When Michael Jordan retired in his prime, then Chicago Bulls head coach coaxed his superstar guard out of retirement and back onto the court by convincing him that his game was so beautiful and so perfect that Jordan was denying the public brilliant artistry. That leaving the sport was similar to Bethovan denying the world music or Michelangelo denying the world his artwork and that Michael actually owed it to the world to come back. So MJ came back and delivered three more championships and countless unforgettable memories. We are reaching that level with Terence “Bud” Crawford. Crawford gave us another masterpiece at the T Mobile arena in Las Vegas. He put on a masterful performance in front of the capacity crowd displaying his wizardry and silencing any questions on whether or not he was big enough and strong enough to compete at the welterweight division taking on and outmuscling Jeff Horn. The Australian is a massively strong welterweight, who if he had any advantage at all against Bud it was supposed to be in the strength department. That proved certainly not to be the case. Bud was able to tie Horn up on the inside push him backward and walk him around.
Bud burst onto the scene back in 2013 at the age of 25 undefeated (19-0) but a mostly unknown lightweight prospect. Replacing Khabib Allakhverdiev On just three days notice, who backed out due to injury. Crawford convinced his manager, Cameron Dunkin, to convince Bob Arum to let him move up to 140 for the first time and fight Breidsi Prescott. All the needed parties were convinced, the young prospect jumped up in weight and in the ring with the much bigger veteran contender who was best known for destroying Amir Khan in just about one minute and Bud seized the moment. Boxing and countering beautifully against the naturally bigger man. Crawford outclassed the Colombian, and a star was born. A two-fisted puncher who seamlessly switched between the orthodox and southpaw stances, a quick and very long jab especially for the 135 & 140-pound divisions. Bud ran through the 135 and 140-pound divisions.
Crawford’s first fight at welterweight looked very similar to his fights at lightweight and junior welterweight. He entered the ring put on a dazzling performance, won every round and walked out with a world championship belt. It was business as usual for Terence Crawford, who took Horn’s WBO strap. Say whatever you want about Jeff Horn, but the facts remain that Horn dethroned an all-time great legendary Manny Pacquiao then defended his title. Horn was in no way a paper champion, he won his title the hard way. He earned it and was a real champion. A real champion that was completely outclassed and beaten down by Terence Crawford. Bud switched back and forth between the right-handed and southpaw stance, unloaded a ferocious body attack. Bud badly beat Horn to the punch and tied him up and pushed him around on the inside, taking away any perceived advantage Horn may have had. The brutal end came in the ninth when the schooling Horn was receiving became a harsh punishment. Crawford landed thudding power shots with pinpoint accuracy that dropped Horn in the ninth and finished him off just moments later. The brutal beatdown of Horn couldn’t help but remind fight fans of another skilled beating that a highly skilled champion gave to a game tough guy. That comparison of the Crawford-Horn beatdown was eerily similar to the beating Floyd Mayweather gave to Arturo Gatti. The similarities between the two won’t stop there as Crawford is aiming to replace Mayweather as the face of the sport and it’s top earner. Bud has already replaced the retired Mayweather as the best fighter on the face of the earth.
The welterweight division has long been a glamour division and money division especially in American boxing over the last 30 years it has featured some of the biggest names and top earners in the sport. That has been on a brief hiatus since Floyd Mayweather walked away from the ring after defeating Andre Berto in September of 2015. But, that hiatus is about to be over as Terence Crawford has established himself as the best Pound for Pound fighter in the world and has plenty of big PPV worthy fights and opponents. Most notably is a mega fight and unification bout with IBF champ Errol Spence jr. Both fighters are in their absolute primes, both fighters are undefeated and both fighters look absolutely unbeatable and the fight lines up perfectly for Q4 of this year as Spence makes the mandatory defense of his IBF strap this Saturday in Dallas against Carlos Ocampo. Should he win, and he certainly should, the two are on a clear and perfectly timed collision course.
Late last year Spence was asked about a possible showdown with Bud, Spence responded with “If Tbud want a fight got beat Horn for his title. Then you can see me other than that fighting him would be pointless to me”. Well, guess what? Tbud took the strap from Horn and its strap season. Crawford notes he has twice fought against Al Haymon fighters and that this fight can be made. Crawford referred to his reign as “The start of the takeover.” If he can take over as the face of the sport and become the PPV king is yet to be determined.