Keith Thurman says Terence Crawford isn’t a threat
By Chris Williams: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) doesn’t rate WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) as a real threat to beating him.
Like a lot of boxing fans, Thurman sees Crawford as having been matched weakly, and not against the best since he moved up to 147. In Crawford’s last fight, he struggled to stop bottom #14 WBO fringe contender Jose Benavidez Jr. last month on October 13 in Omaha, Nebraska. Although Crawford was able to stop Benavidez in the 12th, he had problems throughout the fight. It wasn’t until Benavidez started having leg problems that Crawford was able to take over the fight. The performance from Crawford showed a lot of boxing fans that he’s not in the same league as guys like Spence, Shawn Porter and Thurman.
Thurman says Crawford, 31, hasn’t fought anyone as good as Amir Khan even. Thurman notes that Crawford’s best opponent since he moved up to welterweight is former WBO 147 lb champion Jeff Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs),
“I like Terence Crawford. I don’t see him as a threat,” Thurman said via Michael Benson. “Jeff Horn? Amir Khan could beat that [guy].”
The problem that Crawford has is he’s not the same fighter that he once was after moving up from 147. At 140, Crawford dominated the guys that he was matched against, but he wasn’t put in with any of the dangerous fighters in that division. Crawford never fought Regis Prograis, Josh Taylor, Ivan Baranchyk, Anthony Yigit, Alex Saucedo, Maurice Hooker, Kiryl Relikh and Jose Ramirez. Could Crawford have beaten some of those guys? Without a doubt. It’s very unlikely that Crawford would beat all of those fighters, especially Prograis, Taylor, Ramirez, Baranchyk and Saucedo. Those guys hit hard and would be applying nonstop pressure on Crawford. If there’s a weakness in Crawford’s game, it’s his ability to handle pressure. He doesn’t like being pressured. Crawford was a good fighter at light welterweight, but he’s not shown the same ability to dominate his opposition since he moved up to welterweight.
“Crawford is a great fighter… his opponents are just not up to par. He hasn’t even fought a fighter as good as Amir Khan in my book,” Thurman said.
Boxing fans would likely agree with Thurman that Khan is better than anyone that Crawford has fought at 147. Crawford has only fought twice at welterweight, beating Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez. Horn’s claim to fame was beating 39-year-old Manny Pacquiao by a controversial 12 round decision in 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. Horn roughed Pacquiao up for 12 rounds, and got away with a massive amount of fouling without being penalized by the referee. Horn was seen as the beneficiary of a hometown division in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. In Crawford’s fight with Benavidez last October, he was ahead on the scorecards by the scores 110-99, 107-102 and 108-101. Those are close scores for a champion that is facing a fringe contender that was selected from the near bottom of the WBO’s top 15 rankings.
Crawford is rumored to be fighting Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Mike Alvarado in 2019. If that’s to be the case, Crawford won’t have much to show for himself next year. Crawford will be turning 32-years-old in 2019, and he’s clearly running out of time to get the big fights that would turn him into a PPV attraction. Crawford needs guys like Mikey Garcia, Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter, Khan and Danny Garcia. The fact that none of them are bringing up Crawford’ name as a potential future opponent is a bad sign. It suggests that none of them will bother facing him.
Thurman fights Josesito Lopez on January 26 on Fox.