Terence Crawford solidified his place near the summit of world boxing on Saturday night as he destroyed Julius Indongo within three rounds to claim the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine super-lightweight world titles. Now the undisputed king at 140lbs, Crawford and his team have signalled their intent to move up to 147lbs in their bid to nail down potential super-fights for “Bud”.
With Crawford now unquestionably in the top three rankings of boxing’s pound-for-pound list, the 29-year-old will be after the biggest names at welterweight as he begins his assault on the higher weight divisions.
With promotional disputes always proving the trickiest hurdle to jump in match-making, it’s hard to pin-point Crawford’s next move, however let’s look at some of his best options…
1 Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2)
Both under the same promotion of Top Rank, rumours of their paths crossing have rumbled on for years without any end result. It looked all but dead in the water when Pacquiao temporarily retired in 2016, however since his return and loss to Jeff Horn, could these two finally meet in the squared circle?
This all depends on "Pac'Man's' next move. We are awaiting the announcement of his rematch 'Down Under' against Jeff Horn, and if the Filipino star can negate the challenge of the WBO welterweight champion, Crawford vs Pacquiao starts making sense again.
Crawford still has time on his side and can afford to wait for the winner of this likely rematch, however an interim fight in the mean time would be beneficial in adjusting to the new weight at 147lbs.
2 Mikey Garcia (37-0)
If Crawford decides that a move up the weights isn't a viable option, then WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia is the only real option for the Omaha switch-hitter.
Garcia moved up to super-lightweight earlier this year, putting on a clinic against a helpless and ragged Adrien Broner, however it's unclear whether the 29-year-old has any desire to stay at this weight when there are plenty of options for him back down at lightweight.
Garcia's alignment with Al Haymon and Showtime is the real hurdle in getting this fight over the line, with Crawford's win on Saturday being aired on rival network ESPN in the US.
3 Keith Thurman (28-0)
Again, trying to ignore the Showtime vs ESPN politics, a fight against unbeaten WBC, WBA (Super) welterweight king Keith Thurman would be a mouth watering prospect for the boxing community.
Coming off the back of an impressive win against Danny Garcia in March, "One Time" is out for the rest of 2017 after having surgery on an injured right elbow, however with Crawford likely to take a warm-up fight in the interim, this fight is a real possibility in 2018 with Thurman himself looking for options.
With more and more super-fights being made, this potential bout isn't as far-fetched as it once may have seemed.
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