At the age of 32, Terence Crawford is stuck on the sidelines chasing a legacy-defining fight.
The three-division crownholder and current WBO welterweight champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) is eying a fight against equal peer Errol Spence Jr. — one day.
Crawford will be a highly interested observer once Spence Jr. returns to the ring after recovering from a near-fatal car crash last October.
“Errol has stated that he’s fine; he’s training, and nothing is really wrong with him,” Crawford told ESPN. “He’s preparing himself for Danny Garcia. So after this fight, we’re all going to get a glimpse of how he’s going to react coming off of that magnitude … And being that he’s taking on a tough opponent in Danny Garcia because Danny is by far no walk in the park for anybody. So we’re all going to get our answers from fight night with him, and Danny share the ring together.”
All signs are pointing to Spence Jr. facing off against Garcia once PBC returns back to producing big-time fights.
The unified champion Spence Jr. — a 147 WBC and IBF titlist — grew his star in 2019 with back-to-back pay-per-view attractions and a one-sided win over Mikey Garcia, and a competitive split decision win over Shawn Porter.
Both pound-for-pound greats in Crawford and Spence Jr. need each other in order to claim once and for all who is the best welterweight of the era.
Over the last year, the amicable relationship between Top Rank and PBC has made the once impossible-to-make fight closer to becoming a reality.
In recent months, the only issues that have lingered are Spence. Jr’s health, and whether there is enough money in the pot to keep all parties satisfied.
Time essentially becomes of the essence now. Crawford turns 33 later this year, while Spence Jr. hit 30 earlier in 2020.
The window is ever slowly creaking to a close with each passing day, and for the fight to be meaningful, it needs to be staged in their prime.
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 LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.