We saw unbeaten challenger Jose Benavidez rattle reigning WBO welterweight king and current pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford ahead of last night’s fight; getting so under the champ’s skin that the usually mild-mannered “Bud” slung a shot at him at the official weigh-in. But when the bell rang, it was a cool and calm Crawford who got the job done in style. Not that Crawford didn’t punish Benavidez along the way to his eventual 12th-round stoppage win.
Crawford, who stopped Benavidez, now 27-1(18) with just :18 seconds of the fight remaining, said afterwards how his punching power is underrated, that he is “strong for the division.” Now 34-0(25) Crawford has won two bouts as a 147 pounder, but as impressive as he has looked fans only want to see him fight one man: IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Junior.
Jeff Horn and Benavidez were perfectly acceptable opponents for Crawford, at the time, but now fans want to see just who the best welterweight in the world is. Begging the pardon of the seriously tough Shawn Porter and also the pardon of the (still) inactive Keith Thurman, there is only one way to find out – by having Crawford and Spence, 24-0(21) get it on.
Todd duBoef told RingTV.com that the problem of Crawford being aligned with Top Rank and Spence being with Al Haymon can be overcome with this potentially massive fight going out as a joint-promoted pay-per-view fight. And this is one big fight we fans would not mind paying for.
Spence, who is getting understandably upset over his enforced lack of activity – “I need a fight!” he put out on social media a while back – wants to fight the best; so too does Crawford. Let the rival promoters put there rivalry aside, do the numbers and get this fight made. A modern day Leonard-Hearns, Spence Vs. Crawford would be boxing at its best: the best against the best.
Next spring, next summer, it simply has to happen. Both fighters deserve nothing less. Neither do the fans.