Back in July, Crawford achieved undisputed status by defeating Errol Spence Jr. in an extremely anticipated bout. Right from the beginning, Crawford took the fight to Spence’s front porch, scoring multiple knockdowns and ultimately finishing things off in the ninth.
That night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, not only did Crawford retain his WBO title, but he walked away with Spence’s WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight belts.
The IBF has released the following statement explaining their reasoning for stripping Crawford of his title:
“On August 25, the IBF sent a letter to (Crawford’s) TBC Promotions directing Terence Crawford to begin negotiations with interim champion Jaron Ennis.,” the statement said. “Negotiations were to be concluded by September 24. On September 22, the IBF received an email from (attorney) Harrison Whitman representing Crawford indicating that the agreement for the Spence v. Crawford bout contains an immediate rematch provision which Errol Spence has exercised. As such, Terrence Crawford is unable to engage in negotiations with Jaron Ennis.”
-IBF via Fight Freaks Unite
Additionally, the IBF cited rule 3.B, which states:
No contract for a championship contest shall contain any clause or any provision whatsoever guaranteeing or in any way assuring or promising either contestant a return championship contest where such clause or provision interferes with the mandatory defense of a title.
Due to Spence having a rematch clause in place, Crawford was unable to fulfill his obligation to the mandatory challenger in Ennis. As a result of the nature of the IBF’s ruleset, Crawford was stripped of his title, and Ennis was automatically upgraded to world titleholder.
While Crawford still holds three of the four recognized world welterweight titles, losing the IBF title, and his undisputed status, in this fashion is no doubt a hard pill to swallow.