Terence Crawford will be fighting for just the third time as a welterweight when he takes on Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs) on Saturday on ESPN at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs), the WBO welterweight champion, still plans on campaigning at 147 even though he’s having a hard time landing career-defining fights so far within the division.
“I’m currently at 147. I just got here. I’m not looking at it right now in my immediate future. My main focus is 147, but who knows what the future may hold,” Crawford told BoxingScene.com in an interview.”
Already a three-division world champion at 135, 140 and 147, many speculated the Omaha-native would jump up to 154 to challenge recently crowned WBO champion Patrick Teixeira for a title in a fourth division, but for now, that does not appear to be on the docket.
Crawford stands at 5’8” and would give up plenty of size to any of the active champions at 154. For starters, Teixeira is 3 ½ inches taller than Crawford and would weigh much more once he re-hydrates. But what the switch-hitting slugger lacks in length, Crawford makes up in skills in speed.
“I just need to be me and keep on beating fighters the way that I have been,” said Crawford.
Top Rank head Bob Arum said he’s rekindled relationship with Al Haymon, thanks to the recent dealings around the Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury rematch. The pleasant talks with PBC could lead to the much-desired super fight between Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. once the unified champion from Texas resumes his career after a scary car crash in October, said Arum.
In Crawford’s immediate future may also be Shawn Porter, a good friend of Crawford’s who’s maintained friendly relations with the fighter going back to their days as teens competing as amateurs for USA Boxing.
Crawford will first look to comfortably get past Kavaliauskas as he has his sights set on bigger fights in 2020 within the welterweight division.
“[Kavaliauskas] has a lot of experience and he’s been in the ring with a lot of great fighters,” said Crawford. “He knows what he’s doing in there. He’s no dummy. He can present a lot of different things to me. I just have to go in there and win the fight.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com and currently does TV commentary for combat sports programming that airs on Fox Sports and hosts his own radio show in Los Angeles. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].