Image Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Terence Crawford if the most feared man in boxing today.
That is a big statement because he is not a big man.
Normally, that energy is saved for the hallowed heavyweight division in pugilism. In fact, not since Marvin Hagler has a fighter from a weight division lower than heavyweight been imbued with so much respect and anxiety as Terence Crawford.
Because Terence Crawford is mean. Not in the personable sense, although he is a man of little words, but as an athlete.
Crawford walks around with a confidence that borders cocky and is cemented in skill. You cannot say he is conceited, only that he is convinced.
In August 2017, Crawford had a short reign as the undisputed light welterweight champion, prior to moving up to welterweight. He was the most recent undisputed titlist at light welterweight since Kostya Tszyu in 2004.
Crawford became the first male boxer to simultaneously hold all four major world titles in boxing (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO) since Jermain Taylor in 2005.
As one of only eight boxers in history to accomplish this feat, Crawford joins a list of past greats and current stars with Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins (2004), Cecilia Brækhus (2014–2020), Oleksandr Usyk (2018), Claressa Shields (2019), Katie Taylor (2019–present), and Jessica McCaskill (2020–present).
This weekend, “Bud” steps back into the squared circle after an entire COVID-19 pandemic erupted, slowed, then sped up again.
He will be entering the Top Rank bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, sans fans, to face former IBF welterweight champion, Kell Brook.
Even better, the fight will be televised for free on ESPN. For anyone who saw Teofino Lopez dethrone Vasiliy Lomachenko on ESPN, you know this format has been a gift from the boxing Gods.
Crawford is the current WBO welterweight champion and entered the welterweight ranks after wiping out both the lightweight and light welterweight divisions.
True greatness in boxing is determined by not only being undefeated, a benchmark spurred by the financial success of Floyd Mayweather marketing the “0”, but by achieving titles in multiple divisions.
Crawford has already done that and became undisputed in the process.
Now, with the welterweight division still the reigning “money weight” division, his next challenger, Kell Brook, is a testament to great matchmaking.
The world is clamoring for a Crawford vs. Spence, Jr. unification bout but like everyone who understands boxing knows, it’s all about the build up.
Spence has his hands full in the beginning of December with Danny “Swift” Garcia. Manny Pacquiao, who holds the WBA welterweight title, is gearing up for a super fight against boxing’s novelty financial jump off, Conor McGregor.
That leaves a Crawford-Spence matchup potentially for 2021 or beyond. However, Kell Brook is no joke and a win against him, although likely, will not come easy.