Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) is fresh to the welterweight division but he already has his sights set on accomplishing the exact same thing that he did at junior welterweight: joining the entire world titles.
The guy they call”Bud” currently has one of his own, a WBO world title he earned by choosing aside Jeff Horn in June in his first bout in 147 pounds. He’ll shield it on Saturday night against Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0, 18 KOs), an undefeated 26-year-old just two years removed from a shooting that almost ended his career.
As tough as Benavidez may be, he is not exactly what Crawford wants. Crawford is 31 years old and just now entering boxing’s most gifted branch. He is one of those sports best talents but is far from a household name. He is looking for greater glory, quickly. That might also mean passing up Manny Pacquiao, the WBA”regular” champion.
“He’s not a champion in my mind,” Crawford said, per BoxingScene.com’s Keith Idec. “He do not possess the superb belt. That’s the champion in my eyes. I look at the number one champion in the branch. I really don’t look at the WBC silver and also the interim belts and all that. I look at the super [winner ] and the actual champion of the division.”
That would mean that the likes of Keith Thurman, the WBA”super” winner that has been inactive because of injury. Or better yet, Errol Spence Jr. (IBF), with whom Crawford has been trading insults with for weeks. Perhaps even Shawn Porter (WBC) may be in the mixture.
Crawford needs one of these fights to occur –the earlier the better because of his career and heritage. But first up is still another evaluation fight, which Crawford always seems to ace.
Crawford vs. Benavidez Jr.. Fight Information
When: Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: CHI Health Center at Omaha, Nebraska
TV: ESPN and ESPN Deportes
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Opportunities: Crawford -3500 (wager $3,500 to win $100), Benavidez Jr. +1200 (bet $100 to win $1,200)
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com and updated as of Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 a.m. ET.
As starving as Benavidez could be, he is likely to be hard pressed to beat Crawford, who’s an overwhelming favourite going into Saturday’s bout. Crawford can switch stances. He strikes with precision, power and speed. Most opponents find him difficult to strike, even as Crawford openly taunts them from the ring.
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