By: Hans Themistode
Pound for pound star Terence Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) will make the third defense of his WBO Welterweight title on December 14th, when he takes on Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs). The card will take place at Madison Square Garden, in New York City.
For Crawford, he will look to keep his name amongst the best in the division with a big victory. Many were hoping that Crawford would be in a more high profile fight but with many of the top names unavailable to him at the current moment, he elected to take on his mandatory challenger.
Kavaliauskas sports an undefeated record in his 22 pro fights but he has faced absolutely no one of note. In his first step up in competition, the undefeated title contender fought to a draw against Ray Robinson earlier this year. It was a disappointing result for the fighter nicknamed the “Mean Machine”.
Still, even with his short comings in his last bout, Crawford refuses to overlook his upcoming opponent.
“Egidijus Kavaliauskas is a two-time Olympian, and I can’t take him lightly,” Crawford said. “He’s got everything to gain and nothing to lose, and that makes him dangerous. I never overlook any opponent, and this will be no exception. I’ll be ready for anything and everything he brings on Dec. 14 when I return to my second home, Madison Square Garden, and live on ESPN.”
The credentials of Kavaliauskas might be in question, but don’t bring that topic of conversation up to him. He has fought his way to this mandatory position and intends on making the most of it.
“I have prepared my whole boxing career for a fight of this magnitude,” said Kavaliauskas, who fights out of Oxnard, California. “Terence Crawford is an excellent fighter, but I fear no man. Nobody has seen the best of the ‘Mean Machine’ yet. I am going to shock a lot of people on Dec. 14, but it won’t be a surprise to me. I earned this title shot. It is my time.”
With unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr recently waging a war with former champion Shawn Porter and one time belt holder Danny Garcia along with Keith Thurman all in line for big time fights, it has left Crawford in some what of a boxing limbo.
The multiple division champion has been bellowing for a chance to prove that he is indeed the best in the division. For now, his cries won’t be answered.
If he wants the big fights that are currently unavailable to him in his division, then he will need to dispatch of Kavaliauskas in impressive fashion on December 14th.