By David Finger
It’s official: Terrence Crawford is now a welterweight. And he just pushed Manny Pacquiao out of the #1 slot in the WBO welterweight ratings. At today’s WBO championship and ratings committee meeting aboard the Norwegian Sky just outside of Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, it was announced that the WBO junior welterweight champion is formally vacating his title at 140 and moving up seven pounds to compete at welterweight.
“He (Crawford) will relinquish his title and he wants the WBO to classify him at #1 at welterweight.” President Valcarcel said of the undefeated champion from Nebraska.
The proposal was voted on and passed unanimously (as was the request to clear the way for Horn to be permitted to make a voluntary defense on December 13 against Gary Corcoran), which radically shakes up the welterweight division and appears to shut out the former champion: Manny Pacquiao.
As Crawford has now been declared the #1 mandatory contender, It was unanimously voted by the committee that Horn be required to fight Crawford within 90 days, effecting closing the book on a Horn-Pacquiao rematch for the foreseeable future. The move knocks Manny Pacquiao out of the top spot and frees Jeff Horn from having to fight Pacquiao in a rematch. Horn defeated Pacquiao by way of controversial decision back in July and Pacquiao had initially been named as the mandatory challenger for Horn’s title. But with Crawford’s move the undefeated former champion leapfrogs Pacquiao and now sits on the much coveted mandatory challenger spot.