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Arum: Terence Crawford is equal to or BETTER than Sugar Ray Leonard

Sugar Ray Leonard Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: Terence Crawford is failing to live up to the high standards that were set ahead of him by boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard. The former three-division world champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) isn’t taking the same risks that Leonard did during his career, which saw him win world titles as high at 175.

Given the fact that Crawford hasn’t shown the slightest amount of interest in moving up to 154, 160, 168 or 175, it doesn’t look like he’s going to accomplish the things Leonard did.

Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum has compared him to the former five-division world champion Sugar Ray (36-3-1, 25 KOs) in the past, and has gone so far as to say he would give him an edge over the great had he fought during his era.  Arum says Crawford is equal to or better than Sugar Ray.

By the time Leonard was the same age as the 33-year-old Crawford, he’d already beaten these sensational fighters:

  • Marvin Hagler
  • Roberto Duran
  • Tommy Hearns
  • Wilfred Benitez

In contrast, Crawford’s best wins of his 12-year pro career at the same stage Leonard was at are the following:

  • Amir Khan
  • Jeff Horn
  • Ricky Burns
  • Egidijus Kavaliauskas
  • Yuriorkis Gamboa

As you can see, Crawford’s thin resume doesn’t compare with Leonard, and nor has he taken the same risks as him in moving up to 154, 160, 168, and 175.

Arum: Crawford is BETTER Than Leonard

“He reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard, and that to me is a great compliment because I always thought Leonard was the best,” said Arum about Crawford. “And this guy is equal or better than Ray was.

“Terence is certainly the best welterweight I’ve seen since Sugar Ray Leonard. I would make him comparable or a slight favorite over Ray if he fought Sugar Ray back in the day, who was a great welterweight. He’s of that caliber. I really believe that Terence matches up with the ability of Sugar Ray Leonard,” said Arum.

It’s one thing for Arum to say that Crawford is as good or better than Leonard, but it’s another thing for him to prove it. Arum can’t show that Crawford is a better fighter than Leonard by picking over his resume to argue that he took more chances and fought better opposition.

When you look at Crawford’s resume, it’s clear that the best guy he’s fought in the pro ranks was little 5’5″ Gamboa in 2014. Crawford had a tremendous size advantage over Gamboa, and yet he still struggled to beat him. Gamboa had Crawford stunned at one point in their fight.

For Crawford to accomplish the same things Leonard did during his career, he would need to take enormous risks. For example, Leonard took on the very best fighters in the welterweight division in Tommy Hearns and Wilfred Benitez. We haven’t seen Crawford fight even the fourth bet fighter at 147. Crawford’s wins at welterweight have come against these fighters:

  • Jose Benavidez, Jr.
  • Jeff Horn
  • Amir Khan
  • Egidijus Kavaliauskas

To say that Crawford is lagging far behind Leonard at the same stage in his career is putting it lightly. Crawford didn’t fight the best at 140, and the same applies at 147. Although Crawford unified the light welterweight division, he fled the division when the talented guys like Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, and Jose Ramirez emerged.

Crawford also reminds Arum of Donald Curry

“The fighter he reminds me the most of is Donald Curry,” Arum said. “Whenever I see Crawford fight, I always think back to Donald Curry.”

This is another comparison by Arum that doesn’t make any sense. Donald Curry was a massive puncher and not a slickster like Crawford. Curry didn’t bother changing stances frequently during his fights, and he didn’t run around the ring either the way Crawford does. Curry would roll over his opposition during his prime years at 147, and he wasn’t someone that looked to throw counter shots like Crawford.


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