Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Talking Terence Crawford vs. Josh Taylor, Bud’s next for Oct. scrap, sides of the street, more

Fighters Network

They are on the same side of the street, people, so this makes plenty of sense, on surface. Pitting welterweight ace Terence Crawford, the 33 year old Nebraska-based pugilist, against Scottish rising star Josh Taylor, the 30 year old hitter who holds all available junior welter straps, including the RING belt, would be a fight that would be anticipated by fight fans. And the promoter for both athletes, Bob Arum, is on record saying he wants to put it together.

Terence Crawford vs Josh Taylor “would be primetime in the UK,” Arum, the 89 year old deal-maker extraordinaire, told Sky Sports. “We’d love to do it there in the spring with 60,000 people in Scotland.”

Who thinks Josh Taylor would be adding to his belt collection and liberating straps from Bud Crawford if/when they meet?

“Josh is a major talent,” Arum stated to Sky Sports. “He will be fighting Jack Catterall in November. “Then, we hope, early next year we will be able to do a fight that will blow the lid off of everything in the UK.”

But of course, longtime followers of the sport know that to make long-range plans in boxing can be a foolish pursuit. Arum knows what he’s doing, duh, so he knows that Catterall is no creampuff there to be devoured by Taylor, the undisputed 140 pound best in class. But while he is 26-0, Catterall’s best win comes over Ohara Davies, who at 29 has yet to advance out of the domestic scene in England. So let’s for the moment assume Taylor shows Catterall, rated No. 1 by the WBO, about levels.

And no, we don’t know who Crawford might fight before this speculated-about Crawford-Taylor mashup. Maybe 32 year old Jose Zepeda, his name has been floated.

Crawford and Spence, no need to talk about it, it’s not a viable possibility now or in the near future. But someday? Maybe someday.

The California resident who holds a 34-2 mark is situated right street-wise. He last gloved up May 22, and beat Hank Lundy, age 38, by UD10. He has looked better in other outings. His manager, Steven Rimer, told RING, “No, there has not been any serious talks about Zepeda facing Crawford in October.”

Top Rank junior welter Jose Ramirez would have maybe been in pole position to get the Crawford fight if he’d beaten Taylor in their unification match May 22, but the Scot downed the 26-0 fighter from Avenal, California. One junior welter who would provide a strong test to Crawford is Subriel Matias. The 29 year old Puerto Rican is 17-1, and like Arroz con Gandules: he’s well seasoned, and his “flavors” mesh well. Ice water in veins, cocky but not in a bad way, he will drop his hands and dare to be hit, while he looks to get inside and tear you up. It’s all immaterial, though, probably, because Matias is a PBC guy.

If you want to ponder possibles, it’s best to look inside the WBO’s top ten at welterweight. Vergil Ortiz Jr (17-0 with 17 KOs) is with Golden Boy, a frequent partner with Top Rank. It wouldn’t surprise me if the 23 year old Texan rated No. 1 by the ‘BO demanded of Oscar, Eric, and Diaz, please guys, lemme get a chance to upset Crawford. But not in October. A source possessing insider knowledge was asked if a Crawford-Ortiz Jr might happen in October. “No, Vergil has his own date and opponent set, pending official announcement.”

And I think Boots Ennis, the 24 year old Philly fighter with a 27-0 record, would lunge at the chance to show that he’s sizzle AND steak, versus Crawford. He’s with the Dunkin brothers, after they settled with Chris Middendorf in a battle over promotional rights. Cameron Dunkin has a mixed history with Top Rank, and also we think Boots’ backers will want to use that unbeaten mark to their advantage more before accepting a hard assignment like Bud. Yes, it’d be a long shot pairing.

WBO No. 2 Shawn Porter as of two weeks ago said he thought that talks had reached an impasse and that it wasn’t looking like him and Crawford would do battle.

My Three Cents: It’s a pity, sometimes, that we have this fractured promotional/advisory/platform dynamic which sets up roadblocks to making some compelling on paper bouts. Too many columns like this get churned out, speculative efforts which have us theorizing and guessing and predicting instead of trafficking in more settled realities.