By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – There wasn’t much demand for a rematch once Terence Crawford defeated Ricky Burns three years ago.
Crawford won the WBO world lightweight title in convincing fashion from Burns in Glasgow, Scotland, and the scorecards reflected the thorough nature of Crawford’s victory (117-111, 116-112, 116-112). If Burns beats Julius Indongo on Saturday, however, a Crawford-Burns rematch would become an important option for Crawford because it would represent an opportunity to become boxing’s undisputed 140-pound champion.
Crawford owns the WBC and WBO super lightweight titles. The winner between Burns and Indongo will leave the ring Saturday in Glasgow with the IBF, IBO and WBA championships.
The 29-year-old Crawford wants to fight the winner for a shot at owning all five championships.
“That’s something that every real, legitimate champion wants to do,” Crawford said. “They wanna be the champion. They wanna be undisputed. And God-willing, I get past this fight [against Felix Diaz on May 20 at Madison Square Garden] and I’m gonna wanna fight the champion that comes out of Ricky Burns and Indongo. That’s the fight that I want, the winner of that. But I never look past any opponent. So my main focus is on Diaz right now.”
Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) will watch with interest, but the Omaha, Nebraska, native isn’t sure whether Scotland’s Burns (41-5-1, 14 KOs), the WBA champion, or Namibia’s Indongo (21-0, 11 KOs), the IBF/IBO champion, will win.
“I don’t know,” Crawford said. “Styles make fights and [Indongo is] undefeated for a reason and he’s a champion for a reason. So we’re gonna have to see.”
Crawford’s handlers tried since last fall to make unification fights against Burns and Eduard Troyanovsky. Russia’s Troyanovsky (25-1, 22 KOs) opted to make his mandatory defense of the IBF title against Indongo, who needed one right hand and all of 40 seconds to produce a first-round knockout and win the IBF and IBO belts December 3 in Moscow.
“[Indongo] caught the guy with a good shot,” Crawford said. “And it was crazy because [Tryanovsky] turned down a fight with me to fight him. We asked for the fight and he said to let him fight his mandatory, and then he’ll come back [to fight Crawford]. And it was for way less money. So that’s the fight that he wanted. … He wanted to fight Indongo, and he got knocked out for less money.
“I personally asked for that fight [against Troyanovsky] a few times. [Top Rank’s] Carl [Moretti] got in touch with him and told me that he said no. Just like I asked for Ricky Burns before they matched up with [Indongo]. And they said, ‘If the money’s right, then after this fight they’ll come to the United States.’ I said, ‘Good, because I went over there the first time. So come over here.’ ”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.