By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that Terence Crawford has vacated the IBF junior welterweight title.
Earlier this month, Crawford - who held the WBC, WBO titles - unified the entire division when he knocked out IBF, WBA champion Julius Indongo in three rounds. The fight was showcased as an ESPN televised main event from Lincoln, Nebraska.
But there is a price for holding numerous world titles - mandatory defenses - and that's why there have been very few fighters to hold all four titles simultaneously.
The winner of Crawford vs. Indongo was ordered, by the IBF, to face mandatory challenger Sergey Lipinets (12-0, 10 KO).
There was very little time to make Crawford vs. Lipinets happen, as Lipinets promoter Tom Brown bypassed the negotiations period and requested an immediate purse bid - which the sanctioning body scheduled for August 31.
Now with three of the world titles around his waist, it appears Crawford - at least for the moment - is sticking around in the junior welterweight division.
Top Rank wants to match him against the winner of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn rematch, which may or may not happen in November for the WBO welterweight title.
Lipinets on the other hand will fight for the vacant belt against highest ranked, available challenger. The undefeated contender has been chasing an IBF world title shot since last year, when Indongo dominated Ricky Burns to unify the IBF/WBA world titles.
He was on the verge of landing that shot, but the sanctioning body approved Indongo's request to face Crawford in a four belt unification.
The current highest ranked fighter to face Lipinets for the vacant belt is Akihiro Kondo (29-6-1, 16 KOs) of Japan - ranked at three [number two spot is vacant] and winner of his last eight fights. If Kondo decides to pass, the sanctioning body will go down the list - with number 4 being undefeated Maurice Hooker.