Crawford’s Future: WBC Downgrade and Upcoming Fights

Terence Crawford’s WBC Downgrade: What It Means for His Future

Terence Crawford, renowned for his pound-for-pound prowess, has faced a significant change in his career trajectory. The World Boxing Council (WBC) has downgraded him to ‘Champion in Recess,’ a decision that reverberates through the welterweight division and beyond.

Crawford’s Downgrade and Immediate Impact

Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, previously the WBC welterweight champion, has been reassigned to the status of ‘Champion in Recess.’ This decision, confirmed by the WBC on Monday, results from his inactivity in the 147-pound category as he prepares for his next bout at 154 pounds.

“The WBC Board of Governors has voted in favor to accept our proud WBC welterweight champion, Terence Crawford, to be placed as champion in recess in the welterweight division,” the WBC stated. Crawford earned this title by knocking out the previously undefeated Errol Spence on July 29, 2023.

Crawford’s upcoming fight is set for August 3 at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, marking the debut promotion of Riyadh Season in the United States. He will face Israil Madrimov in this super welterweight clash.

Sanctioning Bodies and Their Influence

Crawford’s transition has not gone unnoticed by the sport’s purists, who often criticise the sanctioning bodies. Despite these changes, Crawford remains a significant figure in boxing. His bout against Errol Spence to unify the division was his last at welterweight, leading to his stripping of the IBF title due to a missed mandatory defense against Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.

The WBC and WBO have proactively scheduled interim title fights, anticipating Crawford’s shift in weight class. Mario Barrios, for instance, claimed the interim WBC belt and now holds the full title following a successful defense against Fabian Maidana. Similarly, Brian Norman secured the interim WBO belt, previously contested with Giovani Santillan, in preparation for Crawford’s move.


Future Prospects for Crawford

Despite these adjustments, Crawford is far from sidelined. The sanctioning bodies appear keen to maintain their association with the unbeaten three-division champion. Crawford’s upcoming fight with Madrimov includes the WBA belt and the interim WBO 154-pound title. The WBO will soon decide whether to strip Sebastian Fundora of the full title, contingent on his medical exemption and upcoming mandatory bout.

A victory for Crawford against Madrimov could place him in line to challenge for the WBC title, with the WBC agreeing to sanction the fight as a final eliminator. This scenario will require Crawford to declare his future weight class intentions to the WBC. Additionally, the WBA will need to address Crawford’s position, as he could hold titles in both weight classes.

What Lies Ahead for Crawford and Boxing

Eimantas Stanionis, holding the WBA ‘Regular’ title and ranked No. 3 by The Ring at welterweight, could become a pivotal opponent for Crawford depending on the outcomes of upcoming matches and decisions by the sanctioning bodies. As Crawford navigates these changes, his legacy and future fights will be closely watched by fans and critics alike.

Crawford’s journey continues to captivate the boxing world, and his upcoming fight against Madrimov is set to be a defining moment in his illustrious career.

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