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Crawford ‘Smart’ To Force His Way Into The Picture of Tszyu-Fundora

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Terence Crawford has been “calculative” in enforcing his status of mandatory challenger to the WBO light-middleweight title held by Tim Tszyu, according to Chris Algieri.

The 36 year old – the undisputed welterweight champion until he was stripped of his title by the IBF for his plans to enter a rematch with Errol Spence Jr – is on course to fight either Tszyu or Sebastian Fundora, who replaced 

Keith Thurman as Tszyu’s opponent on March 30 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.

That plans for a rematch with Spence Jr had stalled – and that hopes for the fight with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez that he was being linked with ended when Jaime Munguia was installed as Alvarez’s opponent at the same venue on May 4 – had made Crawford’s next move uncertain.

He has since become part of the narrative of a significant title fight, and the retired Algieri told ProBox TV: “I see this as a powerplay [Crawford]. You have a younger guy in Tim Tszyu. He has a title, is younger, and has to move up a weight class [Crawford]. Crawford’s problem was that he didn’t have a dance partner. 

“There were no big fights for him out there. We were talking about who he should fight next. Guys like me were saying, ‘Hey, fight Tim Tszyu’. I think it is a great fight. He gets to fight for another title, and if he wins, that is a world title in his fourth weight class. But it is a very tough fight. 

“Now, if Tim Tszyu wins, he will have two world titles, or [Crawford] will fight Fundora, who will also have two belts. 

“Now, Terence can fight at 154 and possibly win two titles, so this fight makes a lot more sense for ‘Bud’ Crawford. 

“The way he [Crawford] has been moving recently has been very, very calculative and very, very smart.

“He does a lot of baiting and switching lately; he has been doing it before. He said they were talking about the fight up at 160 with Chris Eubank Jr, which got people intrigued. People were saying, ‘You are moving up two weight classes to fight a former super middleweight and maybe throw your hat into the ring to fight Canelo?’

“But now that this comes up, Terence is smart for being able to throw in that WBO mandatory position at the winner. Bud now has a lot of options. Two days ago, he had no options, but today, he has all the options in the world, and they all look good in my eyes.” 

Algieri, like Paulie Malignaggi, won a world title at super lightweight – the division in which Crawford was once the undisputed champion – and Malignaggi said: “If he wants to enforce that, things will get really, really interesting in this weight class. As I have said previously, we already have a good, fun fight on the undercard, which is [Brian] Mendoza versus [Serhii] Bohachuk, for the WBC mandatory position. 

“The winner of the main event becomes the WBO and WBC champion. Mendoza versus Bohachuk is for the WBC mandatory position, and now Terence Crawford is in for the WBO mandatory position. So now, several pieces are starting to move into position in the 154lbs division, which could make things very exciting.

“Now that the WBC has entered the fray and put their vacant WBC title on the line for this fight, along with the WBO, we are starting to get some unification into the mix. 

“The fight between Tszyu and Fundora is going to be a very fan-friendly style to watch.”

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