NEW YORK – Terence Crawford won’t allow Bob Arum, Al Haymon or anyone other than him and Shawn Porter determine whether they’ll fight next.
Porter, a former IBF and WBC welterweight champ, is the 147-pound fighter affiliated with Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions that Arum most wants to match with Crawford in Crawford’s next fight. Crawford, the WBO welterweight champion, is open to opposing Porter, with whom Crawford is friendly.
Crawford plans to speak to Porter about a potential fight between them. The Omaha, Nebraska, native just isn’t sure when that conversation will take place.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) discussed the possibility of boxing Las Vegas’ Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) during a press conference following his ninth-round stoppage of Egidjius Kavaliauskas on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
“That’s not gonna be Bob Arum or PBC/Al Haymon,” Crawford said, referring to his longtime promoter and Porter’s advisor. “That’s not gonna be up to them. That’s gonna be up to us, if we gonna agree to fight. And right now, you know, we haven’t had a discussion on whether or not will we fight or not, me and Shawn. Right now, you know, I’m not even thinking about that fight. I’m not worried about that fight. That fight is not even in my head right now. But all those other guys, they know what it is.”
Arum, meanwhile, didn’t consider Porter an attractive option for Crawford until Porter tested Errol Spence Jr. in their welterweight title unification fight September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Spence edged Porter by split decision in their 12-rounder to retain his IBF belt and win the WBC championship from Porter.
Until Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) returns from injuries suffered in a car accident October 10 in Dallas, Arum will try to make Crawford-Porter.
“I look at all of the welterweights, and I think that Porter is the most competitive with Crawford,” Arum said. “And the reason I say that – I didn’t believe that before the Spence fight. But Porter was, you know, he lost by a whisker. He and Spence, that night, were equal. So, everybody said that the Spence-Crawford fight would be a great fight. God knows when or if it’ll ever happen, so Porter is the next best guy. He proved himself with Spence.”
The 88-year-old Arum also acknowledged how Crawford and Porter will go about determining if they’ll fight in 2020.
“Shawn Porter said a really good thing,” Arum said. “He said it’s not for me, it’s not for Haymon [to decide]. He and Crawford will decide if they wanna fight each other. And if they do, the promoters will make the fight. And that’s the way it should be.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.