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Home » Welterweight belts set to split as Spence vs Crawford dies a death

Welterweight belts set to split as Spence vs Crawford dies a death

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  • 3 min read

Errol Spence Jr. is on the verge of leaving his welterweight titles behind to move up in weight after a battle with Terence Crawford completely fell apart.

Spence vs Crawford died a death after the World Boxing Council confirmed Keith Thurman would square off against their 147-pound belt holder.

However, there’s a twist. Reports now suggest Spence will not be defending the WBC title for his next clash with former champion Thurman.

Welterweight titles

At the moment, nothing is concrete. But if Spence does decide to head up to super welterweight, his IBF strap will be the first to be taken away.

Jaron Ennis, who won the interim version of the crown last weekend on the Gervonta Davis undercard in Washington, will be elevated to full champion.

The IBF has a history of this, dating back years. They act to promote interim rulers once the belt becomes vacant. Therefore, Ennis could be holding the red belt in the next few weeks and contemplating his first defense.

Regarding the WBC and WBA versions – if Spence goes to 154, Thurman was the number one contender. But there’s a problem.

Keith’s latest win was not a final mandatory bout, meaning he holds no right to force Spence to fight him at 147 with the green and gold strap up for grabs.

Spence is calling the shots. So if Thurman wants the fight, he’ll have to accept whatever terms – whether full 154 or a catchweight.

He could hold off on Spence and wait for a ruling by the WBC if “The Truth” relinquishes the belt. But there are still no guarantees that Thurman would get an immediate shot.


A tournament between the top four of Thurman, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Yordenis Ugas, and Cody Crowley could be ordered instead.

Regarding the WBA, as usual, that’s a lot more complicated. The organization still has a “regular” champion in Eimantas Stanionis. The Lithuanian was due to defend against Ortiz Jr.

However, the fight was recently postponed due to an injury to the secondary champion. That leaves Ortiz waiting around for his opportunity.

Now, here’s where it gets a bit more mind-boggling.

Ortiz is number one with the WBA. So he could be ratified for the vacant title if Spence moves up. Ironically, in the second spot is Thurman.

Spence vs Thurman

Therefore, Thurman could conceivably turn down the Spence fight at 154 and get sanction from the WBA to face Ortiz for the vacant WBA welterweight title.

And if the WBC get on board with their number one and two [the same fighters], Thurman vs Ortiz Jr. could even become a vacant unification.

A lot to digest as the merry-go-round at 147 pounds continues to spin. And that’s without mentioning Terence Crawford – the WBO champion.

After signing with BLK Prime, Crawford’s pool of choice has significantly diminished. The Omaha man could decide to move up himself in what would be a slap in the face for boxing fans who wanted them to fight for the undisputed welterweight crown.

If Spence and Crawford vacant their belts and confirm fights above 147 next and not against each other, it will truly show how broken boxing’s system has become.

Follow experienced boxing writer Phil Jay on Twitter @PhilJWBN. Follow WBN: Facebook, Insta, Twitter