Terence Crawford says guys he wanted to fight next were Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman, but instead, he’s facing Shawn Porter on November 20th.
Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) feels that IBF/WBC welterweight champion ‘The Truth’ Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) and former WBA/WBC champion ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) brought more to the table than Porter, who lost to both of those guys.
What worried Crawford is that if he looks too good in defending his WBO 147-lb title against Porter on November 20th on ESPN+ PPV, Thurman and Spence will back away even more than they’ve already been doing.
So instead of an outstanding victory for Crawford leading to him getting the fights he’s been craving for ages against Spence and Thurman, it could further push them away.
It’s a no-win situation for Crawford because Spence and Thurman won’t want anything to do with him if he loses to Porter. Going easy on a fighter like Porter is too risky for the 34-year-old Crawford because he could find himself on the receiving end of a controversial decision.
Crawford predicts Spence & Thurman will flee
“I’ve told [Shawn Porter], ‘I’m not looking to fight you. I’m looking to fight [Errol] Spence, and I’m looking to fight Keith Thurman because they got something to offer,'” said Terence Crawford to Tim Bradley at ESPN.
Porter already lost to Spence, Kell Brook, and Thurman, so it’s hard to see where Crawford comes out ahead by beating him. It’s already been done three times, and the only way Crawford gets any traction from defeating Porter is if he destroys him in an emphatic knockout.
With Porter having been out of the ring for a year since his last fight and coming up on the losing end in the 2019 war against Spence, Crawford has no gain in beating him.
If Crawford beats Porter, boxing fans will discredit his win by pointing out that he’d been out of the ring for a year and had already lost to Brook, Spence, and Thurman. Many people also think Porter deserved a loss in his fight with Yordenis Ugas in March 2019. Ugas arguably dominated Porter in a more one-sided manner than Spence, Thurman, and Brook did.
Those three fights were close. If you watched the Ugas-Porter battle, it wasn’t close. It appeared that Ugas got the better of Porter by nine rounds to 3. It was an absolute shellacking by Ugas, but he wound up losing to the more famous Porter.
“I’m looking at them trying to use Shawn as a pawn because he’ll fight anybody,” Crawford continued. “If I do too good, they [Thurman and Spence] might back up even more. [But] We’re here now, and I’m going to show them why they’ve been ducking me,” said Crawford.
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) November 9, 2021
One way for Crawford to get the fights he wants is by going up to 154, 160, or 168 and taking on some of the top fighters in those weight classes. Crawford’s chances of getting one of the lions in those three weight classes to fight him will be greater.
And if Crawford can beat the bigger names up there, he’ll be in a better position to get the fights he wants against Thurman and/or Spence when he returns to the 147-lb division.
Crawford volunteering to fight the Charlo brothers, Demetrius Andrade, Gennadiy Golovkin, Chris Eubank Jr., or David Benavidez would help his popularity. It’s hard to imagine those fighters turning down a chance to fight Crawford, particularly Benavidez. He would see Crawford as food.