By Keith Idec
Terence Crawford agrees with Keith Thurman.
In fact, Crawford would’ve said something similar to the statements Thurman made in October if he were in Thurman’s position. Thurman’s comments generated great debate when he claimed Crawford must become “relevant” within the welterweight division before the unbeaten WBA/WBC 147-pound champion would consider fighting Crawford (https://www.boxingscene.com/thurman-crawford-relevant-welterweight-we-fight--121474).
Crawford – commonly considered one of the top three boxers, pound-for-pound, in the sport – will make his debut at 147 pounds when he challenges WBO welterweight champ Jeff Horn on June 9 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“He’s right,” Crawford told BoxingScene.com regarding Thurman’s remarks. “I would say the same thing. You’ve got a guy coming up from 140, into his division, that he’s the No. 1 guy in, and never fought a welterweight fight before. How can he just jump in front of everybody and just get a shot at me [meaning Thurman], when he hasn’t even proven himself, hasn’t even done anything to earn his spot at the welterweight division or earn his shot at the unified world champion?
“So it’s a smart move by him. It’s a business, at the end of the day. Once you get to that type of level, you want all big fights. But at the same time, you want big fights that make sense.”
The 30-year-old Crawford wasn’t the least bit offended by Thurman’s criticism. The former WBO lightweight and undisputed super lightweight champion also said he considers Thurman the best welterweight in boxing, based on Thurman’s resume.
“If I was still at 140,” Crawford explained, “and a guy was coming up from 135 and I’m the undisputed champion, and he don’t have nothing to bring to the table but a name – but he don’t have a big enough name to take it to a pay-per-view level or put enough money on it at this particular time, what’s the need for us fighting right now? When we can fight in two fights and make it even bigger?”
That said, Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) would welcome fights against the often-injured Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. (23-0, 20 KOs), former WBC welterweight champ Danny Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) and ex-IBF champ Shawn Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs). Crawford intends to fight once more in 2018, assuming everything goes as he expects against Horn.
“Spence is one of the top welterweights in the division,” Crawford said. “And Keith Thurman is the No. 1 welterweight in the division. Danny Garcia is a top welterweight in the division, and so is Shawn Porter. So those are the top welterweights in the division, on the PBC side. Any one of those fights would be great, exciting fights for me.
“And so is Jeff Horn. He’s a top welterweight. So it’s great for me to start off with a top welterweight, for a world title, in my first welterweight fight. And it’s gonna answer a lot of questions about Terence Crawford, come fight night.”
Crawford returned to training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, over the weekend to continue preparing for his shot at Australia’s Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs). It was postponed last month from April 14 to June 9 due to a deep bone bruise on Crawford’s right hand, suffered during a sparring session.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.