Oscar De la Hoya: "I think Terence Crawford is the best Welterweight in the world right now"
Who is the best Welterweight fighter in the world currently?
As it stands, the three reigning champions at 147 pounds are:
1) WBC/IBF Champion Errol Spence Jr.
2) WBO Champion Terence Crawford
3) Super WBA Champion Manny Pacquiao
While staging a media workout for his budding 135-pound star, Ryan Garcia, former Welterweight superstar and current Hall of Fame fighter Oscar De la Hoya chimed in on who he believes is the best 147-pound fighter in the world currently.
"Who do I think will be the best Welterweight in the world? Vergil Ortiz," stated Oscar De la Hoya to Fight Hub TV.
Although Oscar may be proven correct in a few good years, Vergil Ortiz is a seemingly unproven commodity at Welterweight currently. So who does the Golden Boy believe to be the best fighter at 147 pounds right now?
"Crawford is a beast. I don't know how Spence is after his accident, but I love Crawford. I love the way Crawford fights. So I think Crawford right now is the best guy at Welterweight."
When one views Terence Crawford's perfect resume and his proficiency in switching from an orthodox stance to southpaw without any glaring deficiency, Oscar may be right in his professional assessment.
But how would fans know without testing his respective mettle against the other best fighters in the Welterweight division?
"He's amazing...I think he's a special fighter. Hopefully, we'll get to see those big fights happen."
When asked why he thought those fights hadn't happened yet, the Golden Boy wasn't about to point the proverbial finger at this former promoter.
"Bob Arum loves working with everybody in making these fights happen," insists the former Top Rank superstar. "So hopefully we get to see those fights happen. It would be a shame not to see those fights happen. Because then we wouldn't really know who the best Welterweight in the world is at this time."
When asked how he would take on a genuine enigma in the ring like Bud Crawford, Oscar began to ostensibly "lick his chops".
"Fight him. Bring it on, baby!"
While Oscar campaigned at 147 pounds, he fought everyone. From Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker to "Sugar" Shane Mosley, the Golden Boy fought a virtual who's who at Welterweight. The PPV megastar made fan-friendly events with Julio Cesar Chavez, Ike Quartey, Felix Trinidad, Hector Camacho, Oba Carr, and the late Arturo Gatti.
At Welterweight, Oscar had the speed that killed. With his vaunted, short, compact left hook, he was competitive in every major fight at 147 pounds, with his only two losses coming from "Tito" Trinidad and "Sugar" Shane Mosley.
So how would a pocket counter puncher like Oscar fair against the switch-hitting badass from Omaha, Nebraska?
"I'd jab the heck out of him. Then work your combinations behind it. That's what I would do. Then walk him down and not let him push you back."
"Not many fighters could do that, but I would do that. Fighters who are used to going forward don't know how to fight going backward, because they've never done it. So if you take them out of their comfort zone, it becomes a psychological game."
"You take away their 'power', so to speak."
One fighter who most avid fight fans could see fighting TC in that manner would be Errol Spence Jr.
Not only is "The Truth" one of the most proficient in cutting off the ring and closing the distance, but he arguably throws the best combinations underneath. One of Spence's biggest gifts as a fighter is throwing creative combinations to the body and head without tipping off his opponent. And with Terence being the most prolific switch hitter since Marvin Hagler, Spence would be forced to try and take away Crawford's southpaw advantage by closing the distance and fighting Bud in a phone booth.
"Spence vs. Crawford" would be considered an "instant classic" by most ringside observers.
Although sources currently insist that a fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will materialize in June of 2020, will fight fans be treated to a true 147-pound unification between Terence Crawford and the eventual winner?
Let's hope all parties involved work to make this dream scenario a stark reality for every die-hard fight fan in 2020.