By Chris Williams: Bob Arum says he’s considering matching Terence Crawford up against one of the top 140-pounders in his next fight. Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) hasn’t defended his WBO welterweight title since last November when he beat Kell Brook.
Some of the 140-pounders that Arum is interested in matching against Crawford would be a significant step up in class from the old guys and the fringe contenders that he’s been shoveling into the ring for him to pad his record against since he moved up to 147.
To say that Arum has been matching Crawford against lesser opposition would putting it lightly. Crawford has fought exactly nobody since moving up to 147 in 2018. So yeah, he’s a belt-holder, but only because he fought Jeff Horn to pick up the WBO strap.
Arum wants one of these light welterweights to move up to 147 to challenge Crawford:
- Regis Prograis
- Jose Ramirez
- Jose Zepeda
Undisputed 140-lb champion Josh Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) could face Crawford at some point next, but first, he’ll be defending against his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall. So, for the time being, Crawford could face one of the above 140-pounders.
Arum recently tried to set up a fight between Crawford, 33, and Manny Pacquiao, but he couldn’t get the deal done. Pacquiao is now fighting IBF/WBC 147-lb champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence on August 21st in a PBC-promoted card on FOX Sports PPV.
“There are a lot of guys that he can fight that are interested,” said Bob Arum to Fighthub about Terence Crawford’s next fight.
“There are a lot of 140-pounders that would want to go up to 147 like maybe [Jose] Ramirez, maybe [Regis] Prograis, and maybe another a number of guys we’ve been talking to. Maybe [Jose] Zepeda would be a hell of a fight,” said Arum.
Of that bunch, Prograis would be the toughest option for Crawford, as he can punch, and he’s not someone that he can blitz out of there as he did against 34-year-old Kell Brook. There’s a chance that Prograis would beat Crawford, but what does Arum have to lose?
I mean, Crawford will likely be leaving Top Rank soon when his contract is up with them this year. So if Crawford is leaving anyway, Arum might also show him what it’s like to fight quality opposition for once by sticking him in against Prograis in a sink or swim type of fight.
Jose Ramirez will likely bring in more fan interest as an opponent for Crawford than anyone else he’s ever fought during his 13-year career.
Given that Arum needs to get Crawford back into the ring as soon as possible, that rules out him fighting the winner of the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight in his next match. It appears that Crawford will only be fighting once in 2021, which is bad news for him.
The 33-year-old Crawford doesn’t have a lot of time left in his career before one of the young lions dethrone him, and it’s troubling that he’s only going to fight once this year.