Top Rank has reached a deal with Premier Boxing Champions for a fight between Shawn Porter and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford on November 20th at the Michelob Ultra Center at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The fight will be shown on ESPN+ PPV.
The Crawford vs. Porter deal came in time to avoid today’s purse bid scheduled to take place at 12 noon in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the WBO’s HQ.
Had the fight gone to a purse bid today, there’s a good chance that Top Rank would have lost the bid to one of the other companies like Matchroom Boxing or Triller Fight Club.
With the deal being made, Crawford, 33, will be getting his first true test since moving up to the welterweight division in 2018.
To be blunt, the Nebraska native Crawford has had it pretty easy, facing soft opposition like Jeff Horn, Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, and Jose Benavidez Jr.
Porter stands head and shoulders above the fighters that Crawford has been fed by his promoters at Top Rank, and it should be interesting to see how well he does against him.
Despite all the praise that Crawford has been given by boxing fans and members of the media, you can’t rule out a loss for him because he’s never been truly tested during his 13-year professional career.
Crawford facing the toughest opponent of his career
“Porter is without a doubt Crawford’s toughest fight at welterweight, and I think Crawford may be Porter’s toughest fight,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti said to Yahoo Sports. “This fight, wow. It’s going to be something.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum hoped to set up a fight between Crawford and Errol Spence Jr., but that wasn’t possible due to Errol suffering a bad eye injury while training for his fight with Manny Pacquiao.
If Spence can come back from his injury, it’s plausible that he and Crawford could meet up in 2022, depending on what happens with Terence’s fight with Porter.
Crawford is ranked high on the pound-for-pound lists, but he’s been unable to take the #1 spot because of his lack of elite-level opponents.
Canelo Alvarez is viewed as the #1 pound-for-pound fighter, and for a good reason. He’s faced the best throughout his career and taken massive risks. In contrast, the best that we’ve seen from Crawford is fights against Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and the shot to pieces Kell Brook.
If Crawford can defeat the 33-year-old former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) more impressively than Spence, Brook, and Keith Thurman did, that would say a lot.
Still, Crawford won’t get full credit for the victory because Porter will have been out of the ring for 15 months by the time he fights him on November 20th.
Moreover, Porter has arguably lost 2 out of his last 3 fights against Spence and Yordenis Ugas. Although Porter was given a controversial 12 round, split decision win over Yordenis in March 2019, most boxing fans saw that as a gift based on Shawn’s A-side status.
Indeed, Ugas arguably did a better job against Porter than Spence did, but he ended up with nothing to show for it.
Suffice to say, if Porter doesn’t raise his game from what we saw against Spence, Ugas, and Sebastian Formella, Crawford will beat him with ease on November 20th.
Porter is on the downside of his career now and not the same guy that gave a prime Keith Thurman a run for his money in 2016.