Max Kellerman believes the only fighter at welterweight with the talented needed for him to be competitive with unified light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) is IBF 147 lb. champion Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) following the Nebraska native’s 3rd round KO in over IBF/WBA 140lb champion Julius “Blue Machine” Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs) last Saturday night at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Crawford made short work of a fighter that was supposed to give him a lot of problems in 34-year-old Indongo. Kellerman says there’s no one for Crawford to fight if he stays at 140. He sees him as having no other choice but to move up 147 to look for bigger and better things in that weight class. Yet even at 147, Kellerman opines that there is only one fighter in that weight class with the talent to compete with Crawford and that’s IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
Kellerman says super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko is too small to fight Crawford. That’s a given. With Crawford rehydrating to close to 160, he would have at least a 15 pound weight advantage against Lomachenko.
Crawford says he’s not going to stick around the light welterweight division He plans on moving up right away to the welterweight division where he hopes he can get matched up against the winner of the November 12 fight between Manny Pacquiao and WBO 147 lb. champion Jeff Horn. Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum is going to try and make that vision a reality.
<>“Terence Crawford looks like a great fighter in his prime, and so you need him to fight another great fighter or Special talent,” said Kellerman. “[Vasyl] Lomachenko is one to the South, but Lomachenko is a little small for Crawford. Even by Lomachenko’s own admission, maybe Crawford is too big, and Crawford feels the same way. There’s no one else at 140. So you look north, and when looking at the welterweight division, the only talent I see there that is special that I think has a chance to be great and to compete evenly with a fighter like Crawford is Errol Spence. But Spence hasn’t proven it yet,” said Kellerman
Crawford is going to need to put on more weight if he wants to be able to compete against someone like Spence, who rehydrates to close to 170 lbs. for his fights at 147. Crawford comes into his light welterweight fights rehydrated to around 158 lbs. He puts on approximately 18 lbs. when he rehydrates for those fights, which makes him a middleweight. Spence will have a big weight advantage to go along with his normal power advantage. Spence is one of the hardest punchers in the division right now. Crawford might find himself unable to handle the power of Spence.
If Crawford is going to play his usual counter punching game in hopes of beating Spence that way, he may find that he doesn’t have the power to win that kind of fight, especially if Spence takes the fight to the inside. Crawford doesn’t fight on the inside, so he’ll very likely start moving around the ring trying to stay away from Spence. Crawford would be giving away 2 inches in reach to Spence.
If Crawford chooses to make it an outside fight, he’ll lose the jabbing war. He’ll need to come at Spence and try and initiate the action if he eats too many jabs and falls behind in the fight.
I think it’s going to be very hard to put together a fight between Crawford and Spence.
One reason for that is because Crawford brings in huge crowds in fighting in his home state of Nebraska. Spence and his adviser Al Haymon likely aren’t going to like the idea of giving Crawford the home state advantage. We saw how Crawford fought with a great deal of adrenalin against Indongo last Saturday night.
Spence doesn’t need to be a road warrior again like he was in his last fight against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook on May 27 of this year. Brook was the champion and Spence the challenger, so that was the main reason why Spence put up with that. Now that Spence is the IBF champion, he’s not likely going to want to give Crawford the advantage against him.
Even if Crawford wins the WBO welterweight title, it wouldn’t make sense for Spence to give him the advantage that Indongo did. That was a mistake on Indongo’s part in fighting over there. He shouldn’t have done it. Indongo would have been better off insisting that the unification fight take place in a neutral venue. I imagine he got more money in agreeing to fight in Lincoln, Nebraska. But I don’t think the money was worth it for Indongo. He would have been better off giving himself a better chance at winning the fight against Crawford by having it take place in a neural venue.
I think Kellerman is selling a lot of top welterweights short by not including them in his 1-man list as having enough talent to compete with Crawford. We don’t know how good Crawford is because the guys he’s been beating at 140 are fighters that would be literally obliterated by the top welterweights like Spence, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. You seriously cannot look at Crawford’s weak resume and pick someone that would be competitive for any length of time against Garcia, Porter, Thurman or Spence.
These are the fighters that Crawford has beaten recently that has the boxing world gushing about his talent:
– John Molina Jr.
– Julius Indongo
– Viktor Postol
– Felix Diaz
– Henry Lundy
– Thomas Dulorme
– Yuriorkis Gamboa
– Dierry Jean
– Raymundo Belran
– Ricky Burns
– Andrey Klimov
Those fighters might be good fighters for the 140 lb. division, but they’re not going to be able to compete against Thurman, Garcia, Porter or Spence. Kellerman might be making a mistake by assuming that Crawford will dominate at welterweight because he was able to dominate the opposition at 140. We’re talking about 2 different levels of fighters. The guys at 147 are bigger, stronger, faster and much more talented than the fighters at 140. The good fighters flock to the 147 lb. weight class. Crawford is going to have to deal with some real power and size when he moves up in weight and starts fighting the good opposition if he ever does.