LAS VEGAS – Terence Crawford will be out of the country Saturday, celebrating his 32nd birthday.
The WBO welterweight champion still will pay close attention to the Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter fight. Unlike oddsmakers and countless others, Crawford isn’t the least bit dismissive of Porter’s opportunity to pull off an upset in their welterweight title unification fight at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I give him a good chance,” Crawford told BoxingScene.com. “I think he’s so motivated right now by everybody not giving him any credit. And I think Spence knows that, too. You know, Spence is taking this fight real serious, too, because he knows the type of guy he’s going up against. So, it should be a good fight.”
Most handicappers have installed Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) as at least a 10-1 favorite over Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) in their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event. Crawford declined to predict a winner in their fight for Spence’s IBF and Porter’s WBC welterweight titles.
“I ain’t gonna pick,” Crawford said. “I’m just gonna sit back and watch it as a fan.”
If Spence wins, it’ll inch him closer toward a long-awaited showdown with Crawford in 2020. Spence would welcome a high-profile fight against Manny Pacquiao first, but Pacquiao’s handlers have tried to convince the Filipino legend to avoid facing the bigger, stronger, younger Spence.
Meanwhile, Crawford wants to fight Spence. It’s just a matter of Bob Arum, whose company promotes Crawford, and Al Haymon, Spence’s adviser, coming together to make that pay-per-view fight.
“Any fight can be made,” Crawford said. “Like I’ve said, it’s boxing – any fight can be made if everybody sits down and agrees to the terms, where everybody’s happy and can be adults about the situation. That’s how fights get made.”
In his next fight, Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is expected to make a mandatory defense of his title against Lithuania’s Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs) on December 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York. If Spence wins Saturday night and Crawford defeats Kavaliauskas, they theoretically should be able to finally fight within the first half of next year.
Crawford wouldn’t speculate as to whether he thinks that’ll actually happen.
“I can’t guess,” Crawford said. “I would’ve guessed that I would’ve fought Pacquiao two years ago and I didn’t. So, you’ve just gotta let things happen the way they’re gonna happen. Either it is, or it ain’t. Those things is out of my hands and out of my reach. I just sit back and focus on the things that’s in front of me right now, and that’s it.”