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Crawford vs. Indongo: Terence wants #1 P4P honors

By Chris Williams: Terence Crawford will be fighting tonight against Julius Indongo in a fight that he hopes will push him to No.1 in Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings. Crawford vs. Indongo will be fighting tonight on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in
Crawford already holds the WBC, WBO light welterweight titles, and Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) has the IBF, WBA 140 lb. titles.

Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) for him to have a chance of surpassing #1 Andre Ward for the top spot in the pound-for-pound ratings. It might not be possible for Crawford to take that position, because the fighters in front of him arguably more exciting to watch in #2 Gennady Golovkin and #3 Roman Gonzalez. Those are all-action fighters, who score a lot of knockouts and come straight at their opponents from round 1. Crawford is much different type of fighter. He tends to move a lot, clinch frequently, and look to counter his opponents. When Crawford does KO his opponents, they knockouts often come in the later rounds after he finally stops moving and lets his hands go.


Indongo is quite capable of beating Crawford if he stays composed and doesn’t lose his cool at the constant switch hitting that he does. When Crawford comes forward, Indongo will need to use his jab to make sure he doesn’t throw one of his single shot punches. Crawford likes to throw power shots one at a time. When his opponents throw their own punch, he’ll look to counter with his own punches. That’s usually when Crawford will throw combinations. He’ll mix it up after he lands a counter.

It makes him vulnerable though, because he gets hit in return and doesn’t look good taking shots. Indongo can give Crawford problems if he takes the fight to him and unloads. The guys that have given Crawford the most problems were Yuriorkis Gamboa, Briedis Prescott and Viktor Postol. Gamboa was getting the better of Crawford until he slipped on the canvas on round 5, and he was hit while falling down from the slip. It was a petty knockdown. It should have been ruled a slip, but the referee seemed to be sleeping at the wheel. Postol threw hard combinations that caught Crawford in round 12, and that sent him scurrying for the remainder of the round in their fight last year in July.

Postol showed that when you go after Crawford and throw hard combinations, he doesn’t take the shots well. They seem to unnerve him and he gets on his bike and runs. Crawford won’t stand and fight. That’s another reason why I feel that Crawford doesn’t deserve to be ranked as the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in boxing. He’s too quick to dash off and flee from the battlefield when his opponents bring it to him. Yeah, Crawford is good at coming forward and landing pot shots when he’s facing an opponent that is fighting scared. But when his opposition is brave and going after him, he’ll retreat all over the ring. It’s hard to watch. It’s not pound-for-pound No.1 type stuff. You expect better than that from a guy that thinks he should be given the No1 pound for pound spot if he beats Indongo.

Crawford will need to really wipeout the 34-year-old Indongo to go from No.4 to No.1 in Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list. I don’t think Crawford has it in him to beat a fighter like Indongo with ease. He might even lose to Indongo. The last 2 guys that fought Indongo, Ricky Burns and Eduard Troyanovsky, were supposed to beat him too, and they got dominated. Crawford didn’t do as good as job defeating Burns as Indongo did. That’s the only common opponent the two fighters share, and Indongo was far better than Crawford in defeating Burns. Crawford did a lot of punching and immediately grabbing Burns to keep him from getting his shots off. Indongo simply boxed Burns from the outside, nailing him with hard shots for the full 12 rounds. Indongo didn’t resort to clinching excessively the way that Crawford did. If you compare the 2 fights, Indongo was far better in beating Burns. Crawford used clinching, and it was an ugly fight to watch. Crawford won, but it was a real snoozer. That’s the whole problem with Crawford. He wins boring fights sometimes, and I mean really boring.

Some people compare Crawford to Floyd Mayweather Jr. with the way he wins his fights. I don’t see the comparison. Mayweather is more exciting due to his hand speed, reflexes and overall boxing skills. Mayweather doesn’t resort to clinching or running from his opponents to win decisions. He stands in the pocket and boxes them. I only wish Crawford would do the same thing. He’d be a lot more interesting to watch.

”I have had my name mentioned in the top three,” said Crawford in discussing the pound-for-pound ratings. ”I will be looking forward to being the top one, or maybe two after this fight. It just depends on how people look at it. In my eyes, I think I am top two already,” said Crawford.

It’s awfully hard to give Crawford the No.1 pound for pound spot when you look at the guys he’s been fighting, and how he’s looked winning those fights. These are the last 10 opponents Crawford has beaten:

– Felix Diaz

– John Molina Jr.

