Terence Crawford no longer undisputed welterweight champion after IBF strips title

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 29: Terence Crawford celebrates with the championship belt after defeating Errol Spence Jr. in the World Welterweight Championship bout at T-Mobile Arena on July 29, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Terence Crawford is down a belt, and will likely need at least two wins to get it back. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) (Al Bello via Getty Images)

Terence Crawford’s run as undisputed welterweight champion lasted about three months. And zero title defenses.

The boxer was stripped of his IBF welterweight title Thursday for failing to face mandatory challenger Jaron “Boots” Ennis, according to ESPN. The organization’s ratings are already updated with Ennis as its new welterweight champion.

Crawford, who is still the WBA, WBC and WBO welterweight champion, unified the belts in July with his dominant win over rival Errol Spence Jr., a night that cemented him as the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world for Yahoo Sports and many other outlets.

After becoming the undisputed champion, Crawford was ordered by the IBF to face Ennis, who defeated Karen Chukhadzhian in January for the IBF interim welterweight title and defended the belt against Roiman Villa in July. Unfortunately, Crawford was contractually obligated to give Spence a rematch after the latter activated a rematch clause.

The IBF, however, does not recognize rematch clauses as an excuse for avoiding a mandatory challenger, so it stripped Crawford of its title and gave it to the 26-year-old Ennis, who holds a record of 31-0 with 28 knockouts.

Crawford and Spence still have yet to schedule their rematch, though ESPN reports that the most recent plans are for a date in February. Whenever (if ever?) that fight comes to pass, Ennis looms as a potential next opponent for the winner.

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