By: Hans Themistode
No matter who is placed in front of him, Terence Crawford has systematically broken down his opponents. With the Omaha, Nebraska, native racing out to a spotless record through 38 career fights, many are under the assumption that only unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr., will truly challenge him.
Following years of persistent and nonstop call-outs, the WBO welterweight titlist appears to be on his way to landing the one showdown he’s craved above all others.
This past Saturday night, at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Spence Jr. wrapped his already gold laced waist with another world title. On the night, the Dallas product stopped a brave and incredibly durable Yordenis Ugas via doctor’s stoppage. With three of the four major world titles now in the powerful southpaw’s possession, Spence Jr. stated that Crawford is the only fighter he has any interest in fighting.
Unsurprisingly, Crawford smiled from ear to ear as he welcomed their highly-anticipated showdown next. Derrick James, Spence Jr.’s head trainer, openly admitted that he has yet to devise a specific game plan for Crawford. However, he did reveal that he has watched Crawford closely over the years.
If forced to list the one attribute that makes Crawford a great fighter, chances are, you’re likely to get countless answers from numerous sources. Nevertheless, the pound-for-pound star’s ability to fight as both an orthodox and southpaw fighter, his deleterious knockout power, and his otherworldly ring IQ – protrude to the top of most lists. That said, none of those previously mentioned attributes best describes what makes Crawford so deadly in James’ opinion.
“Terence Crawford is a phenomenal athlete,” said James during an interview with BoxingInsider.com. “Phenomenal athleticism. That’s what it is, his athleticism.”
While James is convinced that Crawford’s athleticism has brought him to the summit of boxing’s mountain top, he believes that simply using those God gifted athletic traits could become a fighter’s downfall.
“Athleticism is always fleeting, remember that.”
Despite James’ warning, Crawford appears to still be at the top of his game. After having his resume publicly chastised for the lack of big-name opponents, the multiple division titlist registered the most significant win of his career.
On November 20th, 2021, Crawford faced off against former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter. Although they fought on even terms early on, Crawford took over down the stretch. In the 10th, Crawford stalked his man, dropping him twice during the round before Porter’s father officially waved off their contest.
As Spence Jr. vs. Crawford draws closer, James isn’t expecting the now 35-year-old Crawford to get old overnight. In fact, the renowned trainer confesses that in terms of pure speed and ability to get off first, Crawford may have the edge over Spence Jr. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean James doesn’t have a trick or two up his sleeves in order to counter Crawford’s advantage.
“He’s very quick like a cat, his movement, very quick. Honestly, I think he’s been looking great, he’s looking phenomenal. Speed is phenomenal but it’s all about timing.”
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