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Terence Crawford Speaks On IBF Controversy: “F*** The IBF”

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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 29: Terence Crawford punches Errol Spence Jr. during the World Welterweight Championship bout at T-Mobile Arena on July 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Terence Crawford made a rare public appearance as he accompanied Shakur Stevenson to Wednesday’s weigh-in for Stevenson’s Thursday fight against Edwin De Los Santos. Approached by various media outlets, Crawford addressed the topic of his IBF welterweight title being stripped and shared his thoughts on the controversial actions of the sanctioning body.

Last week, the IBF announced that Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KO’s) would no longer hold the IBF welterweight title due to his engagement in a rematch with Errol Spence Jr. (28-1, 22 KO’s), presumably leaving him unable to fulfill his mandatory obligation to fight mandatory challenger Jaron Ennis (31-0, 28 KO’s). The IBF title was subsequently awarded to Jaron Ennis, who was promoted from interim champion to full champion.

The IBF’s decision to strip Crawford for his tie to a rematch, particularly given that other fighters holding the IBF belt have retained their titles for over a year without facing opponents, drew significant attention, as evidenced when Crawford was questioned about it.

F*** the IBF,” responded Terence Crawford during an interview held wit various media outlets, including Fight Hype, when asked about the forced relinquishment of his IBF title by the sanctioning body. “They stripped me damn near two and a half months after my title [victory], [while] not knowing what was going to happen next. But it’s cool though. I’m not mad at them.

I got what I needed, and that was undisputed. The rest is history. I don’t care about none that.

Crawford was also asked about the IBF not stripping his previous opponent Errol Spence Jr. despite periods of inactivity that lasted over a year, while Crawford himself faced more stringent treatment just two and a half months after capturing the IBF title.

It is what it is. They pick and choose who they want to grant certain privileges to. If they were going to do something like that, I feel they should have stripped Spence before the fight, given they knew there was a two-fight deal going into the fight.

They knew I couldn’t just get out of my contract with Spence to fight Boots [Jaron Ennis], so it is what it is.

During the interview, Crawford’s rematch with Errol Spence Jr. was discussed, with more details revealed about its activation on Spence’s part and its implications for Crawford’s immediate future.

The latest is that we signed a contract to do the rematch, and that’s what it is right now,” Crawford said.

Acknowledging that his next fight would be against Spence due to the rematch activation, Crawford admitted to not knowing further details about the date or location of the fight.

I don’t know. It is still up in the air given the fact Showtime has decided not to showcase boxing. Everything’s up in the air right now with that, but nothing’s been noted to me that the fight will not happen,” Crawford responded.

Asked about the weight at which the rematch would take place, Crawford appeared uncertain but revealed that the contract initially stipulated 147 lbs as the designated weight class for the rematch.

The contract says 147; that’s where it’s at right now. Who knows. We can decide on 154 or 147, but everything is up in the air right now.

The uncertainty surrounding the rematch can be attributed to Errol Spence Jr. and his team, who have not disclosed their plans despite reportedly activating a rematch clause within a month after the July 29th undisputed welterweight fight. With no information forthcoming, Terence Crawford’s team seems to have been left in a state of ambiguity surrounding the rematch.

Interestingly, the revelation of these proceedings uncovers a deeper layer into boxing politics, as the IBF’s decision to strip Jaron Ennis was a direct result of Crawford’s obligations to the rematch. Both Ennis and Spence are associated with the same promotion company of the PBC, which manages their careers, leading to speculation that the IBF’s controversial decision to strip Crawford might not have entirely been a coincidence.