Terence Crawford didn’t expect to go this long between fights.
It doesn’t make him any less ready for the next one.
The undefeated three-division champ is set for the biggest fight of his current WBO welterweight title reign, which comes against former two-time titlist Shawn Porter (31-3-1, 17KOs). The bout takes place November 20 atop an ESPN+ Pay-Per-View from Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.
Terms were reached just in time to avoid a purse bid that was scheduled to take place September 14. It came as a slight surprise, as Crawford is with Top Rank while Porter fights under the banner of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) as do most of the top welterweights. Crawford has been unsuccessful in landing a big name in the 147-pound division before Porter stepped up to challenge the unbeaten pound-for-pound entrant.
“I don’t know what took so long to get the fight done,” Crawford confessed during a recent segment of ‘State of Boxing’ on ESPN+. “Originally, we were looking to secure the Manny Pacquiao fight. We couldn’t get that fight done so we had to go on to the next best thing and that was Shawn Porter. We’re here now.
“I’m just excited that I get one of those guys from PBC to silence my doubters.”
Crawford (37-0, 28KOs) will make the fifth defense of the WBO title he claimed in a one-sided, ninth-round stoppage of unbeaten Jeff Horn in June 2018. The 33-year-old southpaw from Omaha, Nebraska has ended all of his welterweight fights inside the distance and has stopped each of his last eight opponents including his fourth-round knockout of former titlist Kell Brook in his most recent fight last November in Las Vegas. Crawford has gone to the scorecards in just three of fifteen career title fights, though missing from his current welterweight run is the type of top-tier boxer that can push him to the limit.
Porter is expected to do just that. The compact welterweight from Akron, Ohio—who now lives and trains in Las Vegas—boasts one of the strongest resumes among active fighters, having truly earned his two separate titles he’s claimed at welterweight. His most recent fight was the lone exception, with Porter having his way in a twelve-round virtual shutout of unbeaten but overmatched Sebastian Formella last August. The bout was his first since a heartbreaking split decision defeat to Errol Spence (27-0, 21KOs) in their terrific September 2019 WBC/IBF welterweight title unification bout.
“I’m expecting Shawn to be 1000% ready,” notes Crawford. “He’s talented in the areas he’s talented in. Again, every fight I’ve fought since moving up has supposedly been the biggest test of my career.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox