These are dangerous words and not to be said lightly, but with Terence Crawford, I’ve not seen such a special blend of boxing talent combined with absolute ruthlessness since the O.G ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson.
Robinson died in 1989 and last fought in 1965, so in nearly 60 years, we have seen some incredible welterweights. Jose Napoles, ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Oscar De La Hoya, Pernell Whitaker, Manny Pacquaio, and Floyd Mayweather Jnr have entertained us all and are incredible fighters also worthy of boxing immortality but what we witnessed Terence Crawford do on Saturday night to a fellow elite fighter was scary, as it was flawless.
Nobody should be able to beat Errol Spence like that. It was a genuine 50/50 fight going in, and us as fans and media, were made to look embarrassed that we even thought Crawford could lose.
In every single department, ‘Bud’ looked better. Just as Spence looked better in every department against top fighters like Danny Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Yordenis Ugas, and Lamont Peterson. Shawn Porter and Kell Brook were the only ones who had caused Spence any problems, but Crawford made it look like they didn’t belong in the same ring.
What does this really mean? It can mean many things, the era now belongs to Terence Crawford just like the last belonged to Mayweather, the early 1900s belonged to Jack Johnson, and the 70s belonged to Muhammad Ali. It means when people talk about the greatest fighters of all time, you can mention Terence Crawford and it is worthy of debate.
It means when you talk about Mayweather or Leonard or Ray Robinson that Crawford slots in there seamlessly, and you can make a case that there is a chance he could beat them all. It doesn’t matter if you think he would win or wouldn’t, just that the conversation can simply take place.
Trainer Billy Nelson told IFL TV that Crawford would have beaten Floyd, and I listened and just thought, yeah, maybe he could. Commercially Crawford has not made the impact he could have, but for talent, he is as good as they come. The Record He has 40 wins and simply never looked like losing. Not any of his wins have been controversial; he has 31 knockouts and has just got better and better over the years.
Ray Robinson won 89 fights in a row, but he was bullied to defeat to Jake LaMotta in his 41st fight (notably before beating him five times), as was Ray Leonard against Duran, Floyd had controversial wins against Jose Luis Castillo and Marcos Maidana, but Crawford has never looked close to losing.
Four undisputed champions: Crawford, Haney, Jermell & Canelo – but one stands out, Terence
The reason for this outpour of compliments is not because he beat Errol Spence Jnr but how he did it. It is hard enough to find times in history when top pound-for-pound fighters face each other but even fewer when one completely dominated the other in a supposed 50/50 fight. Here are some others in no particular order where 50/50 fights have shown the true boxing ability of one of the other and changed their legacy forever.
Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder 2
Salvador Sanchez v Wilfried Benitez
Ray Leonard v Roberto Duran 2
Muhammad Ali v Sonny Liston
Bernard Hopkins v Felix Trinidad
Roy Jones v James Toney
I’m sure I’ve missed out on a few, or you can argue the significance of the above fights I’ve selected, but the point is when one fighter does this over another seemingly superior being, it has to be remembered.
When I think of the confusion of Robert Duran trying to cut the ring off of Leonard or the bewilderment of the world’s most dangerous fighter Sonny Liston at where Ali’s punches were coming from, or the showboating of Toney against Jones that landed him on his bum, these images stay with true boxing fans forever. Crawford had that moment.
In 2 rounds, Spence made one mistake, leaning in, and he ended up on his back. Then came an absolute masterclass in the jab, counterpunching, and ring generalship.
The Legacy Continues
The scariest thing is that he is still going. He can still achieve more; he is a 2-weight undisputed champion, the only male to do so in the 4-belt era. If he fights Jermell Charlo, he could be a 3-weight undisputed champion; if he beats Jaron Ennis, he could beat a future P4P great like Mayweather did against Canelo, or what about Golovkin at 160, even Canelo. Who knows how great he could be?
Let us know in the comments who he should fight next. Could he beat the likes of Mayweather and Robinson, and can you think of other such dominant displays between pound-for-pound greats? Just how good is Terence Crawford?
Source: By Gav Duthie / Boxing News 24
Frederick Marfo is a sportswriter and social worker well known for his advocacy for equal chances and rights for all athletes, especially those with disabilities.