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Nick Peet: Showtime for pound-for-pound star Crawford

November 18, 2021January 7th, 2022

TERENCE Crawford can reaffirm his claim as boxing’s pound-for-pound number one with another destructive display defending his WBO welterweight world title in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Shawn ‘Showtime’ Porter will be in the opposing corner at the Mandalay Bay and the former two-time world champion has a chin that’s never failed him in 35 fights, including 14 title fights.

But if Crawford can not only add a 38th consecutive victory to his unblemished record, but collect a ninth straight knockout then comparisons will once more be drawn between ‘Bud’ and Mexican PPV star Canelo Alvarez et al.

The 34-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska is nothing short of a pugilistic sensation.

After defeating Scotland’s Ricky Burns in 2014 to become lightweight world champion, Crawford made a string of defences before going up to super-lightweight and eventually unifying all four belts at 140lb.

Not content, he added welterweight gold in 2018 and is looking stronger and even more dominant at 147lb than he was at the weights below.

 

 

On paper Bud is a slick southpaw. But, in reality, he is a truly ambidextrous athlete that’s equally comfortable and destructive in either stance.

His current run of form – seven straight KO’s – not only includes his entire welterweight journey, but also features the scalps of four former world champions.

However, the devil is in the details and criticism of Crawford’s unbeaten run is afforded to the lack of star power on his ledger. Amir Khan and Kell Brook may be big names in the UK but fall short with US fight fans.

Similarly, Julius Indongo and Jeff Horn were both undefeated world champions before being slayed by him, but have been on career freefall ever since.

No such criticism can be levelled at Porter, however. Despite having his first campaign as a world champion abruptly ended by Brook in 2014, he has remained at the upper echelons of the 147lb weight class via the company he’s kept.

And although he lost a title fight to Keith Thurman in 2016, ‘Showtime’ enjoyed a short reign as WBC champion in 2018 after outpointing Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas.

 

 

Both aged 34, Porter was the more successful amateur with his superb 276-14 am record even including a win over current heavyweight king Oleksander Usyk. But, just like Crawford, he also failed to make it onto the 2008 USA Olympic team.

Now a successful TV analyst, Porter has had one foot out of the ring for the last few years. But his 2019 split decision defeat to Errol Spence, the other main protagonist at 147lb, proved he’s got plenty left in the tank.

It’s likely that 12-round decision, however, will fire up Crawford this weekend. Talk of a unification fight between him and Spence has become boxing fans’ biggest gripe. So far, politics have kept them apart.

Motivated to go one better than Spence, Crawford will be at his creative and spiteful best and whilst I expect the fight to be competitive to the midway point. Bud will power through the gears to post a statement stoppage in the championship rounds.

TIP: Crawford by TKO 10-12