Tim Bradley is pretty upset at seeing Terence Crawford passed up by Manny Pacquiao for his next fight on August 21 in favor of Errol Spence Jr. Pacquiao announced on Friday that his next fight would be against IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence Jr rather than Crawford.
Bradley maintains that WBO 147-lb champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) has earned the shot to face Pacquiao during his career, and he doesn’t understand why he’s been passed over.
The rationale for Pacquiao choosing Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) over the 33-year-old Crawford could be based on him facing better opposition at 147 and being the far bigger PPV attrition. It’s kind of hard to ignore Crawford’s lack of success in his only two PPV endeavors against Viktor Postol and Amir Khan.
Moreover, Crawford has fought no one of note since moving up to 147, and it’s becoming noticeable.
Crawford’s opposition since moving up to 147:
- Jeff Horn
- Jose Benavidez
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- Amir Khan
- Kell Brook
Bradley: Crawford earned Pacquiao fight
“I don’t even know what to say. Crawford is my guy, and I feel like crying for him,” said Bradley to Fighthype on Crawford losing out on the Pacquiao fight, which has gone to Spence.
“It’s very disappointing,” Bradley continued. “There’s no one to blame. It sucks because that’s a fight that I think that he’s earned.
“The Manny Pacquiao fight is one that he’s earned, but unfortunately, Spence is going to get it. But Spence, I’m holding you accountable for what you said.
“You said that as soon as you captured all three world championships [three belts at 147], you were going to fight Crawford. I’m holding you to your word because that’s what you said.
“So once you get this third belt with Pacquiao, you win this third belt, then I expect you to fight Crawford,” said Bradley.
It’s not surprising that Pacquiao chose to fight Errol Spence Jr rather than Crawford. Pacquiao obviously went with the more proven PPV guy in Spence, who he could count on bringing in the buys. If Pacquiao had picked Crawford, the fight might not have brought in many buys because the hardcore boxing fans only know him.
You can argue that Crawford would have had a better shot at getting the Pacquiao fight if he’d been taking more risks with his career since moving up to 147 in 2018. These are the guys that Crawford should have been fighting since moving up to welterweight:
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Shawn Porter
- Jaron Ennis
- Brian Castano
- Jermell Charlo
- Keith Thurman
- Conor Benn
- Danny Garcia
- David Avanesyan
- Mikey Garcia
Crawford should fight Vergil Ortiz Jr or Porter next
“Terence just needs to get in the ring and fight; that’s just it,” Bradley continued. “Get in the ring and fight your #1 contender [Vergil Ortiz Jr], whoever that is.
“I think the #1 contender was Shawn Porter. I would have loved to see a Porter fight; I would have loved to see that fight.
“That’s a fight that I want to see him fight. Shawn Porter is a durable guy; he’s a likable guy. He breaks the pain in the ring. It’s something different that we haven’t seen.
“I haven’t seen Terence in the ring with a guy like Shawn Porter that’s skillful. Not only skillful but has got this [ring IQ], that mindset and IQ too.
“I think they got Vergil Ortiz #1 now. Nah, make it happen,” said Bradley when asked if it’s too soon for the 23-year-old Vergil to be challenging for a world title against Crawford.
“Listen, man. Get these guys while they’re young. Don’t let these guys mature, bro, and see you while you’re on your way out. Nah, T [Terence], if he [Vergil] wants some, give it to him. It don’t matter what T do; he ain’t going to get credit regardless.
“They ain’t going to give him no credit regardless of what he do. They talk about his resume; they talk about this; they talk about that. ‘Ah, he ain’t fought nobody.’
“What if Terence Crawford and Errol Spence were to fight? What does that mean? If you keep saying that Terence Crawford ain’t fought anybody, you’re downplaying the Errol Spence fight.
“Why in the heck would we want to see the Errol Spence fight if Terence Crawford hasn’t fought anybody if we don’t believe in him?
“Crawford right now just needs to get in the ring and fight, that’s it. He’s been training; just fight somebody.
“If it’s this young gun [Vergil Ortiz Jr], he wants to fight, get rid of him. Do your thing. I think Crawford beats him,” said Bradley.
Crawford should have fought Vergil Ortiz last November because he already called him out.
Instead of facing Ortiz, Crawford fought the over-the-hill Brook, who had to boil down to 147 to face him. It wasn’t even a fair fight due to Crawford facing Brook at 147 rather than 154.
If Crawford is going to rule out the dangerous guys like Porter, Ortiz Jr, he will be stuck fighting past their prime fighters or no-name guys.
The downside of Crawford taking easy marks is he has no argument to make that he deserves the Pacquiao fight or a 50-50 split with Errol Spence Jr. How can Crawford get those fights when he’s taking on soft opposition?
Jaron Ennis another option for Terence
“[Jaron] Ennis is going to be a problem,” said Bradley when asked about his thoughts on Crawford fighting Ennis.
“If no one tames him now, it’s going to be thought later; it really is. He’s gaining momentum, he’s gaining confidence, he’s a young fighter, and the more confidence a younger fighter gets, the more tenacious he gets, the more he starts believing in himself, it’s going to be hard to stop him.
“He has every skill in the book. He can switch from southpaw to orthodox. He’s very flashy in the ring, he’s confident, and he doesn’t waste a lot of movement.
“His movement is purposeful movements. I enjoy watching him, and I think he’s good for the sport.
“It’s almost like watching Roy [Jones Jr] back in the days. He brings that type of fire and energy into the ring. He’s very well-spoken too.
“That confidence is there. I enjoy watching Ennis. I want to see him fight some more top contenders. I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight against a guy like Egidijus Kavaliauskas or a couple of other guys on the way up.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing him against some old vets. I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight against [Luis] Collazo, a crafty veteran.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight a guy like that just to see what he knows. But he looks good; he looks really good,” Bradley said about Jaron Ennis.
Well, it’s safe to say that Crawford WON’T be fighting the 23-year-old Jaron Ennis (27-0, 25 KOs) anytime soon.
If Crawford is ruling out fighting his #1 contender Vergil Ortiz Jr (17-0, 17 KOs) because he doesn’t bring anything to the table in terms of name recognition with the casual boxing fans, he’s surely not going to face Ennis, who is the same age and in the same boat in terms of being a newbie.
But if Crawford is going to ignore the young lions, it means he’s going to have to step up to the plate to take on #2 Shawn Porter because he’s well known and has been around forever.
Crawford could have fought Porter already since his last fight against Kell Brook in November, but he’s been wasting time hoping to get the Pacquiao fight. Now that dream is over, Crawford needs to decide on what he’s going to do.
Porter is the obvious choice because the fans don’t want to see him backtracking fighting over-the-hill fighters like Brook and Amir Khan. There’s no interest from fans in seeing Crawford fight former Top Rank guy Egidijus Kavaliauskas or Jeff Horn. It’s time to upgrade for Crawford before it’s too late.