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Terence Crawford: Dierry Jean shouldn’t have run his mouth

By Allan Fox: WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) expects to make an example of #6 WBO 140lb contender tonight in their fight on HBO Championship Boxing from the CenturyLink Center, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Crawford, 28, can’t lose this fight because he’s got too much riding on it. Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum wants to match him up against Manny Pacquiao if he wins and looks good in doing so. Crawford wants the fight as well; because he knows a fight against Pacquiao will help establish him as a top fighter.

It will also give him a good payday, and easily the best of his career. However, Pacquiao supposedly has the final word in which fighter he faces in his next bout, and he’s been mostly quiet about whom he’d like to fight next.

It’s doubtful that Pacquiao will willingly fight Crawford unless Arum puts some pressure on him or makes it worthwhile in terms of giving him more money that he would normally get for a fight like that. Pacquiao will likely lose a great deal of money by agreeing to fight Crawford because he can make much more facing the likes of Amir Khan or Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

“I’m going to be ready for anything he brings to the table,” Crawford said about Dierry Jean. “Everybody has something to prove, and I don’t want to take nobody lightly. I’ve fought two people that was Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partners, and we all know what happened. I won. We’re ready for anything he brings. We’re ready. He feels he’s going to come in here and take my title, but that ain’t going to happen. I’m looking to make a statement. He shouldn’t have run his mouth. That’s the statement. I’m more focused on him than anything,” Crawford said.

Few boxing fans are taking the 31-year-old Jean seriously as an opponent for Crawford. Jean is a good fighter, but he’s small at 5’6”, and he’s never beaten anyone of not during his career. In his one step up fight against Lamont Peterson, he lost by a 12 round unanimous decision in a non-competitive fight from start to finish.

Crawford has good defensive skills, but he can be caught by big shots. We saw that in his win over Yuriorkis Gamboa last year in which Crawford was hurt. We also saw how Thomas Dulorme was able to put hands on Crawford as well. Crawford does not have Floyd Mayweather Jr-like hand speed or defensive skills. He’s a good defensive fighter, but he can’t pitch shutouts on defense the way that Mayweather did.

Some of that could be because Crawford is getting older now and is in his late 20s. The quick reflexes he had in his early 20s are starting to dull to the point where he gets caught a lot nowadays.

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You can only imagine what Crawford will be like when he’s in his early to mid-30s. If he’s still going to be on top at that age, it’s going to require more offense, more punching power, and continued careful match-making by Top Rank.

I’m not sure if Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum will still be around by that point, but if he is, then he’s going to need to be careful in whom he matches Crawford against. Fortunately for Crawford, Arum’s Top Rank stable isn’t a deep one in the 140 to 147lb range.

Arum has Viktor Postol at 140, and Tim Bradley, Pacquiao and Brandon Rios at 147. Pacquiao is about to retire, which I guess is why Arum is pushing so hard for that fight for Crawford.

Rios and Bradley would be really tough fights for Crawford because they both bring things to the table that would make it difficult for him. The better welterweights like Keith Thurman, Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Errol Spence are likely not doable fights for Crawford because those guys aren’t with Top Rank, and Arum mostly matches his guys against each other.

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Also on tonight’s Crawford-Jean card from the CenturyLink Arena are the following fights:

Andy Ruiz Jr vs. Raphael Zumbano Love
Mikael Zewski vs. Ayi Bruce
Evgeny Gradovich vs. Aldimar Silva Santos

None of these are what I would call competitive fights. Top Rank promoter, the promotional company that is putting on this card, has made sure that all their A-side fighters have a clear advantage over their B-side opponents. That also goes for the main event fight between Crawford and Dierry Jean. All of the fights on the card are mismatches, at least for the televised fights.

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