This past weekend in boxing was filled with very highs and some lows. But one thing’s for sure, 2014 was the year of Terence Crawford.
By this time last year, Crawford’s critics were unimpressed with the action or lack thereof, Crawford had displayed in two of his 2013 bouts. While he took an opportunity and jumped up in weight to fight Breidis Prescott on the Rios-Alvarado undercard, his performances versus Andrey Klimov and Alejandro Sanabria didn’t jump out at you.
However Crawford is something of a throwback and in 2014, he went on the road to Scotland and unseated Ricky Burns. Then when Mikey Garcia decided to tussle with his promoter, Top Rank and decline a fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa, Crawford jumped at the opportunity. Instead of having the fight at a casino away from his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, he took less money and became a staple in the city when he knocked out Gamboa in 9 rounds in front of 10,000 people in the Century Link Center.
He followed up that performance by outclassing Ray Beltran who on many occasions has upset the apple cards against Hank Lundy and Rocky Burns had he not been robbed. He has also giving everyone he has faced fits. Crawford wasn’t having that. He took Ray’s best punches and from a southpaw stance was quicker on his feet and his hands. Again in front of a crowd of over 11,000, he put on a clinic and has become something very few boxers in this day and age have become, a very big local draw.
In 2015 he is moving up to 140 and a March or April date is being explored for his return. There are many people we would like to see him against.
Haymon Guys: There are fights with Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson, and Lucas Matthysse. But being that Crawford is with Top Rank and those guys are managed by Haymon, a fight with either is highly unlikely, but if they were I’m sure Crawford would be willing to take on all comers.
Chris Algieri: He was outclassed by Manny Pacquiao but with wins over Ruslan Provodnikov and Emmanuel Taylor, he is still a legitimate 140lber and would be ideal for a bout at 140. His promoter Star Boxing has worked with Top Rank before, so a clash between the two wouldn’t be difficult to come by.
Jessie Vargas: Both guys have been mentioned as possible Manny Pacquiao opponents. So it could be a pseudo tournament fight with the winner landing a Manny Pacquiao fight. Vargas is with Top Rank so a fight would be easy to make.
Ruslan Provodnikov: This would be an interesting clash of styles, the come forward puncher versus the boxer puncher in Crawford. It would be a legit test for Crawford’s chin at 140 and Provodnikov is never in a bad fight and is never blown away by boxers. We’ve seen that in the Herrera, Bradley, and Algieri bouts. Provodnikov’s promoter Banner Boxing has good relations with Top Rank so that wouldn’t be an issue either. Provodnikov’s promoter is eyeing a March date on HBO as well so sign me up.
Herrera-Benavidez winner: Mauricio Herrera is promoted by Golden Boy who is now working with Top Rank; Jose Benavidez is promoted by Top Rank. The winner of this fight should be ideal and a good test at 140.
Mikey Garcia: Fight sounds good on paper by Garcia doesn’t know if his return will be 135 or 140 yet.
Manny Pacquiao: Crawford is likely being groomed for a showdown with Pacquiao. But he may be a fight or two away from really being ready for it.
The rest of the weekend
Tyson Fury is ready For Klitschko now: He’s as ready as he’s ever going to be. He stopped Derek Chisora this weekend and is now the mandatory for the WBO Belt that Klitschko carries. His mouth will promote the fight and his size and boxing ability makes this bout interesting. It should happen this year and is a bout I’m excited for.
Billy Joe Saunders-Chris Eubank Jr.: It wasn’t the grudge match we expected until the later rounds but Saunders won a decision and should make for an interesting fight with the winner of Matt Korobov Andy Lee. His promoter wants the fight to happen next year. Had Eubank started earlier, the fight may have been different. His father also took over lead corner man in the fight and was dressed in a suit. Seemed like Eubank Sr. was in there more for looking stylish then actually given instructions.
Frank Warren Show: Media outlets and fans alike had complained about many things. 1)Lack of security, 2)Lack of restrooms 3)Some accredited media seats that were sold thus not given credentialed media access to the fight. 4) Length of the card therefore forcing fans to leave the card early as to not miss the last train out of the arena. 5) Selling two tickets for one seat.
Needless to say this is disgraceful on the part of the promoter if true for the fans, media, and fighters having to fight past midnight.
Mickey Rourke and the homeless diver: According a report from the Daily Mail , Rouke’s opponent this past weekend was a homeless guy paid to take a dive. As if the sham wasn’t shameful enough, there goes that.