By Steve Kim
WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford makes the first defense of his belt against the undefeated Jose Benavidez this Saturday night from the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. If Crawford should come out victorious as expected in this ESPN main event, how does Bob Arum forecast his 2019?
The veteran promoter told BoxingScene.com – “I keep him a lot busier than fighting twice a year, I’d try to get him to fight at least three times a year and I think he’s building up the reputation as a great, great welterweight and I think Crawford can handle anybody in the welterweight division and he’s not going to have problems making the weight at 147.”
Arum believes that for Crawford, who has won titles at 130, 135 and 140 will settle in for good as a welterweight, “that’s probably the last highest division that he’ll be at so we’ll take on all-comers.”
As for a possible showdown with IBF welterweight champion, Errol Spence, Arum states he has no idea if the opposite side has as much interest in the fight as they do.
“I don’t know Errol Spence, I know of him, everybody says he’s a nice kid, he’s a nice person, certainly a good fighter. But it’s really what Al (Haymon) wants,” opined Arum.
“Al doesn’t like to take fights where the other guy has a chance. So I’m willing and Terence is willing to do that fight next.
“Benavidez is a tough fight but look at the whole picture there is some urgency because Spence is naturally bigger, he will sooner rather than later grow out of the welterweight division.”
But you wonder if Spence will be kept on his side of the street with fights on Showtime and FOX in the upcoming year.
“I can’t tell what anybody else is doing,” said Arum.
“All I can tell is what I’m doing and I want to make the best fights for my fighters and I’m willing to sit down and discuss it. There are other fighters and so forth, we can do trades, You know, ‘your fighter can be on my platform, my fighter can be on your platform.’ But if you don’t want to sit down and talk about it – just f*** off.”
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.