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Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz – Official weights

By Chris Williams: WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) weighed in on Friday at 139.2 pounds for his title defense against what could be the toughest opponent of his career in Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) for their fight this Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Diaz weighed in at 139.4 pounds. Both fighters looked good as always. Crawford-Diaz will be televised on HBO World Championship Boxing.

Crawford, 29, says he wants to make a statement in this fight against Diaz, which obviously means he’s hoping to knockout the 33-year-old 2008 Olympic gold medalist. That would be the ideal outcome for Crawford in this fight. But if Crawford doesn’t knockout Diaz, he could wind up being made to look really bad against him. Diaz is tough and he puts a lot of pressure on his opponents.

Crawford needs to look good in this fight because he did not look good in running around the ring in his last two fights against John Molina Jr. and Viktor Postol Jr. Crawford needs to showcase his boxing skills and that means not running. Crawford can do whatever he wants. It’s his career. But if he wants to become a star, then he’s going to need to stand his ground and show that he can beat Diaz by staying in the pocket.

We didn’t see that from Crawford in his fights against Molina and Postol. Crawford ran a lot in this fights and it was boring to watch. I don’t know if Crawford realizes how a lot of boxing fans perceive him. If Crawford did know, he’d be trying to mix it up more to make his fights exciting to watch.

This should be a better fight than Crawford’s last 6 fights. Those were all boring and one-sided fights, especially the Crawford-Molina Jr. fight. Crawford was on his bike for most of that contest until the 8th. Crawford’s last compelling fight was 3 years ago against Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa in June 2014. The only reason that was an exciting fight was because Gamboa took the fight to Crawford, forcing him to trade shots with him. Crawford struggled against Gamboa. If not for Gamboa’s fragile chin, we might have seen a negative outcome for Crawford.

”I just have to keep winning,” said Crawford. ”If I keep winning then the opportunities for even bigger fights will present themselves. But this is a really big fight to me. Diaz is a worthy challenger and you can’t bring just any fight to The Garden. I didn’t get this far without winning. I ‘m ready for any opportunities at 140 or 147 pounds. I want to put a show on for everyone on Saturday night. I WILL make a statement.”

If Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank would be willing to match him against one of the top welterweights like Errol Spence Jr., they might have a taker. When Crawford brings up 147, he obviously is referring to a fight against Manny Pacquiao, which he’s been interested in for a long time. Top Rank boss Bob Arum would like to make the Pacquiao-Crawford fight.

I just don’t know if that’s Pacquiao’s idea of a big fight. You have to look at it from Pacquiao’s perspective. If he’s going to take a risky fight that he has a chance of losing, he would be better off fighting someone that would bring in PPV buys by attracting interest from the boxing public. Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman would likely do well on PPV. Pacquiao vs. Crawford would probably not do well. In fact, it might be a worse off fight for Pacquiao than his recent PPV fight against Jessie Vargas, which brought in just 300, 000 buys.

Crawford’s only PPV fight was against Viktor Postol last year, and that brought in just 50,000 buys. If Pacquiao is going to fight someone risky, he’s better off fighting someone that he can make money fighting. Crawford is a bad match-up for someone like Pacquiao because he stays in the pocket. Crawford moves a lot around the ring. When his opponents do trap him, Crawford will tie them up to keep them from getting their shots off. Watch Crawford’s fights against Ray Beltran and Ricky Burns. Crawford did a lot of holding in both of those fights.

In other weights on the card, lightweight Ray Beltran weighed in at 134.6 pounds for his fight against Jonathan Maicelo. For his part, Maicelo weighed in at 134.8 pounds. Beltran needs to keep winning for him to get a title shot.

Unbeaten featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson (1-0) weighed in at 124.6 lbs. for his 6 round fight against Carlos Suarez (6-3-2, 1 KOs). The Argentinean Suarez weighed in at 124.2 pounds. Stevenson, 19, competed in the 2016 Olympics for the U.S, where he captured a silver medal after losing to the Cuban fighter Roeisy Ramirez in the finals. Stevenson fought Ramirez tough in that fight, but he clearly lost.

Stevenson is now with Top Rank. It should be interesting to see if Stevenson’s career goes anywhere or if he ends up mainly fighting guys from the Top Rank stable. Hopefully, Top Rank matches Stevenson against quality fighters outside of the promotional company because it would be limiting if he winds up mainly fighting in house fights his entire career. It’s still too early to know if Stevenson will become a star or not.

Unbeaten #5 IBF, #6 WBO, #8 WBC welterweight contender Konstantin Ponomarev (31-0, 13 KOs) weighed in at 149.6 pounds for an 8 round fight against journeyman Ed Paredes (38-6-1, 25 KOs). The hard hitting 32-year-old Paredes weighed in at 150.2 lbs. The 5’10” Russian Ponomarev has wins over the likes of Brad Solomon, Mikael Zewski, Cosme Rivera and Steve Clagget.

There was talk last year of Ponomarev potentially facing Errol Spence Jr. in an International Boxing Federation welterweight title eliminator. It’s good thing that Top Rank didn’t put Ponomarev in that fight against Spence because he likely would have been knocked out by him.

Other weights on Saturday’s Crawford vs. Diaz card:

Teofimo Lopez 134.8 vs. Ronald Rivas 135.4

Tong Hui Li 153.8 vs. Daniel Calzada 154.2

Fazliddin Gaibnazarov 138 vs. Agustine Mauras 135.8

Steve Nelson 174.2 vs. Gilberto Rubio 173

Henry Lebron 130.2 vs. Johnny Estrada 131

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