We already know that Terence “Bud” Crawford is set to defend his WBO welterweight title in October, and now. Ryan O’Hara reports that the opponent will “likely” be current junior welterweight contender Jose Zepeda.
Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) has received increasingly harsh criticism over the past two years, for although he is a three division champion and undoubtedly a formidable fighter, one of the best in the world world, the feeling is that his opposition has been lacking, and he is still in desperate need of a truly landmark victory.
In particular, his resume as a welterweight, where he beat Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez Jr, Amir Khan, Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas and Kell Brook. Horn was seen as a weak titlist who should never have won the title in the first place, Benavidez was a stalled prospect who has not fought since losing to Crawford in 2018 and does not appear likely to fight again at this point, and both Khan and Brook had had their best days. That leaves Kavaliauskas, an average contender, as arguably the best win at 147 for Crawford.
And while Zepeda (34-2, 26 KOs) is a solid contender at 140, it’s not the kind of game that’s going to change my mind much, I don’t suspect. It’s not even that the fight is so bad, it’s that Crawford is 33, the welterweight division has had strong names the entire time he’s been in it, and he hasn’t fought any of the between them, and it seems totally unlikely to do that until he can quit the Top Rank, as all of the biggest names at 147 are with Premier Boxing Champions.
But maybe I’m wrong and that’s something people will be excited about. Zepeda was in the fight of the year 2020 with Ivan Baranchyk, but otherwise his biggest fight was a decision loss against Jose Ramirez in 2019. Again, he’s a good fighter, but that seems like another idea that going to disappoint the folks who were hoping to see Crawford finally fight a real welterweight name, even though that probably was never going to happen.