Terence Crawford: No, Bud isn't 'ducking' Shawn PorterHot
Ducking: verb - 1) The act of avoiding or evading an unpleasant task, or 2) a term used too often by disgruntled fans on boxing forums meant to criticize the brave men who take punishment for the often ungrateful and unsupportive fan's entertainment
Throughout the entire week leading up to his WBO Welterweight mandatory defense against formerly undefeated contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas, reigning titleholder Terence Crawford expressed his frustration of not being able to fight the other top fighters in the competitive 147-pound weight division.
"I unified the 140-pound weight class, and I just want the chance to unify at 147 too," TC stated to Andre Ward of ESPN.
Although Bud's promoter, Bob Arum, stated to various media members that a fight against Shawn Porter would be a more competitive match-up than a pairing opposite Danny Garcia, most fans and critics ran with the quote citing the Hall of Fame promoter's statement as a likely possibility for 2020.
When informed of Arum's statement, Terence had this to say about it:
"It's not going to be up to Bob Arum, or PBC/Al Haymon," stated Terence Crawford during his post-fight press conference following his KO victory over former two-time Olympian Egidijus Kavaliauskas on December 14th. "That's not going to be up to them. It's going to be up to us should we agree to fight."
"And right now we haven't had a discussion about whether or not Shawn and I are going to fight. Right now I'm not even thinking about that fight. I'm not worried about that fight. That fight is not even in my head right now."
"But all of those other guys...they know what it is."
Since that time, many periodicals have reported that Shawn and his father/trainer Kenny Porter are very interested in a fight with the current WBO Champion during the first half of 2020.
But what about Crawford? Is he actually interested in making the fight with Porter a reality? And what would Crawford gain from such a match-up?
Fact is Shawn Porter is coming off of a loss, doesn't have a world title around his waist, and isn't the biggest ticket-seller of the division. And despite having three losses on his resume to former champions Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and most recently current 147-pound champ Errol Spence Jr., Shawn is currently considered by most to be "more risk than reward".
The Ohio native is a mentally and physically durable fighter who implements a fight style that seems to disrupt the rhythm of most opponents. With his mauling, aggressive tactics in the ring, one could best characterize him as an American version of Ricky Hatton...minus the fanbase and charisma.
But unlike Ricky "Fatton", who notoriously blew up in weight between fights, Porter is a gym rat. Because the perennial contender has trouble making the Welterweight limit each time out, he religiously stays in shape throughout the entire year so he doesn't suffer during each respective training camp. Rather than training to lose weight, he and his father devote each camp to devising and perfecting a strategy for their opponents. Keep in mind, Shawn competed as a Middleweight in the amateurs before turning pro.
The always disciplined and hard-working Porter would be a tough outing and doesn't bring much to the table at this point in his career...at least not to Terence Crawford who genuinely wants to unify the weight division with either Manny Pacquiao or Errol Spence Jr.
Has TC ever called-out his friend Shawn publicly? Is Porter Bud's mandatory challenger?
According to the current Welterweight rankings of the WBO, Showtime Shawn isn't even featured in the top 15. Danny Garcia is currently listed as the WBO's number one contender with Sergey Lipinets as number two.
So could any die-hard fan accuse the current WBO champ of avoiding Porter if he genuinely showed no interest in making that match-up a reality for 2020?
Crawford has been very clear in stating that his number one priority for 2020 is unifying the weight division.
Can any fan or critic blame Terence for feeling this way?
Not at all.
Of course, Shawn is one of the "good guys" of boxing and never has anything negative to say about anyone, so it's natural for his fans to want the best for a real competitor like Porter. Unfortunately, the 32-year-old former champion doesn't have enough fans beating the proverbial drum to create a substantial or noticeable demand.
Where there's demand, there's money.
Will the always vocal fans of the sport continue to demand a match-up between Crawford and Porter in 2020?
If they really want to see this fight materialize next year, they'll have to.
Until then, enjoy the fights already scheduled on the 2020 boxing calendar.