Sports

Welterweights Must Unify Now, For The Good Of Boxing

Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas:

A lot of questions were answered when Terence Crawford became the first person to stop Shawn Porter and hold onto his WBO welterweight strap. Then again, some questions still have no answer to them. However, one thing was clear from the minute Kenny Porter asked that the fight be waived off. The welterweights must unify now.

“Fans” have always questioned “Bud’s” resume. But he checked off another box. He’s faced all types of fighters despite the top guns not getting into the ring with him. Although the Omaha native can be surly at times, he has some qualities of the little engine that could and the hare from the hare and the tortoise race. He just keeps plugging along. Although as of late he’s let it be known crystal clear he’s getting tired of not getting the huge fights with Bob Arum and Top Rank.

Porter took it to him early on with a high-paced game plan. But the stronger fighter with the exception of the times it looked like he was about to be dragged into a dogfight; kept to his script. There were times though it looked like a game of rock ’em sock ’em robots. But Crawford made his adjustments, and with help from 28 vicious body shots broke Porter down systematically. It didn’t help Porter’s cause any when he started to lunge and not cover up late after being methodical early. And the more Crawford switched stances, the more Porter would get clipped. Especially when he was fighting as a southpaw.

Troubled Ending?

It led to a little controversy in the 10th round. A stinging left uppercut put Porter on the mat. Then arguably the best closer in the game was like a feeding frenzy shark. Stepping back he ripped another combo ending with a right hook that dropped Porter again. That’s when his father called for the fight to be stopped, although Porter was back up. Post fight Porter said:

“He’s doing what he knows he needs to do. I didn’t expect that. We’ve never had a conversation about that (stopping a fight)… The punches were catching me too clean and my dad saw that”

Then the shocking part came when his father said he hadn’t trained properly. Although both father and son gave props to their long-time friend Crawford.

Welterweights Must Unify Now; But Will They

Fighters, fans, and press alike need to put the pressure on the WBO, WBC, WBA, and IBF to have one face rule 147. And then promoters need to be pushed to do so. It would be a crime down the path of waiting for Mayweather versus Pacquaio; to wait for Crawford and Spence. Especially with Porter being stopped for the first time in his career. Or at least use Yordenis Ugas and the WBA belt as the go-between.

It’s logical why organizations don’t want one face. A fighter only has so many fights in a year, and it holds up their belts. But the flip side to that is an undisputed champion brings in bigger money than any other. Let’s not forget, this fight happened because the fighters called their own shots.

Post fight Crawford teased if he doesn’t get the big fight, he may go to 154. Although up there he may find more of the same as Jermell Charlo also fights for Al Haymon. Terence Crawford deserves the opportunity before his skillset even starts to diminish, to hold all the belts. And to prove to any doubters that he is pound-for-pound number one.

Let’s just hope that boxing doesn’t fumble this like someone once fumbled away bloody gloves. As the welterweights must unify now.

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