Terence Crawford: What’s Next for Bud?



Terence Crawford: What’s Next for Bud?

On July 29th, 2023 Terence Crawford made history.

Crawford became the first boxer to be undisputed in two weight divisions in the four-belt era by destroying Errol Spence Jr in nine one-sided rounds.

And his performance was so sensational that he rose to the top of Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings, above Naoya Inoue and Oleksandr Usyk.

However, in boxing and some would argue sport in general, most fans have the short-term memory of a goldfish.

It doesn’t matter what you accomplished, how much adulation you received, or the legacy you created, sooner or later your moment will pass and people will turn their attention toward something else.

This is even more prevalent in boxing where its biggest stars usually fight once or twice a year and with that in mind, the time has come for Crawford to make an important decision.

Almost seven months have passed since the Spence fight in Las Vegas and ‘Bud’ still doesn’t have an opponent to remind everyone why he is seen by many as the best boxer in the world and to some, an all-time great already.

In truth, part of this is not the American’s fault. A two-way rematch clause was placed in the Spence-Crawford contract and this was initially activated by Spence who wanted to avenge his first and only professional defeat.

But it soon became clear that Spence was a million miles away from being ready to fight Crawford again, especially when it was revealed in January that he had cataract surgery.

“It's been past due. Sh*t was covering my eye. Why you think I got hit with so many jabs and hooks? Still a great performance by bro [Crawford],” explained Spence in an Instagram post.

In the meantime though, Crawford set his sights on the most financially rewarding bout in boxing with Canelo Alvarez.


EDITOR NOTE: I’d love a Crawford versus Canelo scrap

The Omaha native was willing to move up three weight divisions from welterweight to super middleweight in a bid to become the first three-weight undisputed champion ever.

Unfortunately, Crawford was dismissed by Canelo as being too small.

The Mexican superstar saw a high-risk low-reward situation where a defeat to Crawford would tarnish his legacy whereas a win would provoke the ‘weight divisions for a reason’ narrative.

One thing is clear. At the age of 36, Crawford is now in the twilight stages of his career.

He deserves a fight that is either going to financially change his family’s life to a larger extent or put him in the discussion as one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Therefore, despite Jaron Ennis being touted as the heir apparent to Crawford’s throne at 147 lbs, there is unlikely to be a passing of the torch through battle anytime soon.

Ennis is 27 years old with freakish athleticism and the boxing skills to match, albeit not a PPV star, which is not a good combination when you’re trying to entice a living legend like Crawford to share the ring with you.

So, with Spence, Canelo, and Ennis all out of the present picture, the most plausible move is for Crawford to go up to 154 lbs and challenge Tim Tszyu in a bid to capture a world title in a fourth weight category.

Indeed, Tszyu first needs to get through Keith Thurman on March 30th at a catchweight of 155 lbs. But Thurman has been so inactive in the last few years that it’s difficult to see anything other than an emphatic victory for Tszyu.

And the better Tszyu performs against Thurman the better a future fight will sell between Crawford and Tszyu.

Tim Tszyu

Tim Tszyu seems like a match that could appeal to Terence Crawford and fight fans. Photo: Grant Trouville, No Limit Boxing ©

According to WBO president Paco Valcarcel, there have been discussions with himself and Crawford about a possible move up to super welterweight for his next bout and the use of his status as WBO ‘super champion’ to become mandatory challenger for Tszyu.

Furthermore, Tszyu aka ‘The Soul Taker’ comes across as an old-school fighter and someone who doesn’t duck anybody. His father, Kostya Tszyu was a world champion and a true warrior – Tim has turned out the same.

Plus, Tszyu currently possesses an undefeated record which is still one of the best marketing tools in boxing, alongside the ability to score devastating knockouts which he has scored in two of his last three contests.

To sum it up, Tszyu was never Crawford’s first choice yet the Australian is a highly credible opponent that might make business sense. The only downside is that Crawford will probably have to wait until summer or autumn while Tszyu first takes care of Thurman next month.

Dan D’Alessio is a boxing journalist and fitness enthusiast. When Dan is not behind his desk writing articles, he is smashing pads, kicking a ball or lifting weights at the gym