Terence “Bud” Crawford vs. Shawn Porter Odds, Pick & Preview: 2 Boxing Props for Saturday’s Welterweight Title Fight (November 20)
Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images. Pictured: WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
- Welterweight champion Terence Crawford will face Shawn Porter Saturday night in Las Vegas for the WBO title.
- Crawford is a massive favorite (-750) and riding an eight-fight knockout streak entering the bout, but there are a few angles that point to the fight going long.
- Read on for Raheem Palmer and Malik Smith's full Crawford vs. Porter preview and betting pick below.
Crawford vs. Porter Odds
This weekend WBO welterweight champion Terrence “Bud” Crawford (37–0, 28 KO) faces perhaps the toughest test of his career as he puts his title on the line against former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter (31–3–1, 17 KO) in Las Vegas.
Crawford is the No. 2-ranked welterweight and is fourth on The Ring’s list for the pound-for-pound best fighter in the sport, however many have wondered if he’s truly been tested.
After winning the WBO title in 2018 with a ninth-round TKO of Jeff Horn, he successfully defended his title against José Benavidez Jr., Amir Khan, and Kell Brook with knockout victories. Will he be able to come through Saturday night against Porter and shake that reputation?
Our two boxing analysts, Raheem Palmer and Malik Smith, break down the fight and give their favorite bets below.
Will Crawford Ace His Toughest Test?
For a fighter who is as accomplished as Crawford is, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus about just how good he is compared to his contemporaries.
Sure he’s ranked No. 4 in The Ring’s pound-for-pound rankings, with fellow welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. behind him at No 6, but The Ring also has Spence ranked one spot ahead of Crawford among welterweights. That seems hard to reconcile.
If you focus on the metrics and value volume, you wouldn’t think Crawford is very special. He’s near the bottom of CompuBox’s list in terms of average punches thrown per round (46.5) and middle of pack in terms of punches landed (16.3). Volume isn’t everything, though. Bud is surgically accurate, landing 47.5% of his total punches (second-highest rate) and 34.9% of his power shots (top 10).
He’s also timely with his output. Entering his last fight with Brook, I noted how he increases the pressure throughout the match:
One of the most impressive aspects of Crawford’s game is his ability to slowly build his output throughout a fight. Looking at his four fights as a welterweight, Crawford’s average punches landed jumped from 11.5 in Rounds 1-3 to 15.5 in Rounds 4-6, then increased again to 19.5 in Rounds 7-9.
That fight with Brook didn’t even make it past the fourth, Crawford closed things out with a masterful performance landing 11-of-18 total punches (61%), including 9-of-11 power punches. It’s that type of showing that has Crawford at or near the top of various pound-for-pound rankings. He’s an absolute showstopper and he’ll need that type of energy to stop “Showtime” on Saturday.
Porter epitomizes the dog mentality whether he’s actually the underdog or not. He has a very particular style and any fighter who steps into the ring with Porter knows to expect a physical battle in close range.
He’s often the smaller man in the ring, but fights even smaller than his 5-foot-7 frame, crouching down and lunging at his opponents with awkward punches that come from weird angles. He’ll be at a significant reach disadvantage (69.5 inches to 74 inches), but that likely won’t stop him from going with his patented style.
Where he has gotten in trouble in the past, and could run into trouble in this fight, is ducking his head down and leaving himself open to being tagged. In his loss to Keith Thurman, he gave “One Time” a ton of opportunities to land clean punches:
He did the same in his 2019 loss to Spence, dropping his head low and getting hit with a clean left hand that clearly shook him up.
To Porter’s credit, he finished the fight strong — he’s arguably the toughest fighter in the 147-pound division, if not all of boxing — but one can only take shots like this so many times before they start to wear a fighter down:
This fight is being billed as “the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter” vs. the “biggest challenge ever” which is both true and a weird way to promote a champ vs. a former champ. Porter didn’t become a champion strictly by being a tough challenger, even if that’s what he’s become known for throughout his career.
His style and pressure will undoubtedly be a new challenge for Crawford, but will that be enough to get the win?
Crawford vs. Porter Pick
In a sport where politics reigns supreme, Crawford has been unable to secure big fights against Manny Pacquiao, Spence, or Thurman, which would have solidified his legacy as one of the best boxers in the sport. With Porter being the mandatory opponent to fight for Crawford’s WBO welterweight title, Crawford now has a worthy challenger.
Porter’s resume is nothing to sneeze at — fights against Spence, Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia, Thurman, Adrian Broner and Brook — and he certainly provides a tough test against Crawford this weekend. Nevertheless, oddsmakers have listed Crawford as a heavy favorite for this fight.
On the surface, these odds look incredibly egregious as Porter is a tough test for anyone. It’s hard to look good fighting Porter as he’s he quintessential pressure fighter that constantly moves forward and pushes opponents to the limit.
A fight against Porter is a dog fight that tests the physicality of anyone who steps into the ring with him. Porter isn’t a knockout puncher, however, and he can also smother his own work given his constant pressure. He has a granite chin, which makes him tough to stop even as he’s applying constant pressure.
Although Porter was dropped by Spence he hasn’t been stopped by any of the big punchers he’s faced — Spence, Thurman and Garcia — and despite Crawford’s power it’s unlikely that we’ll see it here. There’s a pretty clear reason we’re seeing this fight juiced to the over 10.5 rounds at -260 odds, which implies that we have a 72% chance that this fight will go over 10.5 rounds.
Crawford is notorious for starting slow and he’s similar to a starting pitcher in that you have to get to him early or you won’t get to him at all. However, Crawford is the more talented fighter and he has a huge 5-inch reach advantage which should help keep Porter off of him.
Given Crawford deadly accuracy, timing and power, he should land enough counters to hurt Porter as he comes inside. Porter should give him trouble early with constant pressure, but once Crawford figures him out, he should take over this fight and pull away deep into the fight, timing him with accurate counter punches.
While Crawford does look to aggressively close out fighters, Porter’s toughness and chin makes it tough to bet on a stoppage. I’ll back Crawford to win by decision, with the best odds listed at FanDuel. — Raheem Palmer
The Pick: Terence Crawford by Decision -110
I’m with Raheem here on the stylistic matchup. Porter has a tendency to muddy the waters and that’s what keeps him in fights against the elite guys in the welterweight division.
Bud by decision feels like the most likely outcome here, but this is boxing and things rarely end up playing out exactly how we expect. Porter’s style makes this fight especially tough to handicap because he’s almost certain to clash heads and manage to cause a cut to himself or Crawford simply by being in close proximity.
You could argue that two of his losses (Brook and Thurman) were a toss up and even his fight against Spence, which felt like a comfortable win for “The Truth” ended in a split decision. The one thing I feel confident about in this fight is that it will go to the cards, so I’ll bet this fight to go the distance (both FanDuel and PointsBet have the best odds at -140).
I also think this sets up as a good fight to toss a small amount on a draw (+2200) in case Porter makes it really ugly. — Malik Smith
The Pick: Fight Goes the Distance (-140)