By Keith Idec
Most boxing fans want to see Terence Crawford move up to welterweight to fight Errol Spence Jr. or Keith Thurman.
It is more likely, of course, for Spence and Thurman to fight each other first. Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), the WBA/WBC welterweight champion from Clearwater, Florida, is recovering from elbow surgery and won’t return to the ring until sometime early in 2018.
Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), the IBF welterweight champion, figures to fight at least once before a bout between him and Thurman could be made for some time next year. If they agree to fight each other, Crawford would favor Thurman over the powerful southpaw from DeSoto, Texas.
Crawford admitted that it’s tough to pick a winner, but told fans during a recent reddit.com question-and-answer session he would pick Thurman to win.
“That’s a tough one,” Crawford said. “I’m leaning a little more with Thurman than I am with Errol, being that I seen him show more in numerous fights. In the fight with Kell Brook, I think Keith Thurman would have won that same fight as Errol Spence. If Errol would have fought the same fight against Thurman, I think Thurman would have won that fight.”
The 29-year-old Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs), the WBC/WBO super lightweight champion, will return to the ring Saturday night. The Omaha, Nebraska, native will face undefeated IBF/WBA champion Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) in a 12-round, 140-pound title unification fight at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
ESPN will televise the Crawford-Indongo fight, which will crown the first fully unified champion in boxing since former middleweight champion Jermain Taylor owned the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 160-pound titles in 2005. Crawford is an 11-1 favorite to beat Namibia’s Indongo, a 34-year-old southpaw who in his past two fights has knocked off former IBF/IBO champion Eduard Troyanovsky (26-1, 23 KOs) and ex-WBA champ Ricky Burns (41-6-1, 14 KOs) in their respective home countries of Russia and Scotland.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.