Arguably the best welterweight on the planet is back in action this weekend as Terence Crawford looks to successfully defend his WBO Welterweight Title for the sixth time, after winning it back in 2018 having been the undisputed super-lightweight king.
He faces a man in David Avanesyan who has previously challenged for the WBA Welterweight Title against Lamont Peterson back in 2017, however, let's be honest with ourselves, the ‘regular’ WBA belt isn’t a real title, so this is Avanesyan’s first shot at real world honours.
We can’t go any further into this article without mentioning the fact that this fight really should have been Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr for all the marbles at 147-pounds. Whether Spence misplaced his pen or whether the fight could still happen next year, it is incredibly frustrating that boxing fans are yet again having to suffer and be served up a B level fights rather than the unifications, undisputed clashes and pay-per-view events that we all so desperately crave.
In the defence of Terence Crawford, he seems to want to fight anybody. So the fact that the Spence fight has fallen through, yet again, means that ‘Bud’ is willing to fight whoever is next in line. That man is David Avanesyan. Regardless of whether you think this is an acceptable secondary fight outside of Spence vs Crawford, which for the record we believe, it just shouldn’t be happening.
Since Crawford moved up to welterweight at the beginning of 2018, the fight with Errol Spence has been continuously talked about, but has time and time again fallen through. Who’s fault is that? That’s the million dollar question I suppose. We think Spence and his team are to blame. Realistically, we should be embarking on Crawford vs Spence 3 right now. They two best welterweights on the planet have fought twice before, winning one a piece. The trilogy is the decider. Who really is the best man at 147-pounds? But oh no, typical boxing. We haven’t and probably will never see that fight. What a shame.
Anyway, we aren’t previewing Spence vs Crawford, this is all about David Avanesyan and Terence Crawford fighting in Nebraska this Saturday night. This fight in itself is a competitive fight and one that is certainly worth watching this weekend.
David Avanesyan celebrates after defeating Josh Kelly (Photo: Evening Standard)
The challenger comes into this one if the form of his life. ‘Ava’ has won six straight fights by emphatic knockout since losing to Egidijus Kavaliauskas back in February of 2018. In those six fights, he hasn’t just won by knockout, but he has put manners on his opponent and ran through them like a hot knife through butter.
He was the underdog in the first fight with Lejarraga, which he won easily with a ninth round stoppage, before following that up in the rematch with a first round obliteration of his Spanish counterpart. The 34-year-old clearly isn’t interested in working overtime. Of course we know Avanesyan very well on UK shores given his grudge match with Josh ‘Pretty Boy’ Kelly. The Russian slowly broke the Brit down before halting the former Rio 2016 Olympian in the sixth round and retaining his EBU European Title.
The run Avanesyan is on is quite sensational. Six straight knockouts against six live opponents means he most definitely deserves his shot at world honours, and here he is. However, this could be a step too far against arguably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on planet earth in Terence Crawford. Maybe it isn’t a step too far at all. Perhaps Avanesyan will gatecrash the whole Spence v Crawford chat and cement himself as the best welterweight on the planet instead. I guess we’ll find out on Saturday night.
Crawford really doesn’t need an introduction. His resumé speaks for itself. The unbeaten, powerful, ruthless, spiteful, heavy-handed, silent assassin lets his fists do the talking. Before moving up to 147-pounds, the American had won all four recognised world title belts down at 140-pounds. Wins down at super-lightweight include one sided beatdowns of Breidis Prescott, Ricky Burns, Yuriokis Gamboa, Raymundo Beltran, Viktor Postol and Julius Indongo. What a quite tantalising list of names to have on your record.
Terence Crawford floors Shawn Porter in the latest defence of his WBO World Welterweight Title (Photo: The Independent)
The slick southpaw then moved up welterweight in an attempt to define his legacy and conquer yet another division. He won the WBO belt in his first fight at the 147-pound limit, halting Jeff Horn, who famously beat the legendary Manny Pacquiao (or did he) of course, before making five successful defences of the title to date. The Porter, Kavaliauskas and Benavidez Jr wins are credible wins, but the Khan and Brook wins don’t hold much substance due to the fact both men were massively over the hill.
Avanesyan is a real test for Crawford. It’s one we expect him to come through, but it won’t be easy. Crawford is edging ever closer to 40-years-old, so will father time catch up on him at any given moment? We certainly hope not. For now though, in the meantime, Crawford vs Avanesyan is a fantastic fight between two of the best welterweights on the planet.
However, Errol Spence, sort it out. Grab your pen and sign on the dotted line to fight ‘Bud’. That’s the only real fight everyone wants at 147-pounds, so let’s stop messing about and let’s get it on!
Terence Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs)
Shawn Porter - WIN - TKO Round 10
Kell Brook - WIN - TKO Round 4
Egidijus Kavaliauskas - WIN - TKO Round 9
Amir Khan - WIN - TKO Round 6
Jose Benavidez Jr - WIN - TKO Round 12
David Avanesyan (29-3-1, 17 KOs)
Oskari Metz - WIN - TKO Round 1
Liam Taylor - WIN - TKO Round 2
Josh Kelly - WIN - TKO Round 6
Jose del Rio - WIN - KO Round 1
Kerman Lejarraga - WIN - TKO Round 1
Date: December 10th 2022
Time: Approx. 4.00AM Ring Walk Sunday Morning (GMT)
Venue: CHI Health Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Promotor: Steve Bash (Bash Boxing), Desmond Gumbs (BLK Prime)
Official Fight Night Poster (Photo: @terencecrawford on Twitter)
Elsewhere on this undercard, there are lots of fights without any other world level action going on. Former UFC women’s champion, Cris Cyborg, makes her professional boxing debut, as does Alton Wiggins. Alan Garcia also looks to go 8-0 against a journeyman.
Arnold Khegai faces Eduardo Baez in a featherweight bout, Steven Nelson faces James Ballard in a light-heavyweight contest, Robert Rodriguez vs Jose Lopez goes down in the super-bantamweight division as does Boubacar Sylla vs Javier Mayoral in the super-lightweight division. Jeremiah Milton vs Dajuan Calloway and Edel Gomez vs Joseph Aguilar also feature in the heavyweight and light-heavyweight divisions respectively.