By: Hans Themistode
Terence Crawford’s boxing skills have never been questioned. Yet, for years, his overall resume has been ridiculed and picked apart.
The former three-division titlist and current WBO welterweight belt holder, sat patiently as he was fed lesser opponent after lesser opponent. All the while, he hoped that one day he would face someone who could truly put his skills to the test. Now, after the WBO sanctioning body has ordered him and former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter to negotiate a fight agreement, the pound-for-pound star is getting exactly what he wanted.
“I’ve been begging for a real challenge for years,” said Crawford to ESPN.
In June of 2018, after picking up every world title at 140 pounds, Crawford moved up to the welterweight division and immediately snagged the WBO title from former titlist, Jeff Horn. He’s since defended his crown against whom many would consider an uninspiring cast including Jose Benavidez, Amir Khan, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and most recently, Kell Brook.
All the while, Crawford has received plenty of criticism for his choice of opponents. Still, the Omaha, Nebraska native has insisted that he doesn’t choose who he faces and has attempted to secure bouts against former unified champion Keith Thurman, current unified titlist Errol Spence Jr. and future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Manny Pacquiao.
While he was apoplectic that he’s been unable to get any of the bigger names to face him, Crawford appears ecstatic that one of the division’s best fighters will now have no choice but to face him in the ring.
“All the so-called ‘elite welterweights’ have shown no interest in fighting me,” said Crawford. “Now one of them is finally being forced to.”
Porter, 33, has long expressed a willingness to cast aside promotional differences and face Crawford in the ring. Several months ago, the Akron, Ohio native revealed that his team had attempted to make a showdown with Crawford a reality but ultimately felt disrespected with what was offered to him financially.
With a purse bid now set to take place in 30 days if both sides aren’t able to find middle ground on a deal, Porter figures to be well compensated for his possible matchup against Crawford. The former titlist was last in the ring in August of 2020, easily outworking fringe contender Sebastian Formella.
As a matchup against Porter nears, Crawford views it as a chance to once again stake his claim as the best fighter around, regardless of the weight class.
“I’ll show once again why I’m the best P4P fighter in the world. Be ready.”