By: Hans Themistode
Admittedly, Terence Crawford knew he had plenty of competition.
The Omaha, Nebraska, native and current WBO welterweight champion has always been proud of his pugilistic achievements. Having won world titles at 135, 140, and now – 147 pounds, Crawford not only considers himself the best welterweight in the world but the best overall fighter on the planet.
But, despite his bravado and unwavering self-belief, Crawford was somewhat accepting of his position amongst his fellow fighters.
In the mind of many, Canelo Alvarez was viewed as not only boxing’s premier attraction but also, its best fighter. While Crawford tipped his cap in acknowledgment of Alvarez and his overall achievements, the 34-year-old welterweight belt holder still adamantly backed himself as the best fighter in the world.
Regardless of his position, Crawford reluctantly accepted his placement behind the Mexican native. Nevertheless, following Alvarez’s lackluster defeat this past weekend at the hands of Dmitry Bivol, Crawford now believes he has officially usurped Alvarez on virtually every pound-for-pound list.
“We know who #1 is now,” said Crawford on his social media account.
Bivol, the current WBA light heavyweight belt holder, marched through a sea of dubious voices at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past Saturday night. As Alvarez’s supporters continued to scream and shout in his direction, the Russian native remained stone-faced and focused on the task at hand.
Although Alvarez has openly admitted in the past that fighting at 175 pounds places him at a significant disadvantage, after aggregating every world title at 168 pounds, the Mexican product craved a new challenge.
During the early portions of his light heavyweight bout, Alvarez appeared to dictate the action. However, as the rounds slowly ticked by, an increasingly elusive Bivol began finding his rhythm. Alvarez, 31, while known for his defensive acumen, languished against the ropes for long durations, resulting in Bivol piling up the points en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Considering Alvarez’s recent defeat, coupled with Crawford’s continued run of dominance, the switch-hitting star believes he should rise unopposed to the top of the pound-for-pound charts.
In Crawford’s most recent trip to the ring, the 34-year-old successfully defended his WBO crown against former two-time world titlist, Shawn Porter. In doing so, Crawford became the first man to stop Porter in his tracks, accomplishing the feat in the 10th round.
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