WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford might have to defend his world title against his mandatory challenger next.
According to a report from Mike Coppinger from The Athletic, Crawford will likely face Egidijus Kavaliauskas, potentially this fall. Although Top Rank and promoter Bob Arum had hoped to get Crawford put in a fight against IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., that is no longer the case. Given how the WBO might order Crawford vs. Kavaliauskas soon, Top Rank will focus on that fight next if it can be made.
Sources tell @TheAthleticBOX Terence Crawford is likely to defend his title vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas this fall. Bob Arum conceded WBO likely to order that fight unless he could complete a deal for Spence-Crawford. With Spence fighting Shawn Porter, expect Crawford-Kavaliauskas— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 9, 2019
Crawford, a three-division champion, has held the WBO title since the summer of 2018 and has made two successful title defenses. The first one was a 12th round stoppage win over Jose Benavidez Jr. last year and then a pay-per-view main event bout against Amir Khan this past April at Madison Square Garden. Crawford defeated Khan by TKO in the sixth round after an accidental low blow left Khan unable to continue fighting.
Kavaliauskas, raked No. 1 by the WBO, is coming off a majority draw against Ray Robinson back in March, snapping Kavaliauskas' 21-fight win streak. Prior to that fight, Kavaliauskas won all three of his fights in 2018 with two of them ending inside the distance.