Terence “Bud” Crawford and “Showtime” Shawn Porter put on a display of pugilism Saturday night in Las Vegas that more than lived up to its billing. Crawford retained his WBO welterweight championship with a 10th round TKO over Porter. But what happened in the bout’s aftermath could create a pathway for a mega-fight that is years in the making.
Business picked up even more after Crawford’s victory once he learned that Errol Spence Jr. was in the building during his fight. Crawford went on to call out Spence — again — and accuse the IBF and WBC welterweight champ of running from him with his tail hidden where the sun doesn’t shine. That can’t be taken as anything less than fighting words, and we know Spence was listening. The biggest disappointment was that Spence had already walked out of the arena, shaking his head following Crawford’s defeat of Porter.
But of course, there’s still this whole deal of boxing politics between promoters (PBC and Top Rank) and the fighters themselves. At this point, the lion’s share of the blame has been placed on the shoulders of Spence, and most onlookers feel he is what’s holding up this fight between the top welterweight fighters in the game.
During the post-fight press conference, Crawford announced that since he’s now a free agent, he will be parting ways with Bob Arum and Top Rank Boxing. Terence proclaimed this while seated next to Arum and mentioned that Top Rank could not get him in the ring with Spence while he’s been under their umbrella and doesn’t see how they can make it happen when he’s a free agent.
The ball seems to be in Spence’s court at this point if this fight is to ever happen. Crawford is free to go wherever and fight whomever he pleases after sending Porter packing Saturday night, but it’s clear the only fight that will genuinely please him is with Spence. And since last night’s loss to Crawford, Porter has announced his retirement from the sport. I doubt that sticks, but we’ll see what happens.
We’ll eventually get this big showdown between the two best welterweights in Crawford and Spence, but it won’t happen until either one or both are no longer at the top of their games. We’ve seen this too many times in boxing, from Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao to Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis. Boxing continues to make fans wait for the biggest fights, then gives ‘em to us when they no longer matter. I guess we’ll just have to keep hope alive and keep dreaming of this mega match.
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