Written By Bakari Simpson: For some time now it’s been an open secret that Terence Crawford nicknamed “Bud” (32-0, 23 KO’s) was scoping out the welterweight division. The general consensus was that a division jump was inevitable. Following his three round destruction of Julius Indongo this speculation greatly increased.
When Terence toppled Indongo in grand fashion, he became the undisputed, unified champion at super lightweight. Having usurped the WBC, WBO, IBF, IBO and WBA straps, Bud was officially king of the hill. It appeared as if his business at 140 had reached completion. Crawford further fed this belief by discussing his interest in trading punches with Keith “One Time’ Thurman. Thurman (28-0, 22 KO’s), the WBA super and WBC world welterweight champion, is currently the man to beat at welterweight. Crawford minced no words when saying, if he came to 147, “One Time” was the main one on his mind.
On Thursday October 26, the WBO removed a great deal of mystery from the situation when they named Crawford as Jeff Horn’s (17-0-1, 11 KO’s) mandatory. Horn pulled off a great upset on July 2 when he unexpectedly defeated Manny Pacquiao on points. In victory, Jeff Horn claimed the WBO’s world welterweight championship title. By naming Terence as Horn’s mandatory, the WBO has validated Crawford’s welterweight status.
Crawford is mandatory contender for Jeff Horn. Fight will have to be arranged within 90 days after Horn next optional defense. pic.twitter.com/8IAUaSjv3v
— WBO (@WorldBoxingOrg) October 26, 2017
The already talent rich, cutthroat welterweight division just got a whole lot hairier!
At the moment, Jeff has an optional title defense slated for December 13th against Gary Corcoran (17-1, 7 KO’s) in Brisbane, Australia. If Horn takes this challenge, the WBO has mandated that he and Terence Crawford must negotiate a fight contract within 90 days of the December 13 date.
Ultimately, scripting a Horn vs. Crawford showdown should not be a difficult task to complete. Terence Crawford has feasted on the best competition available with regularity; Horn should provide the Nebraska native no trepidation. Furthermore, securing his first major belt at welterweight should provide Bud a mighty incentive.
As for Jeff Horn, he appears to be a rather fearless chap himself. He charged into the jaws of Pacquiao’s power and emerged a champion. Thus far, Horn has shown no indication that he desires soft competition. Moreover, if he looking for a tough fight, and fights Crawford, Horn is going to find what he is looking for! Aside from all of this, the two fighters share common ground in terms of management. Top Rank is Crawford’s promoter and Horn’s co-promoter. Once the two teams come to the table, drawing up a contract should be a simple, expedient matter.
All in all, this is a fun new development in the 147 division. Either Horn will continue to defy popular expectation and defeat Terence Crawford (most boxing enthusiasts do not foresee this outcome). Or
Bud will win. That much is simple enough.
However, if Horn does prevail his talent and status in the sport can no longer be denied. On the other hand, if Crawford wins, and secures the WBO strap, he becomes a much more powerful character in the division. Given the current landscape, 2018 is going to be an outstanding year for the 147 division. Personally, I can’t wait!
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