“GLASGOW, it’s depressing, the sun don’t shine, it rains.” Terence Crawford may not have entirely enjoyed his time in Scotland, when he beat Ricky Burns to first introduce himself to the world stage in 2014. But the welterweight star wouldn’t be averse to returning to fight Josh Taylor.
Taylor has followed in Crawford’s footsteps by winning the four major belts at super-lightweight and is, in the long run, contemplating a move up to 147lbs himself. “That’s a money fight right there,” Crawford said. “He’s a good fighter. That’s a good fight down the line, could potentially be a great pay-per-view.”
But first Crawford has the most significant contest of his career at welterweight to deal with. On November 20 he boxes Shawn Porter at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. In the USA ESPN+ will televise it as a pay-per-view but in the UK it will be screened on Sky Sports.
With Errol Spence currently injured and Manny Pacquiao retired, Crawford-Porter might just be the best fight that can be made in the welterweight division. “It’s definitely one of them. But you’ve still got fighters out there like Keith Thurman and [Yordenis] Ugas, and these younger fighters that’s coming up in the division that’s making their way into stardom. But I don’t believe Porter is the only welterweight out there that I can showcase my talent at a high level with. I believe Keith Thurman is a bigger fight, in my eyes. But Keith Thurman is doing whatever he’s doing,” Crawford says. “I feel like Keith Thurman, he was considered the number one fighter in the division, whether anybody likes it or not, Keith Thurman was the number one guy in the division. Pacquiao beat him, nobody else beat him.”
“My two fights was Pacquiao and Spence. They were the two fights that I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for any other fights. To be honest I didn’t care about the title, I just wanted them two fighters,” he continued. “It wasn’t in my control. I can’t regret it.
“Am I disappointed? Yes, definitely. But I can’t regret not getting a fight that I couldn’t possibly get because it wasn’t in my control.”
This upcoming fight is significant though in pitting Porter, from the Premier Boxing Champions stable, against Top Rank promoted Crawford. It’s been a frustrating wait for Crawford, the WBO belt-holder, trying to get one of these cross-promotional contests made. He thinks PBC fighters should have pushed for something like this sooner. “It’s the fighters’ decision. If they want to fight somebody then they go make it happen,” he lamented. “It wasn’t Terence Crawford holding up the fights because I’ve been calling for it.
“I’ve been saying this for so long, they [promoters] work for us. They work for us. If you tell them, listen I’m not fighting until I fight this guy, this is the guy I want to fight and you put your foot down, they may try to tell you, ‘Well we can get more money, we can do this, we can go this way and then we can do this, there’s no reason.’ But that’s why you’ve got advisors, that’s why you’ve got managers and that’s why you’ve got people to navigate your career because you’re a fighter. Fighters will fight anybody because this is what we’re accustomed to do, this is what we’ve been doing our whole life is fighting. So I don’t believe any fighter is scared of the next fighter, I believe it’s just a business move.
“Ever since I came in the division, I’ve been calling out these top welterweights.”
Porter is a great fight for Crawford. Shawn has boxed a who’s who in the division. He might have lost to Errol Spence and Keith Thurman but he’s beaten Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas, the recent conqueror of Manny Pacquiao.
“I’ve just always been determined to show the world that I’m better than the next person standing next to me,” Crawford said. “They’ve got to change up their whole gameplan, their approach, how they’re going to approach Terence Crawford. You can’t approach me like you approach everybody else, because I’m a sharp puncher, I’m a hard puncher and I’m a crisp puncher and I’m a great counter-puncher. You’ve got to be aware of all those traits when getting reckless and doing things that can leave you in a bad position.
“We get in there, I’m going to put on a show and I’m not going to slack in training just because everybody says, ‘Oh you’re going to beat this guy.’”
It’s certainly a respectable fight and Crawford might even get some respect for it, not that Crawford himself is expecting to receive much kudos. “It depends on the fashion that I beat him in. There’s writers and there’s people out there that give me credit but there’s always people that [say,] ‘Oh he was supposed to beat Porter’ or ‘Porter’s the gatekeeper. He’s supposed to do this, he’s supposed to do that. We want to see him against Errol Spence we want to see him against 154lbs champions.’ So there’s always going to be that and I’m just preparing myself for when that comes,” he said.
But he adds, “At the end of the day, my skills are going to be speak for themselves.”