Terence Crawford had a career defining moment this past weekend when he dominated Errol Spence at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Crawford extended his record to 40-0 and became undisputed in his second weight class. But, as with every combat sport, there’s always the looming question: “What’s next?” Now that Crawford has achieved a new level of stardom, there will be many gunning for a shot at the man. Today, I want to look at the best options for Crawford as he moves forward in his hall-of-fame career.
Terence Crawford versus Errol Spence 2? Don’t count it out
There are three things certain in life: death, taxes, and businessmen getting in the way of the sport of boxing. With Terence Crawford and Errol Spence being such a highly touted bout and both fighters so high profile, a rematch clause was implemented in both sides. There is a very real possibility that we get to see a rematch of Crawford and Spence. After watching the fight, I don’t really see the need. But my opinion is not a legally binding contract and if Spence feels like he wasn’t at his best, he could activate the clause.
Of course, there’s always the chance that he pulls a Ryan Garcia and declines his rematch clause. Garcia had one in place with Davis and after getting finished, Garcia decided the weight cut was not worth it again and moved on to 140.
Errol Spence has long wanted to move to super welterweight, 153 pounds. It’s reported that if the clause is activated, the winner of the first fight, Crawford in our case, gets to decide the weight. If Crawford wants to fight Spence again, he could do so at 153 if he chooses. If Crawford doesn’t and wants to move on to the better names on the list, he can insist on fighting and defending his titles at 147. Spence may then decide that the fight is not for him and move on to super welterweight.
This one is, sadly, the most likely. Crawford was pretty clearly the better fighter. A rematch would be a cash grab or Spence having delusions of grandeur.
Jaron “Boots” Ennis: The Heavy Hitter
Jaron “Boots” Ennis is one of the better names Terence Crawford can fight. Undefeated at 31-0 with 28 knockouts, Boots is the IBF Interim World Welterweight champion. He’s next in line for Crawford. The IBF has made Ennis the mandatory challenger for the belt.
Additionally, his fight with Karen Chukhadzhian was a lackluster performance and many questioned if Boots was as good as we once thought. His fight with Villa, which is his most recent performance, was a tenth round knockout and a very impressive performance.
Ennis is the most logical choice for the Terence Crawford matchup. But there are fights that are more exciting.
Terence Crawford’s Choice: Jermell Charlo
As he battered Spence, Terence Crawford walked to the neutral corner and proceeded to tell Jermell Charlo he was next.
The callout was pure bravado but Charlo, who is the undisputed Super Welterweight champion, is a great matchup for Crawford. The catch: Jermell Charlo is going up to 168 to fight Canelo Alvarez in September.
Charlo’s record is 35-1-1 with 19 knockouts. He has power but isn’t above Crawford’s skills and if Crawford is chasing glory, a shot at his third undisputed weight class would be unprecedented. As of now, Terence Crawford is the only man to unify two divisions in the four belt era. Crawford has Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, and Oleksandr Usyk breathing down his neck to become undisputed in two divisions. Charlo provides a one-stop-shop for a potential third conquering for Crawford.
Canelo is the catch. While his undisputed titles will not be on the line at 168, the timing might not add up yet. Their fight is slated for September and Charlo will not book a fight with Crawford while he’s got a fight with another pound for pound fighter. This means Crawford might have to move on to something else sooner and eye a fight at 154 in 2024.
The Most Exciting Choice: Tim Tszyu
Tim Tszyu is the most exciting choice for Terence Crawford. He’s the WBO Interim Super Welterweight champion, which is 154. This would have Crawford moving up in weight and fighting a contender for Charlo once his date with Canelo is through. He’d capture an interim title, not ideal for the best boxer in the world, and would corner Charlo into a fight with calls to unify the WBO title.
Tszyu is hell on wheels as well. He knocked out the former champion Tony Harrison in round nine. Harrison is the only fighter to beat Charlo. Carlos Ocampo was a first round finish, faster than when Spence did it. He beat Jeff Horn in 2020 in the eighth round. Every time Tim Tszyu fights, it’s fireworks. What else would you expect from an Aussie?
Tszyu would be the exciting fight and would be a way to test out the weight at 154. Crawford can win this fight and notch a quality name in his belt while making sure everything he brings to the table translates well another weight class up. Tszyu also fought last month which means both fighters would have similar layoffs. This one makes sense if you don’t do the Boots fight. And it’s the most fun.
There’s also the possibility that Terence Crawford stays at 147 for a bit and inch closer to Floyd Mayweather’s 50-0 record. At 40-0 he can clear out that division and fight Boots, Eimantas Stanionis, who is the WBA mandatory, Kell Brook, and Roiman Villa. Then there is the chance that Teofimo Lopez gets bored should he unify super lightweight and move up for his third undisputed division as well. He’s got Haney coming up, Regis Prograis, and Subriel Matias to clear out for that first. Should Lopez come up to 147, that would be another true super fight for both men and the biggest fight of the era.
Who do you want to see Terence Crawford fight next?
Join the new Bloody Elbow
Our Substack is where we feature the work of writers like Zach Arnold, John Nash and Karim Zidan. We’re fighting for the sport, the fighters and the fans. Please help us by subscribing today.
About the author