Terence Crawford insists he is still hopeful of facing Errol Spence Jr, despite agreeing to fight David Avanesyan next.
Crawford and Spence have been negotiating for weeks to finally meet in one of the most highly-anticipated fights in boxing, although a reported target date of November 19 was shelved and the pair are now more likely to clash in 2023.
Crawford will now instead defend his WBO welterweight crown against European champion, Avanesyan on December 10 in a homecoming fight in Omaha.
The bout was officially announced on Friday after a report from ESPN’s Mike Coppinger late on Thursday, with the bout to be broadcast on streaming service BLK Prime for $39.95.
The 35-year-old claims the decision to face the Russian, who has won six on the spin all by stoppage since a sixth round loss to Egidijus Kavaliauskas, was prompted by Spence’s lack of appetite to face him.
“I’m excited about this opportunity,” Crawford told ESPN.
“I was really looking forward to the Errol Spence fight. I started communicating with Al Haymon and PBC back in June.
“And unfortunately, they represent a fighter in Errol Spence who didn’t want the fight as bad as I did.
“I agreed to all of their [B.S.] and they’ve been dragging their a** for months.
“Spence was nowhere to be found while I was trying to make the deal.”
Crawford has not fought since stopping Shawn Porter last November where he in turn became a promotional free agent, after his contract with Top Rank concluded.
The unbeaten three-weight world champion will make a sixth defence of his title against Avanesyan, who is still scheduled to face Jon Miguez in Telford on November 19, as it stands.
Crawford says the goal remains the same, to finally secure the fight that has eluded him for so many years.
“I explained to Al Haymon and Errol that I was going to fight before the end of the year.
Terence Crawford and David Avanesyan have signed contracts for a welterweight title fight on Dec. 10 in Omaha, Crawford told ESPN. Streaming service BLK Prime will offer the PPV for $39.95. https://t.co/a8gJxJRFeQ
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) October 21, 2022
“David Avanesyan is a very tough task. He’s knocked out his last six opponents and this guy is dangerous.
“Once I’m successful against Avanesyan, my plan is still the same: Whoop Errol Spence’s a**.”
Been fighting at this weight for over a decade this shit ain’t easy or fun
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) October 20, 2022
Spence, the IBF, WBC and WBA ‘super’ champion has expressed his frustration in recent days through a series of tweets, suggesting his rival has stalled a mega showdown between the pair, which would determine the undisputed welterweight champion.
The 32-year-old stopped Yordenis Ugas to claim the WBC belt in April with a 10th round stoppage and is expected to fight in the interim.
BoxingScene.com reported that Spence’s team were left perplexed at Crawford’s attorney’s lack of communication with them after they adhered to the changes requested in the contract.
Should the fight eventually take place, the target date is reportedly February 4 in Las Vegas, according to Dan Rafael.