Posted on 03/30/2017
Terence Crawford To Face Felix Diaz At Madison Square Garden May 20th
By: Sean Crose
Terence Crawford, the undefeated junior welterweight honcho, was supposed to fight at the Prudential Center in New Jersey on the 20th of May. Now, it seems, he’s fighting in New York. Not just in New York, but in New York City, and not just in New York City, but at Madison Square Garden, the most famed arena on earth this side of the Roman Colosseum. Crawford’s opponent will be the impressive Felix Diaz. The question, however, is just how big a deal Crawford’s trip to the Big Apple will be. The man called Bud is big among hard core fight fans, but he’s not well known outside of boxing’s core fan base.
According to ESPN, Garden officials approached Top Rank when Top Rank fighter Michael Conlon debuted to much fanfare at the Garden theater this past Saint Patrick’s Day. They were interested in stealing Crawford away from New Jersey. And now the Omaha native will be fighting in the Garden’s huge main arena. This is a big jump from the theater, where Crawford bested Hank Lundy early last year. Although it’s highly unlikely that Crawford can do the kind of in-house numbers that Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs did when they fought in the Garden a few weeks ago, it’s clear Top Rank has its sights set on the future. Twenty thousand people may not show up to see Crawford-Diaz, but Top Rank is hoping they will at a point not too far down the road.
With that in mind, Diaz’ Dominican background might come in handy when it comes to putting rear ends in seats. Although there may not be as many Dominicans in New York as there are Puerto Ricans or Irish, there may certainly be enough for a huge Dominican presence to be felt, should Diaz prove to be an ethnic draw. Perhaps Crawford might bring in some fans from Nebraska, too, where the fighter has a considerable fan base of his own. Again, though, neither man is known to have a plus size following, at least at the moment.
Crawford is somewhat unique for a modern notable in that he’s pretty much no show and all go. He is, in a sense, the polar opposite of what junior welterweight peer Adrien Broner was not so long ago. Where as Broner was brash and flasy, Crawford is quiet, perhaps even sullen. And while there’s little doubt Crawford would be the favorite should he ever meet Broner in the ring, it’s the colorful Broner who gets to bring attention unto himself. People forget, though, that Mike Tyson wasn’t much of a talker in his early days. They also forget that Roberto Duran never spoke much English. The point? That you don’t have to be a big mouth to be a star if you can excite in the ring.
Having a big mouth certainly seems to help, though.