Promoter Bob Arum says Josh Taylor will be moving up to 147 to challenge Terence Crawford for his WBO welterweight title in early 2022 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Arum sees the Crawford vs. Taylor fight being a massive one for the UK market.
Arum is predicting the Crawford-Taylor fight will take place in front of 60,000 fans in Scotland.
Before he challenges the unbeaten Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) early next year, undisputed light welterweight champion Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) will be defending his four 140-lb belts against his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall (26-0, 13 KOs) in November in the UK.
That’s expected to be an easy fight for Taylor, who is choosing to take the fight because he had an agreement with Catterall that he would face him after his May 22nd undisputed championship bout against Jose Ramirez.
Taylor barely edged WBC/WBO 140-lb champion, Ramirez, beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 114-112 x 3. The knockdowns Taylor scored in the sixth and seventh rounds proved the difference in the fight.
For Taylor to beat Crawford, he’ll need to raise his game considerably to what we saw against Ramirez. Crawford is a bigger puncher than Ramirez and more defensively sound.
The counter-punching and switch-hitting ability of Crawford add to already existing boxing skills, making him hard to beat.
With that said, Crawford hasn’t fought in a while, he’s getting old at 33, and the only true quality fighter he’s fought during his 13-year professional career was Yuriorkis Gamboa. Taylor will be a huge step up in class for Crawford, and he may not be ready for it.
“Josh [Taylor] is a major talent,” Bob Arum of Top Rank said to Sky Sports. “He will be fighting Jack Catterall in November.
“Then, we hope, early next year, we will be able to do a fight that will blow the lid off of everything in the UK.
“That would be Taylor challenging Crawford for the welterweight title.
“It would be primetime in the UK. We’d love to do it there in the spring with 60,000 people in Scotland.”
This could be the last fight for Crawford with Top Rank, as his contract with them is expected to be up.
Crawford will be fighting on October 23rd, possibly against 140-pounder Jose Zepeda.
Although that’s supposedly Crawford’s last fight on his existing contract with Top Rank, it sounds like Arum has worked a deal to keep him with the company.
Crawford has been stuck fighting lesser guys during his career, but that’s not necessarily Top Rank’s fault. He’s got a difficult style to fight with his counter-punching, switch-hitting, and highly mobile way of fighting.
Crawford is someone that the top promoters aren’t eager to put their fighters in with. So even if Crawford leaves Top Rank, he may end up in the same boat as he’s been in, facing the lesser opposition.
You can’t say Josh Taylor is a lesser guy. He’s the #1 fighter at 140, but unfortunately, he doesn’t fight at 147, and he’s not a big name in the United States yet.
“I believe in my own ability. I believe I’ve fought better opposition than Crawford has,” said Josh Taylor.
“He hasn’t fought the best opponents in his division. He’s fought good fighters.”
Crawford has fought some good fighters like Ricky Burns, Gamboa, Viktor Postol, Jose Benavidez, and Jeff Horn. However, those guys aren’t in the same league as Errol Spence Jr and Manny Pacquiao at 147.
Arum was trying to put a fight together recently between Pacquiao and Crawford in Abu Dhabi, but he couldn’t get it done.
If IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence Jr (27-0, 21 KOs) defeats Pacquiao next month on August 21st, we could see a fight between Errol and Crawford in 2022 at some point.