Very few fans doubted Terence Crawford’s (31-0, 22 KOs) chances against Olympic gold medalist Félix Díaz (21-2, 9 KOs) last weekend, but it was still impressive to see Crawford pick his opponent apart with such ease. The Ring Magazine ranks him as the fifth best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and he’s undoubtedly the king of the light welterweight division (140 pounds). Now, he’s looking for his first big-name fight.
Where does he go from here?
The welterweight division is stacked with talent at the moment, and if Crawford really wants to prove himself, he’ll have to move up to 147. There’s also a potential bout against WBA and IBF light welterweight champ Julius Indongo for a division-unification fight. And, though unlikely, he could move down in weight to fight as well.
Here are the favorites to be Crawford’s next opponent.
Odds on Terence Crawford’s next opponent
Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs): 3/2
This fight isn’t exactly on the top of Crawford’s list, but it’s probably the most likely. Indongo currently holds the IBF and WBA light welterweight titles, and if Crawford can unify the belts, he’ll be in good standing for a big-money fight.
While Indongo boasts an impressive fight record, he’s only had one formidable opponent — Ricky Burns. Crawford annihilated Burns back in 2014, and it’s likely he’d do the same to Indongo.
Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs): 3/1
After defeating Diaz, Keith Thurman was one of the fighters Crawford called out to fight next. The WBA and WBC welterweight champion would be by far the toughest opponent Crawford has faced to date.
It would also be an interesting match-up, stylistically. Thurman is a hard-hitting knockout artist, while Crawford is a highly technical boxer. Thurman is currently out with an injury sustained during his last fight against Danny García, but he’ll be back in a couple of months.
Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2): 4/1
If Crawford could choose his next opponent, it would undoubtedly be Manny Pacquiao. However, the 38-year-old superstar has a fight lined up with Jeff Horn. Pacman has bailed on Horn in the past, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he did so again. But a fight against Crawford may carry too much risk and too little reward for him.
Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs): 15/1
Khan hasn’t fought since his devastating knockout at the hands of Canelo Alvarez last year. He’s eager to step back into the ring and rid his mouth of that sour taste. He was inches from landing a fight against Manny Pacquiao earlier in the year, but funding for the fight fell through.
He doesn’t seem to be on Crawford’s radar at the moment, but the pair would make for an interesting fight.
Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs): 30/1
This one is extremely unlikely, yet it kind of makes sense. Both fighters are lacking quality opponents in their division and have struggled to land big-name fights despite being among the best pound-for-pound fighters around.
Crawford and Lomachenko are two of the most technically gifted boxers in the sport today, and a showdown between the two would be an amazing spectacle. They’re two weight classes apart, though, and Crawford probably won’t move down. So it would require Lomachenko, who’s been fighting at junior lightweight (130 pounds) making the leap to 140.
Photo credit: Kojack [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]