Terence Crawford vs. Dierry Jean a done deal for October 24th on HBO in Omaha, Nebraska
By Chris Williams: Newly crowned WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) has a mismatch scheduled against 33-year-old Dierry Jean (29-1, 20 KOs) on October 24th in Omaha, Nebraska on HBO Championship Boxing.
It’s not a good match-up because the little 5’6” Dierry Jean isn’t even ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Organization. He’s ranked at 135 at #8 IBF, #11 WBO, but not in the 140lb division, which is where Crawford will be making his defense of his WBO light welterweight title.
It’s unclear why Top Rank promoter Bob Arum selected Dierry Jean for this fight. Jean was beaten badly in an embarrassingly one-sided fight last year in January 2014 by Lamont Peterson. The fight was so one-sided that was boring to watch because Dierry Jean didn’t belong in the same ring with Peterson.
If Top Rank promoter Bob Arum selected Jean to help make Crawford look better than he actually is, then he selected the perfect opponent, because he clearly isn’t in the same league as Crawford. Jean has won his last four fights since the loss to Peterson, but he’s done it at lightweight against weak opposition. He hasn’t faced the type of opponents that he should have been fighting to get a title shot.
“Done deal: bud crawford402 vs. Dierry Jean on Oct. 24 in Omaha, live on HBO Boxing,” Dan Rafael said on his Twitter.
Top Rank would have been better off matching Crawford against guys like Ruslan Provodnikov, Mauricio Herrera, Jose Felix Jr., or Amir Imam. Any one of those guys would have been a far better choice of opponent for Crawford than to put him in with Jean. But of course if the idea was to make Crawford look good for the casual boxing fans that will be watching the fight on HBO on October 24th, then Jean is definitely the way to go.
This could be a tune-up fight for Crawford to get him ready for a big money fight against Manny Pacquiao in February or March or 2016. Crawford’s trainer is saying that he thinks that Crawford may be fighting Pacquiao in early 2016. You would have to think that he wouldn’t be saying this unless he was told something by Arum about Crawford being the one that will be getting the Pacquiao fight. Dierry Jean, 5’6 ½”, is the exact same height as Pacquiao, so it makes sense for Crawford to be fighting a guy the same size as the Filipino star rather than fighting someone taller than him with a different fighting style.
Jean fights out of the orthodox stance while Pacquiao fights from the southpaw stance. Jean is slower, weaker and less talented than Pacquiao, but I don’t think they wanted to match Crawford against anyone good for his first defense of his WBO 140lb title. They need to build him up, make him look good, and try and put him in fights where he looks exciting.
Crawford’s fighting style is rather boring to watch in my view unless he’s put in with someone that is on top of him, forcing him to fight for his life, like we saw in his fights against Thomas Dulorme recently and Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford was trailing in both of those fights when he was able to turn them around after hurting them with single shots. Crawford isn’t a huge puncher, but he’s able to hurt his opponents with his counter punching ability. If Crawford is put in with guys that that box, he looks very boring to watch.
Arum wants to match Pacquiao against Crawford because this one of the guys that fights near the same weight as Pacquiao. By making that fight, it will increase Crawford’s popularity and value with his Top Rank stable, even though it will likely result in less money for Pacquiao, because Crawford is clearly as popular as guys like Amir Khan, who Arum has been talking about wanting to match Pacquiao against in early 2016.