As much as Terence Crawford wants to take on Jermell Charlo, the undisputed welterweight champion believes that fight is mostly contingent on whether or not Charlo is able to take care of business against Canelo Alvarez.

If Houston’s Charlo, the undisputed 154-pound champion, fails in his attempt to wrest away Alvarez’s four 168-pound belts on Sept. 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, then Crawford doesn’t see much appeal in a fight with Charlo.

But if Charlo manages to upset Alvarez, Crawford would be open to moving up to 168 and challenging Charlo there, since, in that scenario, Charlo would be the division's new undisputed champion. There would be less appeal to fighting Charlo at the junior middleweight limit, according to Crawford, because Charlo will be stripped of at least one of his 154 belts on Sept. 30 when he takes on Alvarez.

Nebraska's Crawford is coming off a career-best win over Errol Spence Jr. last month, stopping Spence in nine rounds at T-Mobile Arena to become the undisputed welterweight champion. In a moment during the fight that went viral, Crawford was seen mouthing off at Charlo, who was seated ringside. Spence has a right to exercise his immediate rematch clause, but the choice of the weight class depends on Crawford.

“My sight is on, you know, the big fights,” Crawford said on The 3 Knockdown Rule. “I believe if Canelo beats Charlo, that’s the next fight to be made. If me and Spence not the next one, I think that’s the next fight to be made (Canelo). And after that Spence and I can fight and then I can ride off into the sunset.

“Because I don’t see how big of a fight with Charlo and Crawford will be coming off a loss. I never fought an opponent coming off a loss. If you look at all my career, I never fought an opponent coming off a loss because it wouldn’t be meaningful to me or my career to beat someone that just lost. And then that opens the door to the media to say, ‘Oh, he just lost so you just beat damaged goods,’ or ‘man, he was just fighting for the money.’

Crawford noted that he is motivated to fight Charlo at 168 because as soon as Charlo fights Alvarez, Charlo will no longer be an undisputed champion at 154. The WBO is expected to strip Charlo the moment he steps into the ring against Alvarez. Earlier this week, a WBO 154-pound title bout was announced between Australia's Tim Tszyu and Brian Mendoza. Other sanctioning bodies could follow suit.

“If Jermell win, then of course me and him can get in the ring and I can move up to ’68 and fight him because he’s gonna lose a title at 154 to Tim Tszyu once the bell rings. I think that’s bullsh!t. I think he should be allowed to move up and fight Canelo and still keep all his belts [at 154] because Canelo moved up and fought guys and was still able to keep his belts. I don’t know what the situation is with that. That’s none of my business. I’m just speaking from the outside. 

“I don’t think it’s hard but at the same time, rules is rules and if they do decide to take his belt when he fights Canelo then I would be open to challenging the winner.”

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing