After years of demands, he increased his level of competition to match his elite-level skills. Terence “Bud” Crawford is finally likely to be the opponent who cleans the bar set by so many fans and members of the media. The World Boxing Organization has ordered Crawford to defend his welterweight against former champion Shawn Porter.
The ball is on the court of the Top Rank and Premier Boxer Champions who promote Crawford, who promotes Porter. The parties have 30 days to complete the deal or else it will offer a fight bag.
Crawford’s association with Top Rank has prevented him from fighting most of the big names in the heavyweight division with Porter, Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and especially Errol Spence Jr. They are under contract with PBC. This has left Crawford – an undeniable one-pound talent – trying to market himself in fights against lower-quality opponents while the two promotions waited for a deal or waited for fans to make a Top Rank contract. He would go to the PBC to get the fights that defined the legacy.
Rumors spread before the WBO announced that Top Rank wanted to reserve Crawford against a rising fighter, as recently crowned junior welterweight champion Josh Taylor. Mike Coppinger of ESPN he complained that on October 23 Crawford was offered a fight with veteran David Avanesyan.
With the WBO forcing his hand out of the camps, however, with Crawford left with a chance to take the fight or give up his title, Porter will no doubt agree to a third race as a world champion.
Porter won the IBF welterweight belt in December 2013, a decision he won over Devon Alexander, after two fights after losing his belt after a majority decision with Kell Brook. The unanimous decision about Danny Garcia in September 2018 marked the beginning of a second round for Porter as world champion, winning the WBC title in a thriller starring Spence.
Crawford is a perfect 37-0 and has been battling the world championships since 2014. However, he has never struggled with a top opponent who was close to the first division, especially in the welterweight division.