Undefeated three-weight world champion and now former undisputed world welterweight champion Terence Crawford (40-0, 31KOs) spoke to reporters following the removal of his IBF welterweight world title, which saw Jaron Ennis (31-0, 28KOs) elevated to world champion status.
On November 10th, the IBF stripped Crawford of his IBF title and undisputed status after Crawford informed the IBF that he could not fulfil and honour his IBF mandatory obligations and face the undefeated Ennis.
Crawford became undisputed champion at 147lbs following a dominating showing against then unified champion Errol Spence Jr (28-1, 22KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada and secured an impressive stoppage victory in nine rounds.
However, in the original bout, an agreement between Crawford and Spence was a two-way rematch option for the loser. In late August, Spence Jr activated the clause, which saw the wheels turn in motion to organise and secure a rematch between the pair.
Ultimately, despite this chain of contractual events, the IBF removed the IBF crown and handed it over to Ennis, who had been interim world champion since January of this year following victory over Karen Chukhadzhian. Ennis would solidify his status in July courtesy of a tenth-round stoppage victory over Roiman Villa.
However, despite Ennis’s new-found status, the 26-year-old contender was disappointed at the way he became champion, having not contested the title in the ring.
Speaking to reporters, which included Hans Themistode, Crawford sympathised with Ennis about the method used to make him a world champion.
“I know it’s not ideal,” Crawford told a group of reporters. “I know he’s disappointed that he couldn’t win it off a champion and whatnot. I know it’s disappointing.”
Crawford continued to add that Ennis should have demanded the IBF to order a vacant title fight, which would have allowed Ennis to earn the title inside the ropes at least and not be labelled as an ‘e-mail champion.’
“If I was him, I’d rather fight for it,” continued Crawford. “I’d rather fight the number three guy if I couldn’t get the other guy. Don’t send me a belt in the mail. It just seems like everybody’s cool with being an e-mail champion now.”
Despite his talent and new-found status, Ennis needs a credible big name on his CV, having previously made comments about landing himself a big fight against the likes of Crawford, Spence and former welterweight world champion Keith Thurman following his victory in July.
Crawford concludes that he understands the frustration at not being able to land a big fight, something that has played true throughout of Crawford’s career, making a direct comparison between himself and Ennis.
“I know it’s frustrating that he can’t get those big fights but it’s part of the game.”