Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter: Why Showtime doesn't want to activate mandatory challenger status
It's hard not to like former IBF and WBC Welterweight champion "Showtime" Shawn Porter.
Although "business is business" in this brutal and often thankless industry, the Ohio born fighter is doing his best to manage his own career as well as his longstanding relationship with friend and potential opponent Terence "Bud" Crawford.
Despite being deemed the number one contender in the WBO's welterweight rankings, the 33 year old puncher is not officially Crawford's WBO mandatory challenger and is seemingly relunctant to activate the elevated distinction.
It was just confirmed by executive members of the WBO that Porter is not the current champ's mandatory challenger...not yet anyway. In accordance with WBO bylaws, Shawn would have to file a formal request to get elevated to the mandatory position. As of this publication, the 33 year old fighter has yet to petition for the status change.
Porter seemingly understands the business of boxing and realizes he has much more to gain by patiently waiting for his opportunity to capture championship gold, rather than forcing the current title holder's hand to demand a Terence Crawford vs Shawn Porter showdown.
“I’m doing the best I can to not lose what I consider to be a good friend (Crawford)," Porter stated on a recent PBC Podcast. "He’s a good dude, and there’s not too many guys like him in the sport. For us to have the kind of friendship that we’ve had for some time, what I don’t want to do is say something that bothers him to the point that he doesn’t want to be my friend, moving forward beyond boxing.”
The proud Akron born puncher realizes that the opportunity to face an all-time great and ring legend doesn't come around very often. Crawford's handlers claim to be actively pursuing a once-in-a-lifetime chance to face the legendary Manny Pacquiao in what could be the Pacman's final outing in the squared circle.
Although the Filipino Senator is admittedly leaning towards four division world titlist Mikey Garcia as his dance partner for a July date, Terence is still very much alive in the ongoing "Pacquiao sweepstakes" negotiations.
Activating his mandatory position and forcing the hand of "Bud" Crawford and promoter Top Rank, Inc. could very well sour any plans of landing that singular opportunity. The intelligent and good-natured prizefighter is doing his best to tread lightly in this situation.
“I think that’s one thing that most of these guys don’t realize is that we have a life after this sport, and we need to be prepared for it. Instead of looking at championships and what kind of purse they’re going to get from this fight, no one really prepares for life after boxing. That’s something my dad taught me well before I became a professional.”
“So I’m doing my best to try and create a fight without trying to lose a friend at the same time."
It also benefits the current Las Vegas resident financially to strike a deal with Team Crawford without the involvement of the WBO organization.
According to the bylaws of the World Boxing Organization, Porter dramatically limits his earning potential if he activates his mandatory position. If the WBO is petitioned to intervene and force the champion's hand, a title challenger is only entitled to 25% of the overall purse. So even if the Crawford vs Porter match goes to a purse bid and a promoter wins by offering a $10 million bid, Porter would only be entitled to 25% of the hefty allotment.
... A mere fraction of what the proud Ohio native believes he's currently worth.
Because of Shawn's outstanding and virtuous character, which is admittedly rare in the hurt business, Porter will undoubtedly be rewarded by his longtime friend with an opportunity to once again compete for championship gold and a healthy payday should Terence fail to receive a fight opposite Pacquiao in July.
At least one would hope.
With the understanding that rival WBC/IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. is currently seeking a 147 pound unification with newly appointed WBA titlist Yordenis Ugas, "Showtime" Shawn remains Crawford's most attractive and lucrative option at this juncture.
Here's to hoping the good guy doesn't finish last in this delicate scenario and is rewarded the chance to become three time welterweight champion.