The Big Question: Will Crawford fight a top PBC welterweight in 2021?

1052195030.jpg.0 - The Big Question: Will Crawford fight a top PBC welterweight in 2021?Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images

Fans are growing impatient, but will Bud finally get a big fight with a PBC name next year?

Last week’s Big Question asked if Gervonta “Tank” Davis, following a brutal KO win over Leo Santa Cruz to win a third 130-pound title and retain a secondary 135-pound title, had earned a top 10 pound-for-pound spot at this point. 72 percent said no, which was also my vote.

With Terence “Bud” Crawford set to defend his WBO welterweight title again on Saturday, most people are already looking ahead to the future. Crawford won’t do that, of course, he will surely take Kell Brook very seriously, and Kell Brook should be taken seriously. If Brook can make 147 without issue — and I don’t mean missing weight, but struggling to not miss weight — then he can be dangerous. He’s a good boxer with power.

But even if this were the Kell Brook of 2017, today’s Crawford would surely be favored to beat him, and he is a big favorite on Saturday’s ESPN (10 pm ET, prelims at 7 pm ET on ESPN+) card for sure.

Without meaning to be insulting to Brook (39-2, 27 KO) let’s also look toward the future and make a prediction, because impatience is growing with fans and media, and surely has to be growing with Camp Crawford, too.


How to Watch Crawford vs Brook

Date: Saturday, Nov. 14 | Start Time: 7:00 pm ET
Location: Top Rank Bubble, Las Vegas, NV
TV: ESPN | Stream: ESPN+ (Prelims)
Live Online Coverage: BadLeftHook.com


Will Terence Crawford get a fight with a top Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) welterweight in 2021?

Fans have wanted to see Crawford against Errol Spence Jr for about two years already, but it hasn’t happened, and by all accounts has not come close to happening, either. That’s THE big one to make right now from a fan perspective, though a Crawford-Manny Pacquiao (who may not technically be a PBC welterweight at the moment but is still included in their video packages and whatnot) fight might be commercially bigger still.

For the purposes of this poll, let’s define “top PBC welterweight,” and make sure we’re on the same page. By “top PBC welterweight,” I’d include the following fighters:

  • Errol Spence Jr
  • Manny Pacquiao
  • Keith Thurman
  • Shawn Porter
  • Danny Garcia

I will not include Yordenis Ugas, who is right there with the last three guys on this list at the least in the ring these days, but does not have that sort of name value, and the name value and potential to make big money is the only thing that’s going to get Top Rank/ESPN and FOX/PBC to work together on a pay-per-view.

Spence continues to say he does want the fight, and he’s always said he does, but PBC fighters tend to follow the plan the company lays out for them, and if Spence beats Danny Garcia on Dec. 5, his next target may be Pacquiao or a rematch with Porter, as Pacquiao appears to be focused on fighting Conor McGregor. He’s also flatly said he does not want to fight Keith Thurman because he doesn’t like Keith Thurman, but that might also make Spence-Thurman a more marketable fight.

On the Top Rank side, Bob Arum said recently that the next fight for Crawford if he can help it will be Spence or Pacquiao. This statement sounds good enough in a headline but also gives Arum the out that he very well may not be able to control it, and at any rate, it’s continued for a couple years now to be “next time Bud will have a big fight,” but then he still doesn’t have what the impatient consider to be a “big fight” next time.

And I don’t mean to harp on anyone about being impatient, either. Crawford is 33 years old now and even though he’s won titles in three divisions, been considered a high-end P4P guy for years, and scored some damn good wins, he’s really never had that big fight, not at 135 or 140 or 147. It’s just eluded him. I do think he wants it. I do think the PBC fighters would take it for the right offer and all that.

But what do you think, will we actually see it in 2021?

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