Who Should Terence Crawford Fight Next?

Narrowing Down an Opponent For Terence Crawford

Yordenis Ugas, Terence Crawford and Danny Garcia
From left to right: Yordenis Ugas, Terence Crawford and Danny Garcia.

Terence Crawford’s options seems slim!

A question on the minds of many boxing fans is who should WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford fight next?

There’s been talk that Egidisjuis Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17KO) could be next, however, there hasn’t been much buzz about him as of late.

This is probably due to his ESPN debut where he only managed a majority draw against Ray Robinson (ironically the last man to defeat the champion). With the promotional landscape not in his or Top Rank’s favor, its going to take some creative matchmaking and a big purse to manufacture a major event.

Yordenis Ugas

The most viable option for Crawford would be Yordanis Ugas. While most most pundits would be skeptical of such a match-up, due to the PBC/Top Rank rivalry, it makes a lot of sense for both parties.

For Ugas, this fight would give him the title shot that he covets. Plus, with stablemates Errol Spence and Manny Pacquiao looking at unification, or possible money fights, he doesn’t really fit into PBC’s short-term plans.

The best he could hope for are fights with Danny Garcia or Sergey Lipinets. Those match-ups are highly unlikely, because Garcia is on the short list for Pacquiao.

As for Lipinets, he could find himself in play for Garcia if a major player doesn’t fight him. Therefore, it’d be unlikely he would commit to fighting someone as difficult as Ugas for short money.

Because of it being a cross-promoted deal, Arum may also have to get creative and offer a sweetener of some kind. Something that would be mutually beneficial might be offering Oscar Valdez vs Gary Russell.

Both fighters are looking to move to super featherweight, and both have enough name recognition to make a successful fight. With Top Rank and the PBC struggling to find in-house bouts for both fighters, it would be a logical trade.

There’s also a great back story to Crawford vs Ugas, as the latter won a bout between the two in the amateurs. Hell in this case, you could even throw the aforementioned Robinson in the fray as he also defeated Crawford in the amateurs.

Jessie Vargas

The next possible option for Terence Crawford would be Jessie Vargas. The upside to this fight is that Vargas has name recognition, he always comes to fight, and is rated #2 by the WBO.

He has been in some credible fights with Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, Adrian Broner and Sadam Ali. This would be a showcase fight for Crawford and give him a platform to perform for his fan base.

A dark horse candidate for Crawford would be Rashidi Ellis, who’s ranked #8 by the IBF and #7 by the WBO. He hasn’t fought since October of last year, and with the minimal promotional boost he’s received, it might be the best path for him.

The problem is he lacks name recognition, even among casual boxing fans. As for the fight, he’d start out competitive but, would be too green to ultimately challenge the WBO champion.

Danny Garcia

The last and least likely fight you could attempt to make is Crawford vs Garcia. If Top Rank could pull this fight off, it’d be a major achievement.

Bob Arum attempted to make this fight before but was quite a ways on money, as Garcia was able to make the same amount he was offered by fighting Adrian Granados.

Arum, who now has control of ESPN’s boxing budget, would have to bite the bullet on such an endeavor, and he’s historically been adverse to making this type of move.

The problem is Garcia is on the shortlist of a lot of potential bouts, and has great popularity. It might be worth it though because, if Arum pulled this off, it gives Crawford parity with Spence in future negotiations.

A Garcia fight also makes sense as a stand alone event due to the background of them splitting wins in their amateur careers.

To Sum Up

In conclusion, it’s been frustrating for fans waiting on Terence Crawford to make a ring return. With the final quarter of 2019 approaching rapidly, it’s important that Top Rank find a way to boost Crawford’s standing. Bob Arum and his brain trust will need to be creative if they want to keep Terence Crawford relevant.

