By: Kirk Jackson
Terence Crawford 32-0 (23 KO’s) became the first male fighter since Bernard Hopkins to become the unified, undisputed champion of a weight division, capturing the WBA and IBF junior welterweight titles as he knocked out the undefeated Julius Indongo in three rounds.
Photo Credit: Terence Crawford Facebook Account
Crawford joined an exclusive list of undefeated, undisputed champions, a list featuring the likes of Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, George Foreman, Jermain Taylor, Joe Frazier, Michael Spinks, Evander Holyfield and Cecelia Braekus.
It should be noted Cecelia Braekus holds all four belts at 147 lbs. and defended her titles numerous times since 2014.
— Women's Boxing (@WomensBoxing1) August 20, 2017
Crawford already owned the WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine titles at 140 lbs., and his victory over Indongo further establishes Crawford as one of the best fighters in the sport; second only to the current unified, undefeated, light heavyweight champion Andre Ward 32-0 (16 KO’s).
Speaking of pound-for-pound fighters, Crawford and Ward were disrespected by ESPN’s Teddy Atlas.
During the post-fight interviews, Atlas discussed his top five pound-for-pound fighters and placed Vasyl Lomachenko 9-1 (7 KO’s) as his No.1 pound-for-pound fighter.
— Preemo Dicaprio (@SupremeSKF) August 20, 2017
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but how did Errol Spence rise to No. 5? I also didn’t know Spence was Cuban.
More importantly, no matter how spectacularly skilled one fighter is, how does so-called skilled fighter propel to the top position with only ten fights?
With one of those fights (against Orlando Salido) resulting in defeat.
Pound-for-pound rankings are supposed to be based on skills, performance, resume and accomplishments. It’s a collection of all four traits.
How one interprets skill based on the eye test can be subjective. Performance, resume and accomplishments are based on the level of opposition one faces and Crawford and Ward have Lomachenko beat in those categories.
Ward defeated Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham, Chad Dawson, Mikkel Kessler and Sergey Kovalev. At the time Ward defeated the aforementioned fighters, they were on the pound-for-pound lists and constants on the list.
Crawford virtually defeated every top fighter/champion at lightweight and super lightweight.
There is an argument from the Lomachenko contingent, stating it’s difficult to lure elite level fighters in the ring to face the Ukrainian star.
It’s difficult to argue elite fighters lacking the desire to face Lomachenko when we do not know the particulars of the negotiation process.
Even still his resume pales in comparison to Crawford or Ward. It’s not like there’s a pile of fighters, lining up to face Crawford or Ward either.
It’s important to note the risk vs. reward factor.
And of course we actually have a few guys taking aim at Lomachenko with Guillermo Rigondeaux and Mikey Garcia; two pound-for-pound level opponents who would certainly boost Lomachenko’s resume if he were to defeat them.
There is a contingent of observers, fans, writers, reporters, claiming to want toe-to-toe action inside the ring and watching the best fighters fight the best opposition available.
Crawford just bested the only other super lightweight in contention and displayed how large the gap is between him and everyone else at 140 lbs.
“Bud” also stopped the guy in three rounds. Prior to Indongo, Crawford mercilessly pummeled Felix Diaz across eleven rounds.
Five of his last seven fights have not gone the distance. This is what we want and expect from our elite guys right?
ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna threw a shot at Crawford immediately after his fight during the post-bout interview, suggesting the lack of importance of the sanctioning belts.
Since when did the sanctioning bodies and titles not important?
It can be argued the significance of the belts may have watered down a tad in this era of boxing, due to the politics of the sanctioning bodies, corrupt rankings, bribes, ridiculous sanctioning fees and the ability to label four or more champions per division because of the multiple and varying sanctioning bodies.
However, championships still matter. Ask any competitor across any sport. How many undisputed champions are there in history? How many undefeated, undisputed champions are there in history?
Is it a problem when unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin states he wants to chase and unify all of the belts?
Crawford jumped up to junior welterweight in April of 2015 and in two years’ time already unified the division as the undisputed champ.
In comparison, Golovkin held at least one version of the middleweight championship since 2010, but has yet to accomplish his goal of capturing all of the middleweight titles.
Another glaring issue is the lack of promotion for Crawford.
In a tweet since deleted from Crawford, he mentioned the lack of promotion for his fights and brand.
“Glad everyone seen and notice the difference between how ESPN promoted my fight compared to the other two fights before me,” tweeted from Crawford Aug 22.
He has a point. His stable mates Manny Pacquiao, Lomachenko, a few others appear to get promoted differently.
For Pacquiao at this point his name precedes him, as he is already a well-established, if not a dwindling star.
Recently retired Timothy Bradley dealt with the same issues as Crawford regarding the lack of promotion. The question is why?
