by Cliff Rold
There’s something about Terence Crawford.
It’s not just how good he is in the ring. That much has been evident for quite some time. Perhaps it is best conveyed in the expression he wears in the ring. Crawford isn’t just serious. There is a sneer, a quality that once might have been called surly, as he goes about his work.
Crawford can outbox almost anyone. He seems to enjoy doing more than that.
That enjoyment was surely increased as he added even more hardware to his trophy case. He is now the most undisputed champion in all of the sport.
Let’s go to the report card.
Pre-Fight: Speed – Crawford A; Indongo B+/Post: A; B
Pre-Fight: Power – Crawford B+; Indongo B/Post: A; B
Pre-Fight: Defense – Crawford A-; Indongo B+/Post: A; C
Pre-Fight: Intangibles – Crawford A; Indongo A/Post: A; B
In the pre-fight report card, it was wondered if maybe the gap in speed was closer than it looked.
It was not.
Indongo’s wider shots instead looked slower than they probably were, hanging there while the sharper Crawford quickly solved the timing and started to land. Opting to fight southpaw against the southpaw Indongo, Crawford showed for the second fight in a row that he’s elite out of either stance. It must be unnerving to know the stance you’ve fought out of your whole life can be utilized better as another guy’s B-side.
Indongo never seemed to relax and Crawford gave him no time to do so. He had Indongo down in the second and the body shot to end matters in the third made it a short night. It was enough to send the fans home happy in Nebraska and the scene around Crawford was good TV. That was a college football state going nuts in the arena, giving the whole thing a big time sports feel.
Those moments matter. Crowds alive with emotion can make the live sports experience and translate the feeling to those viewing at home that, next time, they just might want to be there.
It’s easy to feel bad for Indongo after a nice run to get to the Crawford fight but he went out on his shield and surely his countrymen will welcome him back with open arms. He lost with honor.
Crawford? He just won again which he’s done now in dominating as a champion in two weight classes. The next frontier awaits and at welterweight we will find out how great Crawford can be. Promotional considerations are obstacles to fights like Crawford-Keith Thurman or Crawford-Errol Spence, but only for now. If everyone keeps winning, a showdown will emerge.
That’s how things happen. Already the idea of Crawford-Spence is the sort of ‘maybe this is where we’re headed’ slow burn seeping into the boxing sphere. It’s not a bad thing. It might be the destination. It might not.
Regardless, Crawford’s part of the journey remains and gets more compelling all the time.
Report Card Picks 2017: 27-12
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org