Crawford vs. Tszyu – ‘There Have Been Talks’

Tim Tszyu says talks have taken place for a fight with Terence Crawford.

Tszyu is preparing to face Keith Thurman on March 30 for PBC’s first PPV with Amazon Prime Video. It is a non-title fight, meaning Tszyu’s WBO Junior Middleweight Belt is not on the line. Provided the Australian gets past Thurman, he could face Crawford. 

Bud has not fought since stopping Errol Spence Jr. to become the first Undisputed Welterweight Champion of the four-belt era. He was then stripped for not defending against his IBF mandatory Jaron Ennis as Spence activated his rematch clause. The Spence rematch never happened. Ennis then became the full IBF Welterweight Champion, leaving Crawford in need of an opponent. 

“There have been talks between us. And I give Crawford all respect. He’ll fight anyone. And that’s why I see him as such a great challenge. But I also see him as beatable,” Tszyu said

WBO President Paco Valcarcel echoed those words. Crawford is the WBO Super Champion at 147, making him mandatory for Tszyu’s belt if he moves up. Valcarcel has said discussions are underway.

“Crawford will be here next week. We’re going to talk about that fight. I’m not authorized to tell. He loved to fight at 154, but I’m not authorized to make it public. I have been talking to Crawford for long now, but he’ll be in Puerto Rico this week on Friday. You are the first person I’ve talked to about the possibility of Crawford moving to 154,” WBO President Paco Valcarcel stated 

Canelo Alvarez was Crawford’s primary target. A win would have allowed Bud to become undisputed in a third weight class. The fight also generates a considerable purse, given Alvarez is a cash cow. He brings a vast Mexican fanbase and a well-established name in the US. Canelo ruled out a fight, saying he would get no credit for beating a welterweight. That was a big blow for Crawford, who struggles to sell.

He is not the biggest draw commercially despite being the best pound-for-pound fighter. The Spence fight was only Crawford’s fifth PPV, as it did 700,000 buys. None of his previous PPVs ever got into the 200,000s for sales. Bud has found himself in a similar situation to Shakur Stevenson. His technical ability has failed to resonate with the casual fanbase, making it vital he gets the right dancing partner.

But Tsyzu will fight on Amazon Prime Video, a platform with over 160 million subscribers in the US alone. He is also the son of  Kostya Tszyu, who won multiple belts at Junior Welterweight, getting voted as Ring Magazine’s best 140-pounder. Given the legacy of Tszyu’s father, Crawford could sell the narrative for starting his journey to becoming a three-weight undisputed champion.

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