Terence Crawford selected as mandatory challenger to Jeff Horn by WBO
Making the announcement via Twitter, the WBO has ordered undefeated Terence Crawford to be the mandatory challenger for current welterweight champion, Jeff Horn.
Horn must first successfully defend his title at the Brisbane Convention Centre in Queensland on December 13 against the UK’s Gary Corcoran. It will be the first time Horn will defend his WBO belt after beating former champion Manny Pacquiao in contentious fashion on July 2nd in Australia. The WBO has given representatives for Horn and Crawford 90 days to schedule their fight should Horn be victorious over Corcoran. The deal should be fairly straight forward with both fighters being tied to promoter Top Rank. In August, Crawford defeated the awkward Julius Indongo in Nebraska to become the undisputed super lightweight champion. Crawford then signaled his plans to move from 140 to 147 pounds, but the announcement from the WBO has not only formally confirmed the division jump but also ends Crawford’s 140lb reign.
Crawford’s name failed to be mentioned by Jeff Horn and team when they began calling out potential challengers following his victory; despite coaxing fighters from Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and even retired Floyd Mayweather before settling on the 10th ranked Corcoran. Horn, usually quite active on social media regarding any future opponents or opportunities to prove himself in the division has been uncharacteristically quiet following the announcement by the sanctioning body. Bob Arum certainly saw the potential in a Crawford/Horn fight, suggesting the match up almost immediately following Horn being crowned WBO welterweight champ and it is a point of interest that Crawford’s first foray into the welterweight pool will be a title shot. Yet, the possibility of Crawford being able to bring a belt to the welterweight table will make for some exciting future match ups in the division with both Spence and Thurman hungry for unification.
Feature photo: Kelly Owen @k.o.fotos / Frontproof Media