Terence Crawford lists 4 guys he’d rather face than BROOK
By Kenneth Friedman: Terence Crawford isn’t too motivated about fighting former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. Crawford says he’ll take the fight with Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) if it’s the only one available to him, but he’d much rather fight one of these welterweights:
- Errol Spence Jr.
- Keith Thurman
- Manny Pacquiao
- Danny Garcia
Missing from that list of fighters is former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter, who has repeatedly called out Crawford in the last few months.
Crawford will fight Brook if no one available
“I saw him at the Wilder-Fury fight, and I saw him in New York at the Shakur Stevenson fight,” said Crawford to IFL TV on Kell Brook. “I just told him that he knows I’m going to f*** him up if we ever fight. He’s interested in the fight, and Bob Arum is interested in the contest.
“If we can’t get none of the other top welterweights in the division and if that’s the fight we have to take, then that’s the fight we have to take,” Crawford said of Brook. “As far as me going over there [to the UK], I’ll make him come over here, being that I’m the champion. He got to go over here.
“I’ll give you four,” said Crawford when asked to give two opponents that he’d RATHER fight than Brook. “I’ll give you Pacquiao, Errol Spence, Danny Garcia, and Keith Thurman.
“Don’t nobody know [when boxing will return]. It’s on a standstill. The date is up in the air. Nobody knows when this is going to be in control,” said Crawford. “We’re all waiting for the government to say when and where it’s time for us to go back to the regular day to day life that we’ve been accustomed to living,” said Crawford.
Talking down the Brook fight isn’t a wise thing for Crawford to do because that’s very likely going to be his next match-up when he returns to the ring. Brook is a real threat to him, and this will be an exciting fight for the boxing world.
Talking about Spence not interesting
“Yeah, I don’t even want to entertain that fight anymore for the purposes of when he’s coming back,” said Crawford when asked if he gets tired of people asking him about Errol Spence. “A lot of people blame me for the fight, not getting made when I have no control for getting the fight made.
“I want all the fights that the fans want to see, but it’s not in my power or in my hands to make those happen,” said Crawford. “So the only thing I can do is fight the fighters, and by me doing that, I get a lot of negativity and backlash on the opponents I’m fighting. People then say, ‘Oh, he’s not fighting nobody’ or ‘He’s fighting this guy or that guy.’ But at the same time, nobody talks about the fighters that other fighters fight.
“That just shows the caliber of a fighter that I am to make a good fighter look average, and for the media and the people to downgrade the fighters that I fight because I’m that good,” Crawford said about the guys he’s been facing.
“Maybe we will maybe we won’t,” said Crawford about the Spence clash.
It’s pointless right now for Crawford to speak of fighting Errol Spence. That fight may not happen for a long time, given the current world status. Spence’s handlers have a lot of fighters that they want to match him up against from the Premier Boxing Champions stable. They don’t need Crawford yet, and maybe they never will.
Crawford wants to fight all the champions at 147
“I always said pound-for-pound is an opinion,” said Crawford. “Everybody has got a view on who they think is the best fighter in the world. For me, a pound-for-pound fighter is not only the #1 fighter in his weight class, but when he goes up to a newer weight class, he challenges the best opponents in that weight class.
“So if I were at 130, I would want to go fight the best guy at 135. If I were the best guy at 135, I would want to move up and fight the best guy at 140. It’s kind of like when I was at 135, I jumped up and went right into a title fight, and then became undisputed.
“When I became undisputed, I said, ‘Okay, I want to go up to 147, and I want to fight Errol Spence and all those champions.’ I didn’t even fight yet. They all – Keith Thurman, Errol Spence, Jeff Horn, and Danny Garcia – said, ‘He [Crawford] has got to have a fight in the welterweight division, and he got to get a belt.’ This was all the talk. ‘When he hasn’t even fought in the welterweight division, how can he be ranked in the welterweight division? He doesn’t even have a belt. When he gets a belt, then let’s talk.’
These are the champions at 147:
- Manny Pacquiao – WBA
- Errol Spence Jr – IBF/WBC
- Vergil Ortiz Jr. – WBA Gold
Pacquiao is 41, and he’s only got a handful of fights left in him before he retires from boxing. Crawford probably won’t be one of the last few remaining matches for the Filipino star. Ortiz Jr. is still very young at 22, and he doesn’t hold a significant belt yet.
Terence has proven himself at 147
“My first fight at 147 was for a legitimate belt [WBO]. It was not an interim belt, and it was against a champion that beat a champion [Manny Pacquiao by a controversial decision], and that was Jeff Horn. When I beat Jeff Horn, I was a legitimate champion. Now I want to fight all the other champions,” Crawford said.
It’s not looking for Crawford in terms of him getting a unification fight against the other welterweight champions. The only fighter among the current champions at 147 that Crawford has a chance of facing if IBF/WBC champ Errol Spence Jr., but he still hasn’t come back from his car crash from last year.
