Thursday, April 18

The Rise & Redemption Of Boxer Terence Crawford, Explained

In the sprawling tapestry of boxing, Terence “Bud” Crawford stands as a colossus, a modern-day pugilistic gladiator with a story that transcends the confines of the ring. From the sunbaked streets of North Omaha to the glittering lights of championship arenas, Crawford’s narrative is a rich tapestry of struggle, triumph, and redemption.


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The Early Years

The diamond in the rough that is Terence “Bud” Crawford emerged from the heartland of Nebraska. Born on September 28, 1987, in the city of Omaha, Crawford’s introduction to boxing was a baptism by fire in the crucible of urban challenges. It’s in these early days that the essence of his fighting spirit was forged, setting the stage for a remarkable journey.

His boxing journey began at just seven years old, and throughout his amateur career:

  • He competed in 70 official bouts and only suffered 12 losses.
  • He emerged victorious against future world champions Mikey Garcia and Danny García.
  • In preparation for the 2008 Olympics, he won three amateur tournaments and secured the title of the highest-ranked lightweight in the US. Unfortunately, his hopes for Olympic success were dashed by a defeat against leading contender Sadam Ali.
  • He achieved gold medal status at the 2006 National PAL Championships, the 2006 Blue & Gold National Championships, and the 2007 U.S. Pan American Games Box-Offs.

Turning Pro

March 2008 marked the genesis of Crawford’s professional journey. A journey characterized by a meteoric rise through the ranks, leaving a trail of defeated opponents in his wake. His transition from amateur prodigy to professional powerhouse was seamless, as he showcased an innate understandng of the sweet science that belied his years.

Lightweight

Crawford’s ascent to boxing greatness was marked by a series of pivotal victories that showcased his exceptional skill and determination. It all began with a unanimous win against Breidis Prescott, a moment that hinted at the greatness to come. Subsequently, in an eliminator match against Alejandro Sanabria, Crawford’s technical knockout victory not only affirmed his status as a top contender for the lightweight title but also set the stage for a remarkable journey.

The momentum continued as Crawford faced Andrey Klimov in a highly anticipated showdown, dominating the fight and earning himself a shot at the WBO championship. Stepping onto the global stage, Crawford demonstrated his prowess by defeating Ricky Burns in Scotland and claiming the WBO lightweight title with a strategic and unanimous decision victory.

The narrative of Crawford’s excellence reached new heights when he faced Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa, showcasing his dominance with multiple knockdowns and a secured TKO victory. In his second title defense, Crawford faced Ray Beltrán, putting the Ring lightweight championship on the line and once again emerging victorious in front of his hometown crowd.

These triumphs not only established Crawford as a force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division but also solidified his place among the boxing elite. His journey to the top of the lightweight division is one filled with impressive victories and undeniable talent.

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Light Welterweight

Crawford’s ascendancy continued as he conquered the light welterweight division. This crowning achievement came when he became the undisputed champion, holding all four major titles concurrently. It all began when he faced Thomas Dulorme in a challenge for the vacant WBO title. The match was a defining moment for Crawford as he showcased his dominance by knocking Dulorme down three times in the sixth round, securing a TKO victory and claiming the WBO title.

With the taste of success fresh on his gloves, Crawford stepped into the ring to defend his newly won belt for the first time against Dierry Jean. In a display of skill and power, Crawford delivered a knockout blow in the tenth round, solidifying his status as a formidable champion.

Fueling the fire of Crawford’s ambition was Hank Lundy’s bold prediction of a knockout win, which piqued Crawford’s interest. Responding to the challenge, Crawford defended his light welterweight title against Lundy and lived up to the hype with a fifth-round TKO. Post-fight, Crawford took to social media to address the feud with Lundy, expressing his satisfaction with the outcome.

His journey of challenges and triumphs continued with the highly anticipated light welterweight unification fight against WBC champion Viktor Postol on July 23, 2016. Both fighters entered the ring with matching records of 28 wins and no losses, but Crawford emerged victorious unanimously, further solidifying his dominance in the division. Crawford’s resilience and versatility were further highlighted in subsequent fights, including a surprise bout against John Molina Jr. Despite Molina missing the weight limit, the fight proceeded, and Crawford secured a decisive victory in the eighth round. This momentum continued with a successful defense against Diaz and a unification bout against Julian Indongo, where Crawford’s powerful left sent his opponent to the canvas after just 1 minute and 38 seconds, resulting in a unanimous victory and the unification of titles on July 1, 2017.

Welterweight

On October 26, 2017, Crawford made an exciting decision to give up his WBO title and jump into the welterweight division. The WBO wasted no time in declaring Crawford as the mandatory challenger, ready to take on their titleholder.

The Terence Crawford vs. Jeff Horn saga unfolded amid delays and setbacks, with Horn committing to defending his WBO title against Crawford. A hand injury for Crawford and a car accident for Horn disrupted the fight’s timeline, but the much-anticipated showdown eventually took place. In round nine, Crawford asserted his dominance with an overhand left that dropped Horn, prompting the referee to halt the fight at 2 minutes and 33 seconds, marking a significant victory for Crawford.

Crawford’s journey continued with his inaugural defense of the WBO title against José Benavidez on October 13, 2018. Employing an in-and-out fighting style, Crawford secured a twelfth-round KO victory, showcasing his prowess as a champion. The momentum continued as Amir Khan accepted the challenge against Crawford on April 20, 2019. Crawford secured a knockdown in the first round, and despite a pause in the bout due to an accidental low blow in round six, Khan’s trainer signaled his inability to continue, resulting in Crawford being declared the winner via TKO.

Egidijus Kavaliauskas faced Crawford on December 14, 2019, after persistently seeking the opportunity since November 2016. Despite an early moment that seemed like a knockdown for Crawford, the fight, initially competitive, saw Crawford secure victory by stoppage in the ninth. The Crawford vs. Brook fight was announced on October 6, 2020, and Crawford justified the odds with a fourth-round technical knockout, halting Brook at the 1:14-minute mark. Crawford’s welterweight title defense against Shawn Porter on November 20 saw him secure victory in the tenth round, knocking Porter down twice and prompting his corner to throw in the towel.

His journey continued with Crawford defended his WBO welterweight championship against David Avanesyan on December 10, 2022, securing victory in the 6th round with a right hand to Avanesyan’s jaw. However, the pinnacle of Crawford’s career came in a title unification bout with Errol Spence Jr. on July 29, 2023, where Crawford dominated, securing a ninth-round technical knockout in front of a sold-out crowd, solidifying his status as a true welterweight champion.

Will There Be A Rematch Between Spence and Crawford?

As of September 2023, Errol Spence Jr. has been seeking redemption. This led him to the decision to activate his rematch clause against Crawford after his defeat in their undisputed-title bout in July.

The initial match saw Crawford emerging victorious, dropping Spence, 33, in rounds two and seven before a ninth-round stoppage. Despite Spence’s activation of the rematch clause, details remain pending. This bout, initially featuring both southpaw champions with unbeaten records, saw Crawford secure all the belts and establish his pound-for-pound status. The potential rematch might take place at a higher weight, adding intrigue to this anticipated duel between two of boxing’s elite.

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Crawford’s coach, Brian McIntyre, confirmed the rematch, though a date is to be confirmed. Fan’s are excited to see what happens next for Crawford – will he be the one having to redeem himself after this rematch against Spence? Or will he once again claim the title. Everyone is waiting in anticipation for what this remarkable boxer has in store.

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