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Crawford vs Ennis: Why Bud shouldn’t take this fight next

By Lee Cleveland, FightSaga - August 14, 2023

There’s a lot of discussion and speculation about potential matchups in the welterweight division, particularly involving Terence Crawford (40-1, 31 KO). Following his one-sided TKO victory of rival Errol Spence, the fighter dubbed ‘Bud’ is considered by most as boxing’s best pound-for-pound.

Showtime exec Stephen Espinoza suggests that if the 35-year-old Crawford wants to fight again this year, taking on 26-year-old Jaron Ennis (31-0, 28 KO) might be his best option. He implied that waiting until 2024 to potentially face other notable opponents like Errol Spence Jr., Tim Tszyu, or Jermell Charlo could lead to missed opportunities and a delay in Crawford’s career progression.

For fans
What hardcore boxing fan wouldn’t salivate over Crawford vs Ennis? The old pro vs the young lion… It’s easily the most interesting fight in the welterweight division but don’t expect it to happen next.

The business reality
Jaron Ennis is good. Really good. While it’s too early to tell for sure, he seems like he’d be a conceivable risk for any welterweight in the sport’s history. However, his name isn’t big enough yet to bring a lot of money to the table.

In 1980, then WBC Welterweight Champion Sugar Ray Leonard initially refused to fight Thomas Hearns, the WBA Champ, insisting no one outside of the ‘boxing fraternity’ knew who Hearns was. Hence, he suggested the latter didn’t bring much to the table financially.

As a result, Hearns had to fight a few times more on national TV to become popular enough to generate enough interest to produce enough revenue to justify a superfight.

In fact, Hearns had to fight on Leonard’s undercard in Houston on June 25, 1981; And the ‘Hitman’ looked so devastating, promoters had no problem selling Leonard vs Hearns to the public following that event. The fighters were on a collision course and would eventually fight each other 10 weeks later.

Right now, no one aside from boxing’s hardcore contingent knows who Ennis is. So, why should Crawford take the risk when he could get more money fighting Tim Tszyu in Australia or just as much money facing Keith Thurman?

Obviously, Crawford’s potential fight against Charlo is complicated by the latter’s upcoming bout against Canelo Alvarez, which is scheduled for September 30th.

And who knows when or if Spence will execute his rematch clause?

If not Spence in an immediate rematch, Crawford will most likely relinquish a few of his belts and face Tszyu, Thurman, or WBA Regular Eimantas Stanionis next. And then perhaps Charlo after one of the aforementioned opponents.

Crawford isn’t fighting Ennis until or unless there’s significant public demand for that bout. And he’s certainly not fighting him next.


Tags: terence crawford