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Crawford: I’ll make a statement against Molina Jr.

John Molina Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) says he’s going to make a statement this Saturday night in defending his two titles against 33-year-old John Molina Jr. (29-6, 23 KOs) in their fight on HBO Championship Boxing from the CenturyLink Arena in Omaha, Nebraska.

Crawford says he’s going to make the same kind of statement against Molina Jr. that he did in his last fight against Viktor Postol last July. Crawford beat Postol by a 12 round unanimous decision after knocking him down twice in the 5th. The final judges’ scores were 118-107, 117-108 and 118-107. That was boring fight to watch for me, and for a lot of boxing fans.

Crawford played it safe in the championship rounds by getting on his bike rather than looking to finish off the 5’11” Postol. The 12th round saw Crawford running from Postol while stick his tongue out at him. Gennady “GGG” Golovkin this was not. With the fight being on HBO pay-per-view, it was not the kind of ending that you’d like to have seen from Crawford or for anybody for that matter. That’s why it’s confusing for Crawford to be saying he’s going to make a statement in the Molina Jr. fight like he did against Postol, because the only statement you can get from that fight was that Crawford was playing it safe.

“I will do what I do best and that’s to make a statement in the ring just as I did in the summer against Viktor Postal,” said Crawford. “I unified the belts and became the lineal champion by dominating and beating a fellow undefeated champion in Postal. That’s when boxing is at its greatest – when the best fight each other and risk it all.”

Like I said, Crawford didn’t make a positive statement against Postol. He made a statement that he’s going to do the minimum to win the fight but not take chances to impress by shooting for a knockout in my opinion. That was no statement fight from Crawford. That was a disappointment. I wonder what Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum thought of Crawford’s performance against Postol? Arum wants to tuirn Crawford into a star. That might not be easy unless Crawford puts on more interesting performances than he did last time he fought.

Crawford’s opponent for this Saturday night, John Molina Jr, doesn’t exactly have the best credentials to be fighting for a world title. Molina Jr. has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights. Perhaps that’s why there hasn’t been much of any buzz for the Crawford-Molina Jr. fight from the hardcore boxing fans. The casual fans probably have no idea Crawford is even fighting unless they’re keeping track of HBO’s calendar. The hardcore fans obviously know of Molina’s recent struggles inside the ring in getting totally dominated by Adrien Broner last year in losing a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 120-107, 120-108 and 118-110. Broner won every round of the fight against Molina in my book. Molina Jr. also lost to Humberto Soto and Lucas Matthysse.

“Do I think I should be the fighter of the year? I do,” said Crawford. “A win on Saturday will give me three televised world championship victories in three different cities. I beat Hank Lundy at Madison Square Garden. No one put the dents into Hank Lundy that I did. I stopped him in the fifth round. In the Postal fight, I went to Las Vegas and scored several knockdowns against an undefeated champion trained by Freddie Roach and unified the titles. Now I’m back in Omaha against a No. 1 contender in Molina.”

I don’t think Crawford should be the 2016 ‘Fighter of the Year’ based off the wins he’s had this year. Crawford’s wins came against Postol and Hank Lundy. I think Lundy is more of a fringe contender at best. Postol’s claim to fame was beating Lucas Matthysse, who suffered an injury in their fight.

If Crawford’s beats Molina, it still won’t be an impressive enough win for him to be ‘Fighter of the Year,’ because Molina has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights. If you’re going to give Crawford ‘Fighter of the Year’ off of a win over Molina, then that’s disappointing. They didn’t give Adrien Broner or Humberto Soto Fighter of the Year when they beat Molina Jr.

They didn’t give Mauricio Herrera Fighter of the Year for beating Hank Lundy in 2015, and they didn’t give Thomas Dulorme Fighter of the Year for beating Lundy in 2015, Raymundo Beltran for beating Lundy in 2013 or Postol Fighter of the Year for beating Lundy in 2013. Lundy has been beaten a bunch of times. I don’t see how a win over him would make Crawford ‘Fighter of the Year’ for 2016. To me, Crawford should only be considered ‘Fighter of the Year’ if he defeats guys like Adrien Broner, Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman, Saul Canelo Alvarez or Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. The last time I checked, Crawford has never fought any of those guys, so he doesn’t make my “Fighter of the Year” for 2016.


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