By: Hans Themistode
Derrick James, trainer of unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., isn’t amongst those heaping praise on Terence Crawford for his latest performance. The WBO welterweight belt holder made it look easy in his fourth round stoppage win against former titlist Kell Brook last weekend.
Crawford, 33, struggled with Brook in the first two rounds before dropping and pounding him out shortly after. Following the win, Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) received loads of praise for his handiwork. Yet for James, although Brook was a former champion, he wasn’t the same.
“I watched the fight,” said James on Fight Hub TV. “But to be honest, I don’t know how to take it. Kell looked pretty decent but he was kind of shot and going in, they had to know that.”
Before James considered Brook a broken fighter, his champion in Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) fought the best version of him in 2017. Up until that point, it was by far the toughest challenge of Spence Jr.’s career but one that he passed with flying colors as he picked up the IBF title via 11th round stoppage.
The win by Crawford three years later isn’t viewed as impressive in the eyes of James. But even with the addition of Brook to Crawford’s ledger, it doesn’t compare much to whom Spence Jr. will be facing on December 5th.
“Even when you add Kell Brook to his resume, it still doesn’t add to what Danny Garcia has done. Danny Garcia has the deepest resume other than Manny Pacquiao and this is in boxing period.”
For James, resume and who you fight, along with when you fight them, is important. Because of that, he doesn’t believe that Crawford deserves to be considered the best fighter in the world, a distinction that has become the consensus in boxing circles.
“On the pound for pound list, he has the weakest resume. All of these other guys are fighting champions and they’re matching him like a prospect still.”
As of late, Crawford has received a ton of flak for the names plastered across his record. James struggles to remember any of the opponents that Crawford has fought during the course of his career. To the highly touted trainer, most of those names are unrecognizable.
“It’s apples and oranges. One guy has proven himself, the other guy tells you who his opponents are. With the Russian kid, Postol, we didn’t know who he was. They told us who he was. Then he fought the other guy after that, Indongo, we had no idea who he was. We still don’t know who he is.”