LAS VEGAS – With Terence Crawford’s most telling test as a welterweight a mere six weeks away, he inevitably was asked Friday about the 147-pound showdown he once wanted more than any fight.
Crawford reiterated, though, that he has moved on from the prospect of facing Errol Spence Jr. in a title unification fight. Spence underwent surgery early in August to repair damage to his left retina, which forced the unbeaten IBF/WBC champion to withdraw from a pay-per-view fight against Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao less than two weeks in advance.
Even if Spence is completely healthy, Crawford won’t waste his time “chasing” a high-profile fight he is convinced Spence never truly wanted. The undefeated WBO champion discussed Spence during an open workout Friday afternoon at promoter Top Rank’s gym to hype his title defense against Shawn Porter on November 20 in Las Vegas.
“Well, you know, like I said before, man, that fight is past me pushing [for it],” Crawford said. “You know, I felt like I did everything that I possibly can do, you know, to try to make that fight happen. You know, and for some odd reason, you know, everybody kept saying, ‘Oh, I’m chasing him. I’m this and I’m that.’ Yeah, I was chasing him. You know? And he don’t want the fight. He was saying he wanted the fight, but he really didn’t want the fight. You know? And my thing was just if you wanted the fight, you could’ve made the fight happen.”
Crawford, 34, is consistently listed as at least a 5-1 favorite to top Porter, a former IBF and WBC welterweight champion who gave Spence the most difficult fight of his nine-year pro career in September 2019. Their 12-round fight will headline an ESPN+ pay-per-view event at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
If Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, beats Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, he believes he’ll have plenty of profitable options within the welterweight division other than Spence (27-0, 21 KOs).
“There’s other fights out there,” Crawford said. “You know, you got [Yordenis] Ugas just won [against Pacquiao]. You know, that’s a unification bout. That’s a big fight. You got Keith Thurman still out there. You got Josh Taylor out there. You got [Vergil] Ortiz out there. So, you know, it’s a lot of fights out there to be made. So, I don’t necessarily gotta go to 154 to get a fight. There’s fights at 147.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.