Who are the possible opponents for Terence Crawford’s next title defense?
Recent boxing events have set WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford back with the pending announcement of IBF champ Errol Spence fighting WBC champion Shawn Porter.
Recently, both Bob Arum and Terence Crawford gave interviews saying they where optimistic that they would land the unification clash with Errol Spence. With those plans on hold Top Rank and Crawford will have to come up with a contingency plan for a late summer or early fall bout.
Prior to the positive talks with Al Haymon and Team Spence there were several proposed fights that were being looked at for the WBO welterweight titleholder. Here are some of the possibilities that were being discussed.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17KO)
First was fellow Top Rank stablemate and #1 WBO contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas. He’s coming off of a disappointing outing in his last fight against Ray Robinson. The fight was aired on ESPN, and quite frankly wasn’t very entertaining for fans.
Kavaliauskas, who was looking to have a breakout performance and could only manage a draw against the Philadelphia native. Although, he still maintains his ranking.
Alexander Besputin (13-0, 9KO)
Second in contention is another Top Rank fighter Alexander Besputin. He has a couple of notable wins against Breidis Prescott (known for his first round KO of Amir Khan), and Juan Carlos Abreu.
He’s much too green at this point for a fighter like Terence Crawford being he only has thirteen fights and he is not ranked by the WBO. In addition, recent reports are he will be in a WBA interim bout in August against Radzhab Butaev.
A highly unlikely choice, but one to keep an eye on in the future.
Luis Collazo (39-7, 20KO)
The WBO #10 ranked contender Luis Collazo is a crafty ring veteran and former WBC welterweight champion. He’s coming off a split decision win over Samuel Vargas and has some value as an opponent due to his name recognition and resume.
He’s not the ideal opponent, but he maybe on the shortlist due to his intangibles. Additionally, he was the front-runner for Crawford’s last defense before the opportunity was given to Khan.
Kell Brook (38-2, 26KO)
Kell Brook is probably the most viable option because of his name recognition and being a former IBF champion.
Furthermore, he has been campaigning harder than any of the other men mentioned in this article as he was in attendance when Crawford stoped Khan in April.
He would give Crawford a common opponent to share with Spence. Brook also has some downsides as he’s had two orbital bone injuries and hasn’t fought at the welterweight limit since 2017.
Weight issues have plagued Brook throughout his career, seeing as he’s pretty big for the division. The former champion has been very vocal about his interest in a bout against the Omaha native.
Brook would also net Crawford a nice purse so if he can make weight he probably tops the list. Although unranked at welterweight, he is the #1 contender at super middleweight. This would still make him a strong option.
Jessie Vargas (29-2-2, 11KO)
Finally we have our last option Jesse Vargas. The #2 ranked contender is also a former WBO welterweight world champion and brings a ton of experience.
Vargas has recently developed a more entertaining style and is coming off of a sixth round stoppage victory over Humberto Soto.
This fight would be easy to make and marketable to fans.
We at 3kingsboxing.com will keep you posted as the search for Crawford’s next opponent begins in earnest.
By: Corey Cunningham