The news came on Thursday night that WBO welterweight titlist, Terence Crawford, will be facing David Avanesyan on December 10 at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Even more eye opening is that this pay-per-view event will be a streamed by an outfit called BLK Prime (for $39.95).
Which officially closes the window of any possibility of Crawford facing Errol Spence for the undisputed crown in 2022.
While this development is stunning on the surface, perhaps we should have seen this coming. Given that we are now in the latter part of October, the proposed November 19 date seemed highly unlikely. Also, Floyd Mayweather -- who you would think is pretty plugged in with the PBC -- told FightHype.com that Spence-Crawford would not be happening this year.
So yeah, you can blame Crawford all you want, but ask yourself this: if that fight with Spence wasn't going to happen till the first quarter of '23, what's wrong with him taking a tune-up bout versus a respectable opponent (Avanesyan is rated number eight by Ring Magazine) to end this year? Crawford has not performed since stopping Shawn Porter last November. And currently, there is no signed agreement for that clash with Spence.
At this juncture, Crawford's so rusty, he may not need water in his corner, but WD-40.
If you want to blame anyone or anything for Spence-Crawford not taking place this year -- blame the current boxing business. Yeah, who knew that years of paying boxers exorbitant purses versus rather nondescript opponents, would then make it more even more problematic to make the bouts the pubic truly yearns for.
They created this mess, and now they have to live with the ramifications of it.
In theory, as Crawford left Top Rank, this was supposed to be a rather easy deal to consummate. After all, he was no longer on ''the wrong of the street'', but the loyalties of Al Haymon still lie with Spence, who has spent his entire career with PBC. And unlike the second and third installments of Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder, where Top Rank and PBC each paid their own boxer, there was no shared risk with Spence-Crawford.
This whole ordeal has jammed up traffic at 147 like an overturned 18-wheeler on the 405 during rush hour. Hungry, young contenders like Jaron 'Boots' Ennis (rated third at welterweight by Ring) and Vergil Ortiz (ranked number five) have been forced to wait their turns for title shots. But its being reported that Ennis is now petitioning the IBF to make him the mandatory for Spence.
Spence, who back in April stopped Yordenis Ugas, now has an interesting dilemma. It's highly unlikely that he faces the talented Ennis. Eminatas Stanionis, the WBA 'regular' champion, also has a claim to be next in line to face him next. Then you have Keith Thurman, who is rated number one by the WBC.
Ennis and Stanionis are the very definition of high risk-low reward, while Thurman is the best known name, but would come at a much higher cost to the promotion. Or....he could just move up to 154, as he was noting how increasingly difficult it was for him to make the welterweight limit.
As for Crawford, he has an 18 month window from the Porter fight to take care of his WBO mandatory (right now, their top rated contender is Ortiz). So it wont be until about May of '23 where he will have to face him.
So basically the deadline is now May of next year to make Spence-Crawford. If it's not made by then, well, this match-up will most likely go to, as Mike Tyson would say, 'Bolivian'.
But hey, what's several more months, after waiting more than four years, right?
There wasn't much boxing on this past weekend but one of my personal favorites was in action, featherweight contender, Mauricio Lara, who stopped Jose Sanmartin in three frenetic rounds in Mexico City.
As always, this was a runaway 'Bronco' who fought as if he's double-parked. The 24 year old Lara is a guy that punches hard, fast and often, and thinks later. For me, he is must-see TV. Maybe there are guys who will out-box or out-point him, but this is a guy who is great entertainment, regardless.
Whenever he fights, I'll be watching.
So who and what is BLK Prime? Well, this is from their press release formally announcing Crawford's next bout:
The fight will be streamed live by BLK Prime (https://watchnow.blkprime.com/)
for the price of $39.99. This will be BLK Prime’s first streaming of a professional boxing event, but the Silicon Valley-based tech company has streamed several non-professional bouts. BLK Prime is a subscription video on demand company that utilizes elite technology to bring the best picture-perfect stream available.
“BLK Prime has been in existence for five years and we are excited to announce our first World Championship bout,” said a spokesman from BLK Prime. “To make our debut with boxing’s pound-for-pound number one fighter in the world, Terence Crawford, is a home run and we can’t wait for December 10th in Omaha, Neb.”
Angel Fierro scored a seventh round stoppage of Jeremy Cuevas in another crowd-pleasing battle on that card in Mexico City that was streamed on DAZN...Didn't see much high-end talent on this past ShoBox...WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, will face Derek Chisora in early December in a bout that nobody wants...I really hope this is rock bottom for Miami and Mario Cristobal...It looks like Father Time has caught up to Tom Brady...I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org....