Terence Crawford: I don’t duck anybody
By Eric Baldwin: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) is very amused with some of the things he’s been reading about boxing fans thinking he would duck the fight against Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs). Crawford, 29, isn’t ducking the fight with Diaz. There are some fans that think Crawford is ducking Errol Spence Jr., and afraid to move up to 147 to fight guys his own size. The fans point out that Crawford is as heavy as some of the top welterweights in the division after he rehydrates. But if Crawford can make 140, there’s no real reason for him to move up to 147 yet.
Crawford-Diaz will be fighting each other on HBO Championship Boxing next month on May 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Crawford can’t wait to show off his talent to the fans.
The reason why some boxing fans think Crawford would duck Diaz is because of his promoter Bob Arum looking around for an opponent for his May 20th fight. Arum had 3 guys that was considering – Adrian Granados, Amir Imam and Felix Diaz – and that took a while before he decided on Diaz. Crawford wasn’t afraid to fight Diaz. It’s just business. Arum finds the guys for Crawford to fight, and he fights them. That’s his job.
This is going to be one of those old fashioned brawls that we’ve seen in the past in boxing. Crawford is going to make sure he puts on a great performance against Diaz, who is one of the best fighters at 140. Diaz captured a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. He’s highly talented. Recently, Diaz beat Sammy Vasquez by a 10 round decision on July 16 last year. Diaz showed off his skills in that fight. It was one of his best of his career.
“It’s going to be a fun night. I’m really excited for this fight,” said Crawford to Fightnews.com. “I’ve been reading all of the blogs people have been sending me for the last couple of days, telling me that this guy said I’m scared of him and I’m ducking him. And everybody knows Terence Crawford doesn’t duck anybody. I’m not running boy, I’m not running! So we’re here now and that’s everything I have to say. May 20th, let the better man win!” said Crawford.
Amir Khan wants to prove people wrong
Former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir “King” Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) says he wants to prove his detractors wrong by showing that he’s done with boxing, and he’s still capable of winning world titles. There were some people that now doubt him following his defeat to Saul Canelo Alvarez in his last fight in May of 2016. Khan did well for 5 rounds but ended up being knocked out in the 6th.
A lot of people have major doubts about Khan’s career following that loss. The fans forget that he moved up in weight to fight a large middleweight in Canelo, who may have outweighed Khan by as much as 15-20 pounds on the night of the fight. Khan lasting 6 rounds against a large middleweight like Canelo was a major accomplishment.
Khan will be taking a tune-up fight in the very near future. His management hasn’t picked out his opponent yet, but there should be announcement soon. Khan, 30, will have a tune-up fight first and then a big fight at the end of the year against one of the big names in the welterweight division. It’ll be someone from the 147lb division that Khan fights. He’s not going to be fighting another middleweight. That was probably a mistake on Khan’s part to take that fight with the much heavier Canelo.
“So this is the chance for me now to prove everyone wrong. I’m not done. I’ve just turned 30, I’ve still got some good years left in me,” said Khan to the independent.co.uk. ”It could be my time to shine. I’m looking forward to proving them wrong,” said Khan.
Khan needs to start facing better opposition at 147 than what he’s been facing since his loss to Danny Garcia in 2012. Khan went through a 3-year period in his career where he only took tune-up level fights against guys like Luis Collazo, Julio Diaz, Carlos Molina, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri.
Khan didn’t fight any welterweights in 2016, and he hasn’t fought at all in 2017. Khan should have been back fighting top welterweights by 2013 instead of waiting 4 years before taking on the best again. The guys that Khan was fighting from 2013 to 2015 were decent level 147 lb. fighters, but they weren’t on the level of the top guys like Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr., Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao. the sport has changed a little in the last couple of years. Bradley and Pacquiao are no longer viewed by a lot of boxing fans as being the best. Now the best are Spence, Thurman, Porter and to some extent Danny Garcia.
For Khan to prove the people wrong, he’s going to need to show them that he can beat the best. There are a lot of doubts whether Khan ever could beat the best in the 147lb division. He’s going to need to prove that he can hang with the top notch fighters. We’re going to find out in 2017 if he can. Facing Kell Brook this year would be a great end of the year fight for Khan. Even if things don’t’ work out right, Khan will get a lot of money for the fight.
Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz rematch put on hold
The WBA’s decision to order a fight between WBA Super World featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz and WBA World champion Abner Mares has spoiled the chances for a huge third fight between Carl Frampton and Santa Cruz. Mares won the WBA ‘regular’ featherweight title recently with a win over champion Jesus Cuellar. When that happened, it was only a matter of time before the World Boxing Association ordered Mares to face Santa Cruz, because the sanctioning body is reducing the amount of titles in each division. It doesn’t make sense for the WBA to have 2 champions at featherweight.
In the meantime, Frampton will need to stay busy while he waits for the smoke to clear from the Santa-Cruz vs. Mares II fight. Frampton can go after IBF champion Lee Selby. The won’t be as big as it would have been if he still had the WBA title in his possession, but it will still be a great fight.
“Since we’re both under the same management, I don’t think there will be any issue with it going to purse bid,” Mares said to ESPN.com. “It’s definitely the fight I’ve been wanting since my defeat. It was a really close fight, a great fight, and now, in a different moment in my career, it’s the perfect timing for a rematch. If this happens now, it will be a totally different Abner Mares with a different game plan to get the win this time.”