By: Corey Cunningham

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  1. In my opinion Crawford should look at leaving his current promoter and signing with Uncle Al Haymon. Not because I think Al is a better promoter, but because Al Haymon has all of the welter weights that Crawford needs to fight if he wants to face to best welters of his generation. I like Crawford, but he doesn’t have the star power of Floyd or Manny. Nor do the fighters under PBC at 147, so making a cross promotion fight can be very difficult. It comes down to money. And there will never be a demand for Crawford vs Errol like there was for Floyd vs Manny. Not to mention, as fans, we had to wait way too long for Floyd vs Manny, about five years past its relevant date. The fight stunk, boring, Manny was injured, and far removed from his best self. Floyd was just Floyd. As fans we dont want to see one of the best fighters of this generation just sitting around fighting guys that do nothing to further his legacy. Like the Jeff Horns of the world. Crawford was an elite A level fighter @140, the guy cleaned out his division. Captured all the belts, left no stone unturned and beat everyone. But now @147, I cant rate him the same. There is a big difference between 140 and 147. Now Crawford would have to fight natural welters, guys that turned pro @147 or even higher. 140 is like this special weight class where fighters @135 start to get a little older, can no longer make weight, but still want to fight, so they go to that tweener weight class. Too small for 147, and too old or just cant make weight for 135. Thats why Sugar Shane skipped 140 all together and went right from 135 to 147. Prime Sugar Shane. Crawford couldve probably done the same, but he realized there wasnt a Golden Boy waiting for him @147, like was the case with Sugar Shane. So Crawford has some serious soul searching to do if he wants a legendary Hall of Fame career. I know Oscar talked about the fact that Crawford is wasting his best years with Bob Arum, because Bob cant get Crawford the fights he needs for that super star recognition. I know some will argue with me about Crawford still being #1 or #2 P4P in the world, but I say no way. If you rate Crawford that high, based on him cleaning out 140, then you have to rate Uysk even higher because he did the same thing at Cruiser weight, but Uysk fought better fighters. And now Uysk is fighting at Heavyweight, so for me, like Crawford, Uysk has to prove himself at his new weight class. I think both are still top ten P4P, but not #1 or #2. Not yet. Youre only as good as your last fight. And in boxing, its about what you are doing right now. and right now Crawford is doing nothing…

  2. If Manny has to wait almost a year for the winner of say, Errol vs Crawford, then Let Danny Garcia fight Manny. Its basically a keep busy fight for Manny so hes not sitting around for a year doing nothing. Or, set up Mikey Garcia vs Manny. Just not Ugas. Ugas is too good, probably beats Manny. So let Ugas fight Crawford, Errol, Thurman or Porter first. Manny is obviously the cash cow @147, and Ugas hasn’t earned that payday yet. Too new to the fight scene. Not a big enough name yet. If Porter beats Errol, then Porter should fight Crawford, with the winner getting Manny. Either way, before Crawford, Errol, Porter or Ugas get a shot a Manny, they need to mix it up more with each other. Manny not only has earned the right to be somewhat selective based on his career, he just beat the snot out of Thurman, something none of the other Welters have done. So, in the mean time, Manny can take a stay busy fight with one of the Garcia boys, cuz neither of them will beat Manny, especially if there is no drug testing, like with the Thurman fight. Wink Wink…. And I’m ok with that, since ESPN was ok with giving Canelo Alvarez fighter of the year after failing his drug test twice….

  3. Ugas should be Crawfords next fight. Ugas beat Porter, 8 rounds to 4, but as we all know, PBC likes to set up their own fights, schedule their own agenda. If Crawford beats Ugas, and Errol beats Porter, then Crawfor VS Errol can happen and the winner of that can unify with big payday Manny. But no way should Crawford or Errol get a crack at Manny without fighting each other first. If we just give one of them the Manny payday then they will never fight each other. So dangle the Manny carrot to get them to fight. Could very well be Ugas VS Porter rematch with the winner of that getting Manny. I think Manny should be given the chance at all four belts, Undisputed Unified champion. something him and Floyd have never been….

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About Corey C.179 Articles
Corey is a contributor for 3kingsboxing.com.