Dream to reality: Canelo and Crawford edge closer together

AT first, it seemed like a pipe dream. Sounding ridiculous on the surface and still only slightly less ridiculous when inspected in greater detail.

That’s usually the case until Turki Alalshikh gets involved by disclosing his interest in a fight, then putting one-half of it on his own promotion (August 3, when Riyadh Season packs its bags and relocates to LA). Then, all of a sudden, as financial obstacles crumble like sandcastles in a lapping tide, it all becomes gobsmackingly plausible and even probable.

Terence Crawford, who weighed in at a prim 137 pounds for his 2008 pro debut; fighting Canelo, who weighed in at 139 pounds for his own 2005 pro debut.

They have blossomed and grown over the years, increasing in size and significance. The timelines may overlap in some weird universe, but Crawford is now filling out like the man he is supposed to face.

They’re both technically still undisputed champions. Just about hanging on to some of the belts as the gleaming leather is mercilessly ripped from waists by sanctioning bodies who want their pawned-out silverware back in the shop window and available to lesser beings.

After defeating Errol Spence Jr and thus completing his undisputed conquering of the welterweight division, Crawford has merrily sat on the titles, assessing his future options—until now.

Ever since it was announced that he would move up to challenge WBA super-welterweight title holder Israil Madrimov in the BMO Stadium, the 147-pounders have been excitedly scurrying below deck, waiting to pick up Crawford’s crumbs as they fall.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez with his belts following a September 17 win against Gennadiy Golovkin in their trilogy fight (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

To add to the tangled web that has enveloped both Crawford and Canelo, Mario Barrios beat Fabian Maidana to win the WBC Interim welterweight title on the recent Canelo undercard. Eimantas Stanionis, who defeated Gabriel Maestre on that same card, holds a version of the WBA belt(s).

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