“So far, it hasn’t surfaced, but I’m sure it exists/ It just takes a while to travel from your head to your fist.”
Such were the words of a popular song by electronic pop band Depeche Mode in the mid 1980’s. The lyrics as well as sentiments ring as true today as they for most accounts have throughout the course of human history.
Four posts help form the ring in which two combatants battle for boxing supremacy, yet there are many participants within the game who feel that a war of words is just as important as the bout itself. Some instances have long since been declared old, such as the pushing and shoving at a stare down or verbal jabs traded at a press conference.
WBO lightweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford seems to have long since passed the need to pick and choose his choice of words in regard to not only his life in the ring, but outside it as well. He doesn’t seem to rely on his mouth selling his bouts or his likeness because after all, he’s the type of “Bud” we could easily call a friend. The soft spoken and still undefeated title holder from Omaha, Nebraska understands that he doesn’t have to get into his opponent’s head because he’ll eventually chance to dig right into the face and body of anyone who is looking to take his title.
Crawford (25-0, 17 KO’s) was voted as the best fighter in the sport last year by the Boxing Writers Association of America by way of his impressive wins over Ricky Burns (UD 12), Yuriorkis Gamboa (KO 9) and Raymundo Beltran (UD 12), respectively. He did so simply with his wit and skill in the ring as he chose to leave the chatter to other fighters. “I don’t feel a need to do that because it’s just not me,” said “Bud” Crawford during an international media call on Monday. “I can’t do that because it would be fake. I mean what I say and I’ll be a showman in the ring. All the unnecessary stuff outside isn’t me and I don’t feel the need to do that.”
Two years ago, Terence earned his first championship title with a sixth round TKO victory over Alejandro Sanabria in Dallas, TX. This Saturday evening, he will take his body of work as well as his body within its more natural weight of 140 pounds (as opposed to the lightweight limit of 135) into the ring in nearby Arlington as he faces off with the rangy and talented Puerto Rican, Thomas Dulorme (22-1, 14 KO’s).
A repeat performance in 2015 would indeed be something to remember for the man from Nebraska, yet the modest fighter is not looking more than one day ahead. He commented, “I couldn’t even imagine thinking about that right now. I’d be so happy. It means a lot me. I went over to Scotland to fight Ricky Burns and came back for a tough fight with (Yuriorkis) Gamboa. Then, I faced Ray Beltran and he’s a great fighter. I felt great about my performances and my year.”
Crawford was one of the first to admit (as documented on HBO’s “Two Days” series) that his November 2014 bout with Ray Beltran was to be his final outing in the lightweight division. Save for perhaps the upper and heavier classes of the boxing ranks, a fighter just wouldn’t be as such if he never had to take the most drastic as well as medically risky measures in order to make the right numbers show up on the scale. Once the weigh-in is officially completed, it’s not uncommon in the least to hear of a pugilist replenishing his body full of water, food and the necessary nutrients just to get back to a healthy state of mind.
As is normally seen with many fighters across the board, many athletes step on the scale looking near a state of emaciation, dehydrated and downright ornery. Terence is hoping that a move up to the super lightweight division will serve him well without sacrificing much of what has brought him such great success. “I don’t worry about losing speed or punching power”, he said. “I’ll look at neutralizing their speed. I’ll be stronger, faster and I’ll get the experience that I need. There’s no particular fighter I’m looking for because I just want to fight the best.”
The man from Omaha has come a long way since a near death experience proved to be a life changing event for him. A friendly game of shooting dice with some guys from the area in the fall of 2008 nearly turned into a deadly shooting of the worst kind. A bullet grazed his head and Crawford knew a turnaround of his life meant more than acts that could end it. The undefeated champion is ready prove his worth in the junior welterweight ranks, yet he’s looking neither past Dulorme nor stealing the show by way of knockout.
“I respect all fighters and I’ve never underestimated anyone,” he said. “I never go into training camp thinking that I’m going to knock this guy out. The ultimate goal is taking care of business this Saturday.”
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