By: Hans Themistode
Terence Crawford has become accustomed to getting exactly what he wants.
The 32 year old wanted to see his name in the bright lights as a professional boxer from a young age and did just that. From there, Crawford set his sights on becoming a world champion. With titles at 135, 140 and now 147 pounds, he’s done it more times than he ever could have imagined. Next up for Crawford was worldwide recognition as one of the best boxers on the planet. Another check.
Yet with everything that he has accomplished, he can’t seem to get the one thing he craves the most. Respect.
For years Crawford has heard from fans, media members and his peers that he needs to face better opposition. The pound for pound star would immediately become both annoyed and pissed off when his credentials were questioned. Now, after a dozen years near the top, Crawford now believes he knows when he’ll receive the respect he believes he deserves.
“They’ll give me my credit when I retire,” said Crawford to the Associated Press.
The three division world champion is coming off the heels of a ninth round knockout win against Egidijus Kavaliauskas in December of 2019. His performance was as dominant as ever, but with Kavaliauskas coming in as an unknown, many have discredited his win all together.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) hasn’t stepped into the ring this year just yet, but his likely next opponent in Kell Brook has already left fans of Crawford groaning. Brook, a former welterweight champion, has seen better days. He hasn’t officially fought at 147 pounds in nearly four years and at the age of 34, he has pondered retirement on more than one occasion.
But while many have already questioned his next opponent, Crawford simply sits back and smiles as he believes he knows why.
“The only reason they say that is because of how dominant I’ve been,” Crawford said. “Ricky Burns, he became champion after (fighting) me. Beltran, he became champion after me. A lot of people discredit those types of fighters. Then everybody gets their credit for beating those types of fighters. But me, being on the pedestal that I am, they look at me and say, ‘Oh, well, those are just stepping stone fights.”
The constant criticism of his opposition is something that used to get under the skin of Crawford. Now however, he takes it as a compliment. According to the three division champion, all of the former greats had their doubters so clearly, he’s doing something right he believes.
“Muhammad Ali, a lot of people didn’t like him. He was the villain. A lot of people didn’t like Mike Tyson, they just knew he was going to knock somebody out. A lot of people say Mike Tyson didn’t fight nobody, a lot of people don’t like Floyd Mayweather. But they respect him because of how talented he is. So when I look at it, I’m never going to get the just due. Just continue to keep winning. That’s it.”