With so much happening in the world of boxing these waning days of 2019, it’s easy to lose track of a man like Terence Crawford. There’s Ruiz-Joshua 2 right around the corner, after all. Plus, there’s Wilder-Ortiz 2 going down just next week, and even the odd matchup of Daniel Jacobs and Julio Chavez Jr just before Christmas. What’s more, Crawford is a soft spoken man. Some call him sullen, though that might be an overstatement. He can be mean in the ring, sure, but I found him respectful and cool to share a few words with on a call. Still, no one will confuse the Omaha native for a bombastic type. There’s no Tyson Fury antics here, no Deontay Wilder proclamations, no Adrien Broner stunts. There’s just the man and his body of work.
That body of work is impressive, though, so impressive that former world champion turned broadcaster Andre Ward has declared the 35-0 Crawford the best boxer on the planet. Yes, even better than the likes of Canelo Alvarez and Vasyl Lomachenko. While preparing for a December 14th bout against the 20-0-1 Egidijus Kavaliauskas at Madison Square Garden, the former undisputed junior welterweight champ turned WBO welterweight titlist took time to speak with sportscaster Jim Rome on Rome’s eponymous show.
“Andre Ward…declared you to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world until further notice,” said Rome. “How much does it mean to earn that level of respect from somebody like Ward?” Crawford, who was speaking over the phone, rather than from the set, was quick to express his gratitude. “Oh man,” said Crawford, “it’s a good thing coming from a fighter of his status, considering he was the pound for pound number one fighter in the world at one point in time. That just tells a lot.” Rome then brought up the fact that Carwford will be facing Kavaliauskas at Madison Square Garden, where countless greats have plied their trade. “It’s electrifying,” said Crawford, “being that you think about all the great fighters that fought in the same arena as you and made history at the Garden and me being in the prime of my career and doing the same as those greats have done in the primes of their careers. It’s just a good feeling.”
The Crawford-Kavaliauskas fight will air live on ESPN. It will be Crawford’s fourth fight at the famed Garden, having already bested Amir Khan, Felix Diaz, and Hank Lundy there previously.