Terence Crawford Being Stripped of the IBF Title Should Not Be a Major Hiccup for the Two-Time Welterweight Undisputed Champion

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The undisputed reign of Terence Crawford has ended dramatically. You would imagine him to have a splendid run at the top, dismantling both legends and hot prospects. But it didn’t happen. He has lost his IBF title in a fashion that has left the fans in disgust. The American champion was stripped of his belt, only leaving the WBC, WBO, and WBA Welterweight straps in his possession.

‘Bud’ knocked out Errol Spence Jr. in July to clinch the undisputed Welterweight title. His beatdown of Spence Jr. was complete and dominant as he snatched his IBF, WBA, and WBC belts. However, soon, the IBF mandated him to fight Jaron Ennis. Ennis, the IBF’s mandatory candidate since January 2022, even defended his interim title against Roiman Villa in July. Therefore, when Terence Crawford’s camp failed to negotiate a fight with Ennis, the IBF promptly elevated Ennis as the champion.

It all started with Errol Spence Jr. triggering the rematch clause. Crawford and Spence Jr. will run it back one more time, probably in February next year. Despite his being stripped of the IBF title, it won’t alter the contract terms. Neither will affect his negotiating power.

In addition, the 36-year-old didn’t lose the title in the ring. His boxing prowess is not questioned, and the fans can’t point fingers at him. Notably, Jermell Charlo became the IBF super Welterweight champion in 2020 and, since defending it against Brian Castaño in May 2022, went through surgery. Most recently, he endeavored to fight Canelo Alvarez at 168 lbs. And his IBF title has no scratch and is lying with him. Irony? Maybe.

Meanwhile, on multiple occasions, Crawford has questioned Ennis’ credentials and expressed his intent to look past him. “That (fight with Ennis) can happen. ‘Cause we at the same weight class. But you know, at this point in time, I’m looking for bigger and better opportunities,” the American boxer told Hot 97.

Crawford is chasing more prominent and better fighters to set his legacy in stone, and Ennis didn’t fit the bill. Hence, the writing was on the wall for quite some time, and IBF only did the inevitable. As far as Crawford is concerned, his eyes are locked on a rematch with ‘The Truth’.

Is a rematch with Errol Spence Jr. an exciting or bad idea for both?

What the fans saw when Crawford and Spence Jr. collided doesn’t necessitate a rematch. The victory was comprehensive. The fans saw Crawford piercing through the defense of undefeated Spence Jr. Crawford and knocking him down three times before finishing the job.

The rematch could be a bit more competitive. But the vast mismatch of skills and dominance can’t be bridged. Crawford had been calling out big names for a while, and handing a defeat to Errol Spence Jr. has only fueled that fire. With or without the IBF title, the Omaha native would have marched ahead in the search for bigger names.

At Welterweight, Crawford reigns supreme, and after slaying Spence Jr., the landscape is not exciting anymore. There are rumors of him moving up to 154, where the Spence Jr. match could also occur. After settling Spence Jr.’s saga behind him, he can finally move ahead and try to seize Jermell Charlo’s light middleweight crown.

Alternatively, the 40-0 record holder can have a go at Canelo Alvarez at 168 lbs. The super fight can rack up millions, meet his precondition of legacy hunting, and bestow upon him the credit he deeply desires. At 36, Crawford is not getting younger. He has nothing left to prove, and if he endeavors to move up in the conquest of bigger names, tossing aside the IBF title is no big deal.


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