Terence Crawford Raises the Bar for Boxing’s EliteWritten by Baker Geist
In a boxing world where everyone is searching for the answer of who’s going to be the next Floyd Mayweather, World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Terence Crawford makes one thing clear with every impressive fight.
He’s just going to be himself, and he’s way too much for the competition to handle.
With a calm, laid back demeanor, which the casual fan may mistake for disinterest or boredom, Crawford enters and exits every fight reaffirming to the boxing world what countless fans in Omaha, Neb. already know. When Crawford’s in the ring, you’re seeing something truly special.
It’s top of the pound-for-pound list special. The position, held on many lists by lightweight phenom Vasiliy Lomachenko, should belong to Crawford. Not because Lomachenko isn’t unique and special is his own right, but because throughout Crawford’s 34 fights, he’s routinely shown his skill set in new ways that should strike fear into the the welterweight division’s best.
As a lightweight, remember his thrilling knockout of highly regarded Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014? Crawford has continued to impress since that point and has shown no signs of slowing down as he dominated the junior welterweight division before setting his sights on arguably boxing’s deepest division.
Utilizing excellent footwork, ring generalship and deceptive power, Crawford has knocked out his last three opponents and stopped six of his last seven — including last night’s dramatic TKO victory over Jose Benavidez Jr.
The knockout of Benavidez should speak volumes to anyone who believes Crawford is just a great technical boxer. He proved he’s much more than that after dropping his bigger opponent with a vicious uppercut before hooks along the ropes brought the fight to an end late in the 12th round.
It was power that many probably thought they wouldn’t see Crawford showcase. After all, he was effectively pulling away with well-placed combinations en route to a decision victory. It’s that unpredictable skill set that sets him apart from Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, Shawn Porter and the rest of the welterweight division.
Perhaps more unique than his skills in the ring is his calm demeanor afterwards. Following last night’s victory, when asked who which welterweight champion he’d like to fight next, he simply stated: “I want ‘em all,” before inferring those questions be directed to his promoter Bob Arum.
Uninterested in talking or self-promotion, Crawford prefers to let his fists do the talking, and his fists continue to deliver a simple message that’s as loud as the thousands of Nebraska residents who cheer him on.
Crawford is boxing's best.