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Terence Crawford recently petitioned the WBO to be named mandatory challenger

Sebastian Fundora’s blood-soaked upset of Tim Tszyu this past Saturday may have demanded a rematch, but it won’t be an immediate one, as the WBO has ordered “Towering Inferno” to battle former two-division undisputed champion Terence Crawford within 180 days.

The 20-day negotiation period begins this coming Friday, April 5th.

Crawford (40-0, 31 KO), who hasn’t fought since stopping Errol Spence Jr last July, successfully petitioned the WBO to be named mandatory challenger by virtue of still holding their welterweight title. Though he’s now in the latter half of his 30s, the idea of him conquering a third weight class is very feasible, especially with Jermell Charlo out of the picture for the foreseeable future.

That said, he’ll have a hell of an introduction to 154. Fundora (21-1-1, 13 KO) will have six inches of reach and more than nine inches of height on him, dimensions made even more intimidating by his recent discovery of the jab. Crawford is still a pound-for-pound stalwart and one of the fighters of the generation, of course, but he’ll have to earn these next two belts.

As for Tszyu, he’s got a few options on the table, most notably recently crowned WBC interim champ Serhii Bohachuk. There’s also Spence, who confronted Fundora in the ring but may not be amenable to anything other than an immediate title shot.

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