Crawford did what most so-called boxing fans want him to do, faced the best opponent available, knocked out his opponent in impressive fashion and called out the big names afterwards.
He draws bigger crowds and has better viewership than some of his contemporaries on Top Rank as well.
ESPN reported the Top Rank Boxing telecast of Terence Crawford-Julius Indongo drew the second-highest boxing match on cable television in 2017.
Progressing forward, the goal for any fighter is to attain the biggest fights, earn greater pay days, collect more belts and potentially more fanfare.
There are fans claiming to like a fighter because he is “down to earth” or “humble” right? It’s why many fans are attracted to fighters like Golovkin, Roman Gonzalez and others. Fans also enjoy the aspect of Golovkin and Gonzalez are action-friendly, knock-out seeking fighters.
Gonzalez lost again and was knocked out in four rounds. Imagine the treatment Crawford would endure if the same happened to him.
But why aren’t fighters like Crawford, or Bradley rewarded with the same fanfare and promotion? They are humble and in the case of Crawford, he aims for the knock-out while skillfully dissecting his opponents.
The question to ask is, where is the promotion, where is the love?
Breaking: Crawford And Lomachenko To Fight On ESPN This August
By: Sean Crose
It’s now official – ESPNs interest in Manny Pacquiao is far from a one-off. Today it’s been announced that the network will also showcase two of the biggest names in the sport this August. For Bud Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko will be appearing on basic cable this summer, courtesy of ESPN and promoter Bob Arum.
To make things perhaps more interesting, both men will be engaged in fights that are competitive, at least on paper. Crawford will have a junior welterweight title unification with Julius Indongo in Nebraska on August 19th. Two weeks earlier, on the 5th, Lomachenko will be facing off against Miguel Marriaga, who has battled the likes of Oscar Valedez and Nicholas Walters, in a super featherweight title scrap in LA.
After a long, dry spell with HBO, it’s clear Arum is moving on to what he hopes are greener pastures. Rival Al Haymon has tried his hand at basic cable broadcasts with uneven success. Arum, however, is bringing out his stable’s big guns right out the gate. Things are certainly getting interesting as boxing’s bombastic 2017 thunders along.
Is Bud Crawford Being Avoided?
By: Sean Crose
Let’s face it, with the exception of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao can pretty much face whoever he wants, whenever he wants. It’s the sort of privilege that comes with being an all-time great. And, make no mistake about it, the Filipino star still has a great deal of pop. Just look how good of a 2016 the man had if you don’t believe me. Want to say he’s diminished? Fine, he’s diminished – but he still might be able to take every active welterweight in the word at the moment. That’s really saying something when you consider just how loaded the welterweight division is.
There’s one particular junior welterweight, however, that team Pacqauio seems intent on avoiding – at least for the time being. While big names like Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner might be palatable to someone like Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, this top stable mate of Pacquio’s appears to be off limits. The stable mate is, of course, fellow Arum fighter Bud Crawford, the unquestioned dominant force of the 140 lb realm. Like PacMan, Crawford had himself one hell of a 2016, besting the likes of top competition such as Viktor Postol while firmly establishing himself as one of boxing’s rising stars – at least in the eyes of hardcore fans.
Crawford’s lack of casual fan recognition, however, makes it easy for him to be avoided. While his fight with Postol was a pay per view event, it had no business outside of the realm of basic pay cable and had a less than stellar buy rate. Even a Pacquiao who is no longer essential viewing for casual fans is still far more of a known commodity than Crawford is. Ask a person on the street who Manny Pacquiao is and he or she will probably know. Ask a person who Bud Crawford is, however…
All of this actually leaves team Pacquiao in a strange place. Again, the man isn’t the draw he once was – at least not in North America. And he’ll continue to marginalize his own popularity here so long as he continues to face less than top names. On the other hand, Pacquiao should be given some slack, considering his extended and extremely courageous career. He’s older now, after all, and has arguably earned the right to take it a bit easy. In this sense he is much like former opponent, Miguel Cotto, a man who can be forgiven for cherry picking at this point on his resume.
Like Cotto, however, Pacquiao must realize that he will continue to lose eyeballs and earning potential if he wraps up his career fighting men who simply aren’t the best opposition out there. What’s ironic in all this, of course, is that Pacquiao might well take Crawford to school. Believe it. Even now, there’s few out there as good as he is. The guy’s incredibly fast, mobile, buzzsaw style could well cause Crawford considerable frustration. Then again, Crawford would certainly stand a chance of besting Pacquiao. Which, of course, might be the reason why this potential matchup is being put off, if not avoided entirely.
Arum says he intends for Pacquiao to fight outside the United States next, and no, Crawford is not included in the plans. Perhaps team Pacquiao is just looking for one more large payday outside of America before facing the man from Omaha. Then again…