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Reality check: Terrence Crawford is not Floyd Mayweather Jr.


By Jaime Ortega: Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t see any indication outside of Bob Arum where Manny Pacquiao has officially stated that he is ready to fight again. A columnist for the Manila Times, claimed that only Arum seems interested to make Pacquiao comeback from retirement to basically financially squeeze what is left of the Filipinos legacy. The article reiterates that Pacquiao is busy with his job as a senator to fight anytime soon. Those pairing Pacquiao to fight against any present welterweight are smoking the good stuff. There is absolutely no evidence that Pacquiao will comeback from retirement outside of Arum’s mouth, and people’s imagination.

It looks like Terrence Crawford is now hailed as the future of boxing based of his win against overhyped Viktor Postol. It seems incredible, but some have gone beyond the realm of reality to hype Crawford to a standard that he hasn’t earned yet by claiming that he is the new Floyd Mayweather Jr. of boxing, pointing how he will destroy “Pacquiao”. It took Juan Manuel Marquez four fights to finally beat Pacquiao and get that devastating KO. Is Crawford a better boxer than Marquez? Athletic wise maybe, skill wise no.

Pacquiao should not fight Crawford because the Filipino is no longer dedicated to his craft focusing instead on the problems of his province. Pacquiao is simply not ready to fight Crawford or Keith Thurman. He officially retired after his rematch with Timothy Bradley, and he remains retired today unless he makes his comeback official.

As an analyst time ago I predicted that Crawford would swell based on his skill level. Crawford is a phenomenal southpaw with great boxing skills, but defensively he is nowhere near Floyd—not even close! When Crawford fights a legitimate boxer with pedigree who is not one-dimensional like Postol, I guarantee his defensive mistakes will be exposed.

Crawford has one major problem that needs to be immediately corrected, when he leans forward he opens his guard wide for counters — a bad habit that started early in his career, which his trainer has not modified. He won’t retire undefeated. He hasn’t fought a counter-boxer with power that will expose his defensive flaws. Any fighter with pedigree who can box will expose his defensive flaw. Floyd was a defensive genius, Crawford is not a defensive wizard and someone is going to expose his weakness sooner or later.

If he fought rusty Pacquiao, I believe Crawford would win because the Filipino is not focused on his boxing career, but I also believe Pacquiao would hit Crawford and exploit his defensive flaws. Crawford might knockout Pacquiao, but he will end up with a bloody face. Pacquiao was able to counter Floyd a few times, and he won’t counter Crawford who opens up wide? Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez, Joshua Clottey, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, and Floyd who were exceptional counter boxers. How many pedigree counter-boxers has Crawford fought that show power and skillset? He hasn’t fought any. Even if Crawford knockouts Pacquiao in the late rounds, unlike Floyd, he won’t leave the ring untouched —- a blue eye and a broken nose will follow.

As I wrote on my previous article, Crawford needs to become undisputed and face Eduard Troyanovsky, who times his uppercuts and his jabs with precision, is omnidirectional with both hands and can cut the ring better than anyone at 140. If Crawford beats the Russian convincingly and knocks him out, then I will have to retract and confess he is the real deal at 140 because Troyanovsky is no bum. However, I am not sure how he will perform with a boxer who won’t show any respect for his power and who is disciplined enough to catch Crawford in tight angles while moving. The Russian has a good IQ and an elite trainer who literally plagiarized Roger Mayweather’s defensive drills.

After his win against Postol, a lot of casuals now claim that Crawford will dominate the 147 division and only Errol Spence Jr. can stop him. First, I highly doubt that Crawford would get pass Thurman. Thurman does not get the credit he deserves and he has called out everyone in the welterweight division and given fans the fights they wanted. They claim Thurman is afraid of Errol, but fail to point out that Errol himself has avoided tough challengers like Diego Chaves and taken instead on Leonard Bundu, who already lost his undefeated record to Thurman. Thurman has a better boxing resume than Crawford and has fought legit challengers and dangerous veterans none which were smaller guys. I repeat, Crawford is not 140, he is 157lbs and he has only fought smaller boxers which begs the question —- what happens when he faces a fighter his size? Troyanovsky is the answer.

Thurman has taken on his own weight class and dominated. Crawford says he likes to get hit, but getting hit by 140 boxers is not the same as getting hit by natural welterweights. Exchanging with Thurman would be a bad idea for anyone, and Crawford is no exception. Danny Garcia also has an extensive resume and people count him off against Crawford, claiming he vacated the division to avoid the challenge early on. I am not a fan of Garcia, but he has power in both hands, has a granite chin and people sleep on him way too much. He would give Crawford a lot of problems, especially if Crawford gets adventurous and decides to exchange.

Kell Brook’s style would really hurt Crawford, and I doubt that fight ever gets made. Errol Spence Jr. needs to fight Diego Chaves before assessing a serious prediction. Yes he hits the body with powerful shots and likes to walk his opponents down, but I saw how Lartney a no-name African boxer almost knocked him out in the 7th round. Any elite boxer will expose Errol’s defensive flaws with a good counter jab. I think Crawford would really hurt Spence at this point, unless I see evidence of the contrary. I am not sold on Spence, I saw him under pressure in the Olympics and he lost against a Russian and a Kazakh who kept pounding his face with counters — I don’t see that flaw corrected, sorry.

The point is that Floyd’s defense set him apart from all the rest of the welterweights he fought. One could argue that the welterweight division is tougher now than it was 10 years ago, and that argument would be valid; nevertheless, Crawford is by no means the reincarnation of Floyd and he will pay his defensive mistakes fighting against pure counter boxers with skill and power. Crawford is hyped because of the Postol fight, and I am afraid such hype is no different than when Postol defeated Lucas Mathysse as suddenly Postol became the man to beat. Hype, hype, hype.

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