If Spence is no longer the fighter he was, Crawford could lose out on the only champion at welterweight that is willing to fight him. Crawford can still have a good career fighting the guys that his promoter Bob Arum can round-up for him, but it’s not promising as far as him getting a unification match.
Crawford is a counter-puncher, he switches stances often, and he’s capable of moving to avoid pressure. When you look at all the things going against him, it’s no wonder why Crawford is facing roadblocks.
Those things aren’t going to go away. That’s why Crawford should practice what he preaches about moving up a weight division and taking on the best.
Dealing with roadblocks
“As you can see, there’s been a roadblock,” said Crawford on the obstacles he’s facing trying to get fights against the other champions at 147. “Everybody is coming up with excuses now. ‘Oh, he’s [Crawford] on the wrong side of the road. Ah, this and all that.’ It’s a whole bunch of excuses.
“So, I understand why they wouldn’t want to get inside the ring with me. It’s a high risk. I wouldn’t say it’s a low reward because I’m one of the best fighters in the world. When you fight Terence Crawford, you’re going to get paid, but at the same time, they’ll be risking an ‘L’ on their record that they don’t want at that time.
“That’s a pound-for-pound fighter in my eyes. Someone that goes up to a newer division, and not looking for a lesser challenge. They’re looking for the biggest and baddest challenge they can. Ultimately, when they win those fights, then they become a pound-for-pound fighter. That’s why I always say a heavyweight cannot become a pound-for-pound fighter because he’s only fought in one division.
“Now if a heavyweight was to win the heavyweight division and then came down in weight and won a belt in the weight below heavyweight, then you can arguably say he’s pound-for-pound. But pound-for-pound, if you put me in any weight class with my skills and my attributes right now, you can arguably say, ‘He would be a champion in this weight class, and he would be a champion in that weight class.’ That’s how I look at it,” said Crawford.
The roadblocks that Crawford is confronting by the other top welterweights in the division could be a permanent thing. Crawford fights on a rival network [ESPN] than those top 147-pounders, and he’s with a different promoter [Top Rank].
Validation not important for Crawford
“Once you keep winning, everything is going to fall into place,” said Crawford. “They’re going to rate you, and they’re going to say if you’re a good fighter or a great fighter. My focus isn’t ‘Oh, am I the pound-for-pound fighter?’ I know what I’m capable of, and I know what I’m capable of deep down in my heart and soul.
“So I don’t need someone else that’s on the outside that really don’t care. I know who I am. So I don’t need someone else to say, ‘Terence, you’re great.’ I know I’m great.
“If people tell me I’m great, it’s a blessing for people to acknowledge it, but at the same time, if you don’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t hurt me because I know I’m great on the inside. So I know I’m great. You don’t have to tell me I’m great, you know? That’s me,” said Crawford.
Being acknowledged by the boxing public is essential, whether Crawford thinks so or not. If they’re not giving Crawford praise, it suggests that they don’t view him as one of the best fighters.
There are things that Crawford could do to get the fans talking about him more, such as putting more effort into his social media presence and giving interviews. Crawford might need to consider hiring a public relations person to help him build his image more, considering he’s trailing younger fighters like Ryan Garcia, who seems to have a knack for getting attention.
Garcia hasn’t won a world title, and yet he’s arguably talked about more than Crawford. That’s due to Ryan’s social media presence, and the things he says during interviews.
Fighting Conor McGregor interests Bud
“He never came to me about that,” said Crawford about his promoter Bob Arum talking up a fight between him and UFC star Conor McGregor. “My thing was, a lot of people came up to me and asked me if I’d ever do it, and my answer was, ‘Yes, if the money is right.’ Me as a fighter, I’m always looking for a challenge.
“I’m so competitive in everything that I do,” said Crawford. “If someone was to challenge me and everything was set-up financially-wise, and on even terms, then we’ve got a fight. It’s no ifs, and buts about it. It’s kind of like when somebody challenges you, and you know that kid can fight, you say, ‘I don’t want to fight him because he’s a wrestler.’
“I’m going to jump out there and bust him in his mouth. I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, no, I don’t don’t want to fight you because you know something I don’t know.’ No, we’re going to fight, and we’re going to see who’s going to win. So when things like that come to fruition and it gets talked about, ‘Would you do this?’ Yeah, I’d do it.
“He came over into a boxing ring and fought Mayweather and got whipped. Everybody didn’t expect him to do that. Nobody expects me to go into the octagon,” Crawford said.
The fighters from the boxing world that McGregor is interested in facing are Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Crawford isn’t even in the running for a fight with McGregor. That’s why Arum shouldn’t continue bringing up McGregor’s name because he’s getting the fans’ hopes up for nothing.
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