Tim Bradley: Crawford is BEGGING the PBC fighters to face him
By Chris Williams: An emotional Tim Bradley got on his soapbox last Saturday night to beseech the Premier Boxing Champions welterweights to cross to the other side of the pond to face WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford following his win over Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
Bradley argues that Crawford is “BEGGING” the PBC fighters to face him, and that he’s not going to stop begging. Tim says Crawford (37-0, 26 KOs) is the best welterweight in the world, and for that reason, he argues that the PBC fighters should want to face him.
Bradley didn’t say why Crawford was knocked down in the 2nd round by Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) or why he struggled so badly in the first half of the fight.
Crawford stopped Kavaliauskas in the 7th round last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. Although the fight was interesting to watch, one didn’t get the sense that Crawford is the #1 welterweight in the division. He looked good, but not on the same level as PBC welterweights Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.
Bradley DARES PBC fighters to face Terence Crawford
“All I want to say is this: The only real man over at PBC is Deontay Wilder. You want to know why? Because he’s going to be fighting Tyson Fury in February. You guys over there [at Premier Boxing Champions], and all the other welterweights over there, this man [Crawford] is BEGGING to fight you. And he’s going to continue to beg to fight you guys.
“You guys need to put your big boy pants on, and come over and make this fight with Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, because he’s the best welterweight in the world, period,” said an emotional Bradley.
The good news is the former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter is showing interest in fighting Crawford. But the bad news is Porter lost his last fight with Errol Spence, and he should have lost to Yordenis Ugas. Even if Porter does face Crawford, there’s not much gain for him if he beats him.
If Crawford elects to slug with Porter, he could be in for a long, painful night. Crawford doesn’t have an inside game. He’s good at fighting medium to long range, but that’s not how Porter will fight him. Of course, Crawford can get on his bike and run from Porter, but he’s not going to win any boxing fans that way.
It’s highly unlikely that Crawford will brawl with Porter the way he did against Kavaliauskas. Porter can actually fight, and he’s not going to let Crawford take the lead the way Kavaliauskas did all night.
Kavaliauskas showed a lot of heart against Crawford – Arum
“Let’s give this Lithunian kid all the credit,” said Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to Fighthype about Egidijus Kavaliauskas. “He fought his heart out, he wasn’t intimidated, but he was in with the best welterweight in the world. I think it was more intensity [on Crawford’s part] than anger.
“Shawn Porter said a really good thing,” said Arum. “He said, ‘It’s not for me, and it’s not for [Al] Haymon.’ He and Crawford will decide if they’ll fight each other, and if they do, the promoters will make the fight, and that’s the way it should be.
“The Lithuanian is a courageous guy, he’s a very good fighter, we always knew he was a good fighter, and it wasn’t an easy out,” said Arum about Kavaliauskas in talking about his effort against Crawford. “It wasn’t like a walkover guy gets hit with a punch and quits. The guy has a tremendous heart, he’s a terrific fighter, and Crawford was able to get him out of there. I mean, you’ve got to give Crawford credit for that.
“The kid [Kavaliauskas] said to me when I told him, ‘You fought a hell of a fight,’ ‘I fought against the best welterweight in the world.‘ That’s what he said,” said Arum.
It doesn’t mean anything that Kavaliauskas supposedly said that Crawford is the “best welterweight in the world.” The Lithuanian lacks the experience for him to say with any degree of certainty that Crawford is #1. In other words, Kavaliauskas is speculating based on guesswork rather than experience. As such, you have to take what Kavaliauskas says with a grain of salt. He’s one of the Top Rank fighters, so it’s not surprising that he’s talking up Crawford.
Arum: Crawford and Porter will decide if they want to fight
“The first thing, you’ve got to read what Shawn Porter said. Shawn Porter said, ‘It’s not for the promoters.’ If he and Crawford decide on fighting, then the promoters will follow the fighter’s wishes, and that’s where I stand,” said Arum in talking about his desire to make Crawford-Porter fight. “I’m not going to say that I’ve made a fight between Crawford and another fighter, and the other fighter hasn’t agreed.
“So let Crawford and Porter, who are very good friends and great fighters, let them talk, and if they want to fight each other, then I and Al [Haymon] will make the fight,” Arum continued. “He said, ‘No.’ Crawford said he wasn’t hurt [when he was dropped in the 3rd round by Kavaliauskas]. I mean, that’s what he said. I don’t [know]. That’s what he said, he wasn’t hurt. But I don’t know. You saw and I saw, it looked like it was a really good punch. Crawford said it didn’t hurt him,” said Arum.
Porter will make the decision whether he wants to face Crawford or not, but it’s still unlikely to happen. What works in Arum’s favor is Porter has already fought Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence. Those are some of the best of the PBC fighters.
Aside from Spence, it’s unlikely Porter will get rematches against Thurman and Garcia. Who knows how long it’ll take before Spence is able to return to the ring. Manny Pacquiao hasn’t expressed interest in fighting Porter, so he’s not an option. Although Porter is with PBC, he doesn’t have a lot of options for big fights anymore. Porter looked terrible against Ugas (30-3-1, 17 KOs) last March in winning a controversial split decision. Ugas walked Porter down all night long, getting the better of him on the inside and outside.
You can argue the only reason Porter looked good against Spence is because he fought his fight by battling him at close range all night. Porter still lost the fight, which proved that Spence is a better inside fighter than him. If Spence had fought Porter on the outside like he did Mikey Garcia, he would likely embarrassed him.
Porter is the most competitive with Crawford of all welterweights – Arum
“I look at all of the welterweights, and I think that Porter is the most competitive with Crawford,” said Arum. “The reason I say that, because I didn’t believe that before the Spence fight. But Porter, you know, he lost by a whisker. He and Spence that night were equal. So everybody said the Spence-Crawford fight would be a great fight. God knows if when or if it’ll ever happen. So Porter is the next best guy. He proved himself with Spence.
“I don’t think anybody can argue with that. What that fight goes, how it’s seen, and how it’s made, Al [Haymon] will have a say on it, I’ll have a say on it, and we’ll see where it belongs best. One thing we can say for sure about that fight is it won’t be on DAZN,” said Arum about the potential Porter vs. Crawford fight.
Arum is guessing in saying that Porter would be the most competitive with Crawford of the PBC fighters. Thurman, Pacquiao, Ugas and Danny Garcia would give Crawford issues.
It would be a good idea for Arum not to get his hopes too high for the Porter vs. Crawford fight. There’s a good chance that fight never happens. Haymon will have other options for Porter, so Crawford will need to go in another direction.