By: Hans Themistode
After calling out the top names in the welterweight division for years on end, Terence Crawford was pleased when he discovered that one has decided to take him up on his offer. On November 20th, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Crawford will place his WBO title on the line when he takes on arguably the most difficult test of his career in Shawn Porter.
Crawford, 34, has long watched his resume get ripped to shreds by both fans and media pundits. However, in Porter, Crawford faces not only a former two-time welterweight champion but someone who is still presumably in the prime of their career.
While Crawford is fully aware that Porter is one of the division’s top contenders, he isn’t willing to name him as the biggest fight that can be made at 147 pounds.
“It’s one of them,” said Crawford when asked about the magnitude of his showdown against Porter. “It’s definitely one of them but you still got fighters out there like Keith Thurman and Ugas.”
Porter, an Akron Ohio native, scratched and clawed his way to a number one ranking in both the WBO and WBC sanctioning bodies. Although Porter was tempted with the opportunity to square off against unified champion Errol Spence Jr. once more, losing their September 2019 showdown via split decision, Porter instead opted to enforce his mandatory position with the WBO. Porter would also claim that Crawford is the most versatile fighter in the division and presents a slew of issues in the ring.
Crawford, on the other hand, views Porter as an opportunity to dig deeper into his bag of tricks than normal. With the pound-for-pound star stopping every single one of his welterweight opponents since moving up in weight in 2018, he’s made his opposition look incredibly foolish in the ring.
With that said, Crawford is of the mindset that while Porter vs. himself is a huge fight, a former Porter opponent would be an even bigger event.
“I don’t believe Porter is the only welterweight out there that I can showcase my talent at a high level. I believe Keith Thurman is a bigger fight in my eyes.”
Approximately five years ago, both Thurman and Porter went toe to toe in a fight of the year contender in 2016. Thurman would ultimately eke out a close split decision win and follow things up by unifying the division against Danny Garcia one year later.
Presently, Thurman has been woefully inactive. But, as Crawford looks at Thurman’s past handiwork, he’s steadfast in his belief that once upon a time, Thurman was the man to beat.
“I feel like Keith Thurman was considered the number one guy in the division. Whether anybody likes it or not. Keith Thurman was the number one guy in the division. Pacquiao beat him. Nobody else beat him.”