn’t seem probable in 2021.
Porter should be the guy that Crawford targets out of the gate because he’s got a good chance of making that fight. However, before Crawford does that, he needs to ask himself if he’s sure he can beat Porter, considering this will be a tough match-up for him.
Porter is a lot better than all of the fighters Crawford has fought during his 12-year professional career, and he’s an excellent inside brawler. Crawford has never fought an opponent that knew how to fight in close, and he may not ready for him.
Terence wants to get his opponents out of there
“I don’t get paid for overtime, so if I can get you out of there in the first round,” said Crawford. “For the fact that you never know what can happen.
“You can get head-butted, you can hurt your hand, and now you caught an injury you could have avoided if you have finished the fight sooner. So if I ever get you hurt, I’m going for the kill,” said Crawford.
The punishment that Crawford took in the first three rounds of his fight with Kell Brook showed that he’s not someone that can handle getting hit a lot.
Crawford was completely swollen from Brook’s shots in the three rounds before he stopped him in the fourth.
If Crawford is forced to take punishment from Porter for six to ten rounds, he may not make it to the twelfth.
Crawford not motivated to market himself
“I never want to get attention. I want to be in the back chilling,” said Crawford about his mentality. “It was hard to transition from that to being all up and doing with the media and doing all the interviews.
“They’re asking the same questions over and over. I used to get annoyed. I used to be like, ‘Whatever.’ ‘What are you going to do today?’ ‘I’m going to be his a**.’ ‘How are you going to do it?’ ‘You’ll see come Saturday.’ I’m short with my answers.
‘He’s not marketable.’ I always told them, ‘I’m unmarketable,’ but y’all can’t market.’ These guys that come here from different countries that can’t even speak English. They’re just sitting up here and like, ‘I’m ready,’ and you talk about them being marketable.
Big part of being a star is being accessible to media, goes a long way to crossing over. If you’re not excited can’t expect the media to be
— Leonard Ellerbe (@LEllerbe) December 24, 2020
“I’m whitewashing these dudes. It ain’t like it’s a competition. I never had a close fight, and it’s a blessing. There are some good fighters that I fought, but I never had a close fight.
“Ever since I stepped foot in the welterweight division, I knocked out everybody that I faced. When I moved up from 135 to 140, I believe I knocked out everybody but Viktor Postol. As I’ve risen in weight, the power has increased,” said Crawford.
Crawford doesn’t understand that the fighters from different countries often have crowd-pleasing fighting styles, which makes up for their inability to market themselves the way that their promoters would want them to.
Crawford is a southpaw counter puncher, which is two strikes against him. No one wants to fight southpaws and counter punchers.
When you add that Crawford doesn’t seem eager to involve himself in the marketing of his fights, it makes it difficult to attract interest in his fights the way that other fighters do. Guys like Teofimo Lopez and Ryan Garcia make themselves available to the media, and they both have a lot of charisma.
Terence’s attitude about marketing his fights is troubling, and it’s a red flag for any promoter contemplating signing him when his contract with Top Rank expires next year.
If another promoter is thinking of signing Crawford, they need to know upfront what they’ll be getting from him regarding his involvement in promoting his fights. In other words, they won’t depend on Crawford doing a lot of hard work on social media and giving interviews to help market his fights.
As long as the promoters understand that they’ll likely be expected to do most of Crawford’s marketing, it won’t be too bad. Top Rank and ESPN have already been doing a lot of the hard work marketing Crawford, and he’s not a star. It’s going to require Crawford’s involvement if he wants to increase his popularity.