Terence Crawford vs. Raymundo Beltran on November 29th in Omaha, Nebraska
By Scott Gilfoid: The talented unbeaten WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (24-0, 17 KOs) will be making his second and likely his last title defense of his WBO strap in two months on November 29th against #1 WBO Raymundo Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs) in Crawford’s home city at the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
Crawford feels that Beltran was robbed last September in 2013 when he challenged former WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns in his home city of Glasgow, Scotland and had to settle for a 12 round draw.
It was a fight where Burns was on the defensive from the 2nd round on after getting his jaw broken from a tremendous left hook by Beltran. Burns basically held and ran for the last 10 rounds of the fight and appeared to win 1 round of the 11 rounds of the fight in my eyes, and yet he was given a 12 round draw from the judges.
Crawford says he saw the fight and he had Beltran as the winner of that Burns vs. Beltran fight.
“I saw the [Burns-Beltran] fight because I was the No. 1 contender and going to fight the winner for the title,” Crawford said to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. “I felt Beltran did more than enough to win that fight. Unfortunately, he didn’t get that victory over there. I went over there and did my job and got the victory. Now we’re fighting.”
After the controversy that surrounded the outcome of the Beltran-Burns fight, it’s not surprising that Crawford was able to go over to Glasgow and pick up a victory over Burns. But to be honest, I didn’t see Crawford doing any better than Beltran did against Burns.
I thought Beltran did a little better job on Burns because he punished him a lot more with his hooks and body shots; whereas Crawford had Burns pretty much gun-shy from the get go. I’m not sure that Burns was the same fighter after his broken jaw he suffered in the Beltran fight.
Burns looked like he was afraid to get hit squarely in the head, and it could be that he had some concerns about whether his jaw would hold up under the pounding of a 12 round fight if he were to have slugged with Crawford instead of playing it safe the way he did.
“I know coming into the fight he feels like I have something that belongs to him [Beltran],” Crawford said. “He feels like that belt belongs to him and he will train extra hard to get what he thinks belongs to him, and that makes for a good fight.”
There’s no question that Beltran feels like he’s the rightful WBO lightweight champion after his controversial loss to Burns. Beltran was supposed to have gotten a rematch with Burns, but then the World Boxing Organization got in the way of the rematch by ordering Burns to defend his title against Crawford. Rather than vacating his title, which is probably what Burns should have done, he went ahead and defended his title against Crawford and ended up getting schooled by him in a one-sided 12 round decision loss.
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum is talking about him possibly moving up in weight to light welterweight after this fight. There’s a heck of a lot more money for Crawford at 140 if he moves up there than if he stays at 135 to defend the strap against the obscure opposition in that weight class.
At 140, Crawford can fight the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Chris Algieri, Jessie Vargas and Ruslan Provodnikov. It’s unclear if Crawford will be able to fight Al Haymon fighters like Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia though. I kind of doubt it. The best thing Crawford can do is fight Pacquiao before he retires and then maybe some of Arum’s other fighters.