Welterweight Division 2018 Preview – It seems like for the last decade or so the 147 pound welterweight division has been boxing’s glamour division and 2018 is figuring to continue that trend.
The division once ruled by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao now sees a trio of young guns at the top of the weight class in the form of Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford.
Spence Jr is a 2012 U.S. Olympian with a respected amateur background who crashed the world title picture in 2017. Spence Jr traveled to the U.K. in May to challenge IBF world welterweight champion Kell Brook. Spence Jr weathered the early storm to put a beat down on Brook, stopping him in the eleventh and taking the world title back to Texas with him. The win left Spence Jr with a perfect 22-0 record and many feel he is the fighter to beat at this weight class. Spence Jr will be making his first title defense at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn this coming January 20th when he faces crafty veteran Lamont Peterson.
Also laying claim to the #1 spot at 147 is WBA and WBC world champion Keith Thurman. At 28-0, Thurman is coming off a March title unification victory that saw him grab the WBC trinket from Danny Garcia. Since then he has been on the shelf recovering from injury but a showdown between he and Spence Jr is being talked about for 2018.
Late in 2017 super lightweight kingpin Terence Crawford vacated the 4 major world titles at 140 pounds to join the fray at welterweight. In August Crawford ran his record to 32-0 when he blitzed IBF and WBA world champion Julius Indongo with a third round knock out. That win was the end of Crawford’s bucket list at the weight class. Most of the pound for pound lists out there list Crawford in the top 2 or 3 fighters in the world and he enters the 147 pound class with his sights set on WBO world titlist Jeff Horn.
Horn, 18-0-1, won the WBO belt from Manny Pacquiao this past July in Australia and he made a successful title defense against England’s Gary Corcoran in December. The WBO is asking Horn to defend his belt against Crawford next so many are figuring that will be the end of Horn’s title reign. This is one to watch as the Horn vs Crawford match is not 100 percent official yet. The bottom line is Horn could be looking to avoid or at least postpone the fight with Crawford.
What makes the division even more interesting is the presence of Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Jessie Vargas. All three are former world champions who are in or close to their primes. Garcia lost his WBC title to Thurman, while Porter lost his IBF title to Kell Brook. Vargas, the former WBO champion who lost his belt to Manny Pacquiao, recently signed on with the Premier Boxing Champions and figures to be in the title picture after a December win over veteran Aaron Herrera.
As we leave 2017 behind and enter 2018 the 147 pound weight class in boxing is loaded with potentially great matches. The year will be a disappointment in the weight class if we reach December and we have not seen some combination of Spence Jr, Thurman and Crawford in the ring together. Check out more welterweight talk here at TalknShoot.
Welterweight Division 2018 Preview / Check out more boxing news and features at The Sweet Science.
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