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Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter = 50-50 fight – says Tim Bradley

Shawn Porter Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: ESPN pundit Tim Bradley says Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter is a 50-50 fight for their November 20th headliner contest at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas.

Bradley feels that the former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) has the chin, fighting style, and the ring IQ to battle Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) on even terms.

It’s a BIG step up in class for the recently turned 34-year-old Crawford to be taking at this juncture in his 13-year professional career. Terence is no spring chicken to be fighting his first elite-level opponent, and his game isn’t suited to fighting a mauler like Porter.

The fighting style that Porter uses is similar to WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury. He mauls his opponents in close, taking away their ability to counter punch and move around.

With Crawford, his game is based on counter punching and switch-hitting, neither of which will be effective for him if he’s being mauled in close by Porter.

Counter-punchers and switch hitters need space to use those tactics. When they’re crowded, they can’t use any of those gimmicks and become fish out of water.

Crawford vs. Porter = 50-50 fight

“Listen, man, when you’re fighting with a guy like Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, bro, there’s not one thing you can say how you get over the hump,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype when asked what Porter can do differently to beat Crawford.

Shawn Porter Terence Crawford

“I think Shawn Porter mentally is one of the toughest guys,” Bradley continued. “I mean, his mentality, I love it. It reminds me of mine. He just wants to fight the best in the world, so I respect that, and I respect him.

“Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, he gets a chance to show that he’s special, truly, truly special. Shawn Porter is giving everybody in the division hell,  everybody. He lost by a split decision close when he fought against Errol Spence.

“So this is the measuring stick that I think Crawford needs. We need to see what he can do against a guy like Shawn Porter, but I like the fight a lot. I think it’s a 50-50 fight.

Yeah, damn right, it’s a 50-50 fight. People are saying that it’s ’60-40,’ this that, ‘Crawford is going to win easy.’ Are you crazy? This is Shawn Porter that we’re talking about.

“We’re talking about a guy with a granite chin, a guy that is cerebral, a guy that knows how to think inside the ring. He can change rhythms off and on. Terence Crawford is a rhythm type of fighter,” said Bradley.

Porter to take away Crawford’s best asset

It may upset some of the Crawford loyalists to hear Bradley tell it like it is by saying this is a 50-50 fight on November 20th, but he’s giving it to you straight.

Counter-punchers like Crawford need room to use their skills, and you force them to battle in close against an inside smothered like Porter, it’s a crap-shoot.

There are no certainties when you take an aging counter puncher like Crawford out of his element, force him to fight on the inside against his first-ever elite-level opponent.

Terence’s best opponents to date:

  • Kell Brook
  • Amir Khan
  • Jeff Horn
  • Yuriorkis Gamboa
  • Jose  Benavidez Jr
  • Egidijus Kavaliauskas
  • Ricky Burns
  • Thomas Dulorme
  • Viktor Postol

It would be best if you commended Top Rank for their skillfully matching Crawford against beatable opposition during his entire career. Without them, Crawford likely would have been beaten many times over by now.

The reality is, you could take ten of the best welterweights in the division and feed them the same fighters that Crawford has fought, and they would have an identical 37-0 record.

For example, if Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz Jr. fought every one of Crawford’s 37 opponents, they would be 37-0, but likely with more knockouts.

It’s fair to say that Ennis and Ortiz Jr. would have a 37-0 record with close to 35 knockouts, if not 37 KOs, and I think they would both have 37 KOs if they fought the same badly flawed opposition Crawford has competed against.

When you get promoters focused on building up a fluff record for their fighters, you get the kind of match-making that we’ve seen with Crawford.

That’s why it’s difficult for guys like Bradley to make an accurate prediction on the Crawford vs. Porter fight.

If Crawford had already cut his teeth on elite-level opposition a decade ago, we’d know by now if he had the goods to beat Porter. Since he’s not, all we can do is guess.

Crawford has “craziest reaction time”

“Once he [Crawford] gets going, he starts tapping on you, tapping on you and tapping on you. It’s similar to Emanuel Navarrete,” said Bradley.

“Once he [Crawford] starts tapping on you and gets his jab going, then the combinations are flying, and I understand that.

“So, Shawn Porter, the fact that he knows how to change the rhythm, he knows how to make adjustments inside the ring. He can box you at times, and he can swarm you at times.

“Maybe one of the areas he needs to be careful with is with his lunging,” said Bradley about Porter’s habit of lunching.

Terence Crawford has the craziest reaction time when it comes to intercepting offense that’s coming his way. Bro, I’m telling you. His timing, his combinations are vicious, they’re accurate, they’re pinpoint.

“We saw it in the last fight with [Kell] Brook,” Bradley said of Crawford. “I saw the adjustment he made, and it was over.

“Many people think that he stops Shawn Porter. I want to see that. I want to see that. And I don’t know. Shawn Porter is a different beast,” said Bradley.

It’s easy for Bradley, boxing fans are pundits to praise Crawford for his reaction time, but you also have to look closely at his opposition. Crawford hasn’t precisely been fighting the cream of the crop during his 13-year professional career.

Terence hasn’t fought the best

When Crawford was fighting at 135 and 140, he was arguably a weight bully in those two divisions, and he always had the size advantage over his smaller opposition.

Since Crawford moved up to 147, he’s faced weak or shot fighters like Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez Jr., and Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

It’s easy to look good when you’re fighting that type of opposition, and that’s something that fans, the media, and Bradley are failing to see.

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