By Chris Williams: Ray Robinson says Terence Crawford isn’t the avoided fighter that many people think he is, and he’s proof of that because he’s ready to face him and he doesn’t want that smoke.
Crawford, 32, has been inactive for the entire year, and it’s questionable whether he’ll fight at all in 2020.
Robinson feels that WBO welterweight champion Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) is just interested in “easy fights” being given to him by his promoters at Top Rank, and the paydays he gets for this mismatches.
Shawn Porter and Yordenis Ugas both were hoping to get a fight against Crawford in 2020, but neither of them has been mentioned as possible options for him.
Instead, Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum keeps banging the drum about Manny Pacquiao being his possible opponent. But Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions, said last week when asked about the status of negotiations between Pacquiao and Crawford, “That’s news to me.” In other words, ‘What negotiations?’
Does Crawford only want easy fights?
If this theory of Robinson’s is correct, it might explain why Crawford has cruised through the first 12 years of his career without fighting any elite fighters other than an over-the-hill Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014.
Also, it would help explain why Crawford re-upped with Top Rank after his contract expired with them rather than moving on to another promotional company. A lot of promoters would expect Crawford to be willing to face the best.
I mean, they wouldn’t sign Crawford for a top dollar to continue the path that Top Rank has put the Nebraska native on by matching him against fringe level fighters like Amir Khan, Jose Benavidez and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. Any promoter that signed Crawford would expect him to be open to fighting the talented opponents at 147 and 140.
#14 WBC Robinson (24-3-2, 12 KOs) beat Crawford in the amateurs in 2005 at the United States National Championships in Colorado Springs, USA. Crawford never avenged that loss and Robinson wants to give him another defeat.
Last year in March, Robinson fought to a controversial 10 round draw against Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
Most boxing fans had Robinson winning comfortably, but the judges scored it a draw. Was it because Kavaliauskas is a two-time Olympian and was expected to win? Who knows? All we know is Robinson was all over Kavaliauskas, and dominated the action, especially when the Lithuanian fighter gassed in the second half.
Robinson is tired of Crawford’s act
“It’s Crawford. He’s comfortable sitting behind his unbeaten record and Top Rank paychecks without having to fight fierce competition,” said Ray Robinson to RingTV in explaining why Terence has no interest in fighting him.
‘That’s why you don’t really see him making an effort to get those big fights he says he really wants. He wants easy fights and I ain’t no easy fight.“I’m getting tired of Bud acting like he’s the most avoided fighter in the world,” said Robinson in trashing Crawford.
Well, there it is. Robinson is outing Crawford for avoiding the best and just looking for easy paydays. I’m sure Crawford will have something to say for why he chose to take on the limited fighter Kavaliauskas rather than his former conqueror Robinson.
According to Robinson, he says Crawford will talk about his four losses on his resume, but he didn’t lose to him. Robinson BEAT Crawford in 2005, and he still to this day hasn’t avenged the loss.
In Robinson’s last two fights, he’s fought to controversial 10-round draws against Josh Kelly and Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who some boxing fans have nicknamed ‘The WIFI Password.” In both of those fights, Robinson did more than enough to deserve a victory, but he found himself on the receiving end up of highly questionable draws.
Robinson was the B-side in those fights, which may or may not have played a factor in him failing to get the victory.
Robinson bitter about being passed over
You can understand why Robinson is still a little bitter about watching Kavaliauskas get the fight against Crawford last December at Madison Square Garden in New York rather than him. Kavaliauskas was coming off the draw with Robinson. Regrettably, that had to be one of the worst ways for a challenger to be given a title shot.
You neer like to see a challenger coming off of a controversial decision right before they fight for a title. The fact that Kavaliauskas was STILL chosen by Top Rank for Crawford to fight suggests that they didn’t want to risk seeing their champion lose by him facing Robinson, who is a lousy style match-up for him.
“He complains all the time about guys not wanting to fight him and this and that. Now we’re seeing guys call him out and that’s his response?” said Robinson. Tell puppet master Bob Arum to send the contract.”
Crawford’s Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has done an admirable job of building him up with his skillful match-making. Thanks to Arum’s match-aking, Crawford is ranked high in the pound-for-pound lists, and many boxing fans and members of the media rate him #1 at 147.
Crawford has all that even though the best welterweight he’s faced during his career is arguably Amir Khan, and the best opponent is little 5’5″ Gamboa.
Is Terence’s resume inflated?
If you look in the history of the sport, it was a common practice for promoters to match their fighters against fluff opposition to build up their records to make them look invincible.
Some boxing fans would argue that Crawford is the textbook example of a fighter with an inflated record filled with fluff opposition like Khan, John Molina, Jeff Horn, and Benavidez.
Unfortunately, when the fighter would eventually face someone with talent, they would be destroyed. Is this the situation with Crawford? It wouldn’t be surprising at all.
A lot of boxing fans wonder why Crawford choose to re-sign with Top Rank recently. He’d been grumbling about how the Premier Boxing Champions fighters didn’t want to fight him, but when he finally had a chance to leave Top Rank, he chose to re-up for another tour. What does that mean?
Does Crawford want to fight the best, or is he using his current situation as a foxhole to hideout from the talents like Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Ray Robinson, and Yordenis Ugas?
It’s unclear how many years Crawford re-upped with Top Rank for, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it were a longterm contract. If that’s the case, Crawford could be old by the time it expires. As we’ve seen, he’d likely re-sign with Top Rank once again when his current contract expires.