Terence Crawford has already faced questions over his opponent list over recent years. Now, the American is left out in the wilderness as Manny Pacquiao faces Errol Spence Jr.
“Bud” is the WBO welterweight title-holder. At the same time, Pacquiao is the “super” WBA champion (soon-to-be reinstated), and Spence holds the IBF version.
Without either, Crawford is nowhere nearer his goal of becoming undisputed in a second-weight division. The only shining light for the Omaha man is that one of his primary foes will hold a belt triple upon completing their bout on August 21.
That gives Crawford the perfect opportunity to challenge the winner. But what he does in the meantime is anyone’s guess.
If you look at the significant 147-pound stars, there aren’t many left for big fights. Prominent names in recent years like Amir Khan and Kell Brook have recently been stopped by Crawford – albeit past their prime.
Shawn Porter has ties to facing Keith Thurman in a Premier Boxing Champion in-house rematch. And without Al Haymon’s company to choose from, it’s considerably slim pickings for Crawford.
His recent gripes with Top Rank may well still be bubbling at the surface.
Looking at the WBO Rankings, Mikey Garcia would be a good option at number three. Whether his team can make that fight is another story entirely, though.
Garcia, who was on the verge of fighting Pacquiao, is the best of the bunch in selecting a recognized name for a voluntary defense.
The fan-favorite clash with potentially be Jaron Ennis. Again, making that encounter a reality seems a tough one. That seems to be the case a lot for Crawford over the years.
MANNY PACQUIAO or ERROL SPENCE
For now, the best option could be a move up to 154 for Crawford, at least to dip his toes in the water until Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence becomes available.
Should he get the fight, he craves later in the year, a move up to super-welterweight will be on the cards before retirement anyway.
Whatever happens for the 33-year-old, he needs to start securing the best names at the weight before another lack of top stars scuppers his pound-for-pound hopes.
WBO WELTERWEIGHT RANKINGS – MAY 2021
CHAMPION – TERENCE CRAWFORD USA
1 Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (International) USA
2 Shawn Porter the USA
3 Mikey Garcia the USA
4 Michael McKinson (WBO Global) the UK
5 Egidijus Kavaliauskas (NABO) LIT
6 Jaron Ennis USA
7 Custio Clayton CAN
8 David Avanesyan RUS
9 Rashidi Ellis the USA
10 Kudratillo Abdukakhorov UZB
11 Lewis Crocker (WBO Europe) the UK
12 Yuki Beppu (Asia-Pacific) JPN
13 Keita Obara JPN
14 Brian Ceballo (Int-Cont) USA
15 Janelson Figueroa Bocachica USA
** Juan Hernan Leal (Latino) ARG