Terence “Bud” Crawford, a quiet and unassuming young fighter from Omaha, Nebraska, is starting to appear in nearly every conversation about who will be boxing’s next bona fide superstar. The junior welterweight champion seemingly has the offensive skills, craftiness, defensive ability, and killer instinct that fit the makings of a future pound for pound “best in the sport”.
Despite having a somewhat lackluster, only in terms of competition and activity level, 2015 after a breakthrough year previously, Bud continues to impress with his switch-hitting, responsible but still exciting style.
After finishing a very game, but ultimately overmatched Dierry Jean on October 24, the future only appears to be getting brighter. His name is on the short list floating around for Manny Pacquiao’s supposed (this is still boxing, no one ever really retires) final fight on April 9. Whether Top Rank and Bob Arum feel the need to pit the fading Pacquiao against the rising star in Crawford or go another, safer, route remains to be seen.
That decision will ultimately need to be made by Manny and his team, most notably trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum, based on what kind of ending they want to have to his storied career.
The money will be a deciding factor, as it always is in such decisions, but so will the fact that this will be presumably the last memory we’ll have of him in the ring. Losing to Crawford, which many fans and pundits alike believe is a possible outcome, might not be the bookend Manny wants.
One such person who believes Crawford would defeat Pacquiao is trainer, and former world champion, Buddy McGirt.
When asked recently by ESNEWS who he favored in a Pacquiao- Crawford matchup, McGrit replied, “Crawford…because right now, Crawford is the next superstar…and I pick him by knockout!”
It’s one thing to have the approval and confidence of the fans and media in your performance and potential, it’s quite another for your peers and trainers in the sport to lend theirs.
The fact that a former fighter at the highest level and current trainer at the highest level of the sport believes that Crawford would not only defeat, but do so by knockout is telling that there’s more to the quiet, small town champion than just HBO hype.
Whether his next fight is against one of the biggest stars in recent memory in the sport in Pacquiao, or another proven commodity in the junior welterweight division (Viktor Postol, Lucas Matthysse, etc.), the fights will undoubtedly continue to grow in magnitude for Bud.
However, if his talent and potential is anything near what he’s shown the boxing world up to this point, we’re in for an exciting ride on the coat tails of boxing’s next great American superstar.