By: Sean Crose
There was little doubt after Terence Crawford’s monstrously good performance Saturday night in Lincoln, Nebraska that the man had entered contemporary boxing’s stratosphere. Many, including this writer, had given Crawford’s opponent this past weekend, fellow junior welterweight titlist Julius Indongo, a solid chance of besting the Omaha native. Yet an Indongo upset simply wasn’t meant to be – in large part because Carwford was clearly determined to finish his man as quickly as possible. Deciding not to engage in his usual habit of gathering momentum throughout the fight, Crawford came out hard on Saturday, making it perfectly obvious to all watching – either in person or via ESPN – that Nambia’a Indongo was in way over his head.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Promotions
It was a body shot in the third that finally put a period to the proceedings. Indongo was done the moment he hit the canvas. It was some blow to the guts – one which may well be remembered along with Bernard Hopkins’ gut check of Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Junior’s winder tossed against the torso of Virgil Hill and Bob Fitzimmon’s famous shot to “the slats” of Jim Corbett. No doubt, it was impressive stuff. While Indongo wasn’t a household name, he was a notable fighter, one of a line of notable fighters the undefeated Crawford has taken to the figurative woodshed over these past few years.
While it’s true Crawford hasn’t had a mega bout yet, there is now no denying he’s currently residing among the sport’s elites. His ring skills are too obvious, his opposition too consistently of good quality, for the man to somehow be denied the credit he deserves. The question now, of course, is where to from here for the man they call Bud. Mikey Garcia might make his way back up to junior welterweight, where Crawford now reigns supreme as undisputed champion. Or perhaps Crawford himself might want to step up to welterweight to threaten and challenge fellow new breed headliners Errol Spence Junior and Keith Thurman.
Of course it might not be easy for Crawford to face Spence or Thurman, since they both fight under boxing guru Al Haymon’s banner and Crawford is with competitor Bob Arum. Still, it’s not like Haymon or Arum are beyond working with each other, so perhaps there’s hope for a superfight or two in the future. No one could fault Crawford for staying right where he is at junior welterweight, though. Who says there’s always new worlds to conquer when the one you’ve just taken over may somehow offer a few rewards of its own?