– Viktor Postol

– Henry Lundy

– Dierry Jean

– Thomas Dulorme

– Raymundo Beltran

– Yuriorkis Gamboa

– Ricky Burns

– Andrey Klimov

The quality hasn’t been good enough for Crawford to claim the No.1 spot in the pound-for-pound ratings in this writer’s view. Andre Ward just beat Sergey Kovalev twice, and he also has wins over Sullivan Barrera, Carl Froch, Edwin Rodriguez, Mikkel Kessler and Arthur Abraham. I don’t think Crawford’s opposition during his career is anywhere close to being as good as Ward’s. It doesn’t matter if Crawford wins all 4 belts at 140.

The light welterweight division is VERY weak right. You can’t blame Crawford for that. He just had the bad luck of fighting during a bad era. If a prime Kostya Tszyu was fighting in this era, Crawford would have the type of opponent to prove himself against. If Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank were open to putting him in with a fighter like that, he could prove himself. But just going by Crawford’s weak resume filled mediocre opposition, I don’t see him worthy of a No.1 ranking. I don’t think Crawford deserves to be ranked above the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux. I don’t agree with the Ring’s pound-for-pound ratings at all, period. Crawford has dominated like Rigondeaux or Lomachenko.

Here are Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound ratings:

1. Andre Ward

2. Gennady Golovkin

3. Roman Gonzalez

4. Terence Crawford

5. Vasyl Lomachenko

6. Guillermo Rigondeaux

7. Sergey Kovalev

8. Saul Canelo Alvarez

9. Mikey Garcia

10. Shinsuke Yamanaka

• I don’t care for those rankings by Ring Magazine.

Here’s Chris Williams’ rankings:

1. Vasyl Lomachenko

2. Guillermo Rigondeux

3. Gennady Golovkin

4. Roman Gonzalez

5. Mikey Garcia

6. Anthony Joshua

7. Keith Thurman
8. Naoya Inoue

9. Donnie Nietes

10. Terence Crawford

That rankings needs to be adjusted big time Crawford should be further down towards the bottom, below Lomachenko, Rigondeaux and Mikey Garcia. To be ranked high, you need to be both exciting and your opposition needs to talented. I don’t see Crawford as having beaten anyone good yet. Burns is the only good fighter Crawford beat, and he clinched him all night long. Indongo is a good fighter, but he’s not good enough for Crawford to be moved past Gonzalez, Golovkin and Ward into the No.1 pound-for-pound spot. The way I see it, Crawford needs to be demoted rather than promoted in the rankings, because he’s not been looking good and he’s still not fighting the talented guys. Why hasn’t Crawford fought Adrien Broner or Danny Garcia? If Crawford would start beating talented and well respected opposition, I could see him being moved upwards. I don’t know if Crawford will ever be an exciting enough fighter to be rated No.1 in the pound-for-pound rankings, but I could see him maybe breaking the top 5. Right now, I don’t think Crawford has fought good enough opposition and he’s not looked exciting enough to be the top guy.

“Knockout win for Terence, by round nine,” said Crawford’s trainer Brian McIntyre to RingTV.com. “Holding on inside,” said McIntyre in saying what Crawford needs to watch for in the Indongo fight tonight.

Indongo doesn’t do a lot of holding. It’s Crawford that holds Crawford was holding like mad in his fights with Burn and Raymundo Beltran. Those fights were hard to watch due to all the clinching Crawford was doing. Lately, Crawford has gotten away from his holding, but he’s don’t a lot of moving and that’s equally boring to watch. `Crawford hasn’t fought anyone with a knockout punch since his clinch-filled win over Beltran in 2015. Crawford has fought 6 non-punchers in a row since his win over Beltran.

Crawford isn’t saying whether he’ll move up to welterweight if he beats Indongo tonight. Crawford does say he wants to fight 147 lb. champion Keith Thurman when he does eventually move up in weight, but he’s not saying when that will happen.

“That is my main focus Julius Indongo,” said Crawford. “We’ll see how the fight goes and after that double back around and see what the next move will be,” said Crawford.

Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum plans on having him travel to Australia in November for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn rematch. Arum is hoping he can get the winner of that fight to face Crawford. I’d be very surprised if Arum succeeds at doing that. He’s been eager to make a fight between Pacquiao and Crawford for a long time, and it’s still not happened. I don’t think it’s going to happen now. Arum also mentioned IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. as someone he wants to match Crawford up against in a PPV fight if Spence gets promoted right.




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