Crawford: I’m striving for the Hall of the Fame


Terence CrawfordWBO World super-lightweight champion Terrence Crawford (26-0, 18 KO’s) has been away from the ring since his title winning effort against Thomas Dulorme in April. Those awaiting his return will be happy to hear that he told Boxing News Online the time, place, and likely opponent for his next appearance.

“Dierry Jean, he’s our front-runner right now, but it’s nothing set in stone yet so we just waiting and seeing what’s going on and the date is October 24th.”

The Haitian-born Canadian Jean holds a record of 29-1 with 20 knockouts and has fluctuated between the lightweight and super-lightweight divisions over the last eighteen months, struggling to find a happy home for his frame. His only step up to the top class was in a losing effort against Lamont Peterson in January 2014, but he has rebounded well with three stoppages in his four wins since.

Crawford confirmed the bout would be held in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska for the third time in four fights. The support garnered on previous visits to that unlikely destination has been overwhelming, and he seems to be building a fortress at home as more and more tickets get sold with each appearance.

The interview continued, and his placid demeanor never changed as he laid out his plans for the immediate and distant future; lofty goals with far-reaching echoes if all goes well.

“My short-term goal right now is to just continue to get better; get my craft where it needs to be to become great. That’s the ultimate goal to be called great, to leave my legacy here for not only this time, but for thirty years, forty years down the road, my name’s still being mentioned as one of the greatest.”

“I got a lot to prove you know. I did a lot in a short period of time, but it don’t sum up what I need to do to keep striving for that greatness and the Hall of Fame, that’s what I’m striving for right now.”

An oft-cited prerequisite to greatness in boxing is a fighter’s ability to win titles in numerous weight-classes. Going all the way back to Bob Fitzsimmons and Henry Armstrong, through to both ’Sugar’ Rays and Roberto Duran, and on to our Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao; if you’re not a heavyweight you have to go through the weights (unless your name is Marvin Hagler).

Crawford is quite sure the move up to welterweight will come soon enough, and when it does, he will be looking to add a third belt in successive divisions when he does.

“Right now I’m campaigning at 140. In the future, 147 is another weight-class I will be looking forward to joining, and if my managers come to an agreement that it’s best for me to go up to 147, then that’s what I’ll do.”

“I always said, give me the time to get in shape and I’ll beat anybody. I believe in my skills and my ability in any fight against any person. I just feel like I can adjust to the style that they bring to the table and that gives me that edge when I’m going in.”

Those adaptive abilities will be tested to the limits if a rumored bout with Manny Pacquiao becomes a reality. Both men are signed to Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, and Crawford would represent a respectable challenge for the Filipino megastar after a poor showing against Floyd Mayweather earlier this year.