Pound for pound: The clock is ticking for No. 1-ranked Terence Crawford

The clock is ticking for No. 1 Terence Crawford.

The welterweight champion was expected to face No. 4 Errol Spence Jr. in a title-unification showdown last this year but talks fell apart and Crawford fought David Avanesyan instead on Dec. 10, stopping the Russian in six rounds.

Thus, Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) enters another year with a single defining victory on his resume, a 10th-round knock out of former two-time 147-pound champion Shawn Porter last year.

Beyond that? A string of victories over solid contenders but no one considered pound-for-pound material.

And Crawford isn’t getting younger. He turned 35 this past September, an age when the vast majority of fighters have at least begun to decline. We haven’t seen evidence of slippage but it has to be around the corner, right?

“Bud” said that he still wants to fight Spence, which would give him the opportunity to record by far the most significant victory of his long career. And if they can’t come to terms, he’d like to face undisputed 154-pound champ Jermell Charlo in what would be another defining matchup.

That’s just talk, however, He has to do everything in his power to make these fights happen sooner rather than later or risk losing a step and retiring with a lot of what-ifs.

Next pound-for-pounder up: Honorable Mention Kazuto Ioka, who will face Joshua Franco in a 115-pound title-unification matchup on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo.

No. 10 Gervonta Davis will face Hector Luis Garcia in a lightweight bout Jan. 7 in Washington, D.C.

Here’s what the list looks like at the moment:

BOXING JUNKIE
POUND-FOR-POUND

Terence Crawford – No fight scheduled.
Naoya Inoue – No fight scheduled.
Oleksandr Usyk – No fight scheduled.
Errol Spence Jr. – No fight scheduled.
Dmitry Bivol – No fight scheduled.
Tyson Fury – No fight scheduled.
Juan Francisco Estrada – No fight scheduled.
Canelo Alvarez– No fight scheduled.
Jermell Charlo – Junior middleweight champion’s defense against Tim Tszyu on Jan. 28 was postponed after Charlo broke his hand.
Gervonta Davis – Scheduled to fight Hector Garcia on Jan. 7 in Washington, D.C.
Vasiliy Lomachenko – Reportedly in talks to challenge undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney but no official announcement has been made.
Artur Beterbiev – Scheduled to defend his light heavyweight titles against Anthony Yarde on Jan. 28 in London.
Shakur Stevenson – No fight scheduled.
Roman Gonzalez  No fight scheduled.
Devin Haney – Reportedly in talks to defend his undisputed lightweight championship against Vasiliy Lomachenko but no official announcement has been made..

Honorable mention (alphabetical order): David Benavidez (reportedly has reached an agreement to fight Caleb Plant early next year but no official announcement has been made); Jermall Charlo (no fight scheduled); Stephen Fulton Jr. (no fight scheduled); Kazuto Ioka (scheduled to face Joshua Franco in a junior bantamweight title-unification bout on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo); Josh Taylor (scheduled to defend his WBO junior welterweight title in a rematch with Jack Catterall on Feb. 4 in Glasgow, Scotland).

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