Crawford vs. Tszyu: High Stakes Down Under

By Will Arons - 01/18/2024 - Comments

Terence Crawford is looking for the next opponent, and it’s believed that he could be targeting WBO junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu for a fight that will likely take place in Australia if it goes down.

Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) would be a risk to Crawford, and it would be a situation where there be more to lose than to gain, similar to if he were to fight Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.

Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) is left without an opponent after his plans or a rematch with Errol Spence Jr. went up in smoke due to Errol’s cataract surgery. Although Crawford would ideally like to face Canelo Alvarez next, it’s not happening.

More to Lose than Gain

“It’s a risky fight for Crawford because Tszyu is flying too, and it’s a lot more special for Tszyu than it is for Crawford. I think it’s the riskiest fight besides Canelo. That’s the obvious biggest risk from the standpoint of losing,” said Paulie Malignaggi to ProBox TV about who would be a risky fight for Terence Crawford to take next.

The punching power from Tszyu would be jarring for Crawford, and it would be an eye-opener for him each time he’d be nailed. We saw him hurt against Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and that guy has nowhere near the same power that Tszyu possesses.

“I think the Tszyu fight from the standpoint of competitive standpoint is interesting, and from a risk standpoint is interesting and from a name-player is interesting. Tszyu doesn’t have a big name here in the U.S., but in Australia, he’s big, and you can make more money going down there,” said Malignaggi.

Crawford could get clipped by Tszyu if he fails to score a knockout early because if Tim is still around by the ninth round, he will have had many opportunities to land huge shots on the chin of Terence.  Crawford isn’t going to get out of the Tszyu fight untouched, and he can’t count on him being weight-drained or half-dead-looking like Errol Spence Jr. was when he entered the ring last July.

Tszyu: A Rising Threat, Not Just a Big Name

“It’s an interesting fight, and I want to see if Crawford can get up,” said boxing expert Malignaggi. “If it’s your last fight and you know it’s your last fight, there’s a little bit less motivation. When you’re in there, there’s nothing to look forward to from the end of it.”

Malignaggi makes a good point about Crawford having less motivation to fight hard if the Tszyu fight is the final one of his career. It would be a lot different if Terence were to have other fights planned, and he was hoping to look good to entice Canelo Alvarez into fighting him.

“There’s no reason to keep winning when you’re setting something bigger up at the end of it. Are you going to stay motivated when your back is against the wall? Is Tszyu good enough to put Crawford’s back to the wall? He might be. He’s strong, he’s difficult,” said Malignaggi.

U.S boxing fans would like to see Crawford face IBF welterweight champion Jaron ‘Boot’ Ennis, a fighter his own size, but he won’t take that fight because it wouldn’t provide him with the same payday he got for the Spence fight but it would probably be a much harder match for him.

Boots wouldn’t be coming off a long layoff, weight drained, reeling from a car crash, or fighting with an injured eye, like Spence was when he fought Crawford, which some fans believe were major factors for why Terence looked so much better in that fight than he had against David Avanesyan, Shawn Porter and Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

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