Advertisement
Advertisement

Terence Crawford: The Road Trip of a Lifetime

By Thomas Gerbasi

Terence Crawford is nearly 4,000 miles away from home, but as he settled in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday, he might as well have been in Omaha, Nebraska.

“I’m already adjusted and I’m good,” said the lightweight contender. “It’s colder back at home; it’s just raining more over here.”

He’d better get used to the rain; not just the water kind, but the boos that will pour down on him this Saturday, when he challenges local hero Ricky Burns for the WBO 135-pound crown. 10,000 fans are expected at the Scottish Exhibition Centre, all screaming for their man, who can silence any doubters with a win over the American hotshot.

As for Crawford, his goals are even more succinct.

“It means everything,” he said. “It takes me to a different level, a level that nobody from Omaha, Nebraska has been to.”

Born and raised in a city that is far from a boxing hotbed, the 26-year-old Crawford can become Omaha’s first homegrown world champion with a win on Saturday (former heavyweight champ Max Baer was born in Omaha but raised in and most closely associated with California), yet despite a stellar amateur career and success in his early pro career, it wasn’t until he defeated Breidis Prescott in March of 2013 that the buzz began getting louder at home.

“To be honest, it’s been nothing really until the Prescott fight and this fight,” said Crawford of the attention he’s received in Nebraska. “But when I come back with that belt, they’re gonna know the difference.”

Boxing fans got on board as well when Crawford stepped up on short notice to face Prescott at 140 pounds and gave him a boxing lesson over ten rounds. A dazzling HBO-televised stoppage of Alejandro Sanabria three months after the Prescott bout did even more for his growing reputation, and while a shutout of Andrey Klimov last October was decisive but uninspiring, the die was cast when it came to Crawford: he was the real deal, with world championship potential written all over him. “Bud” saw the change in the weather when it came to public perception as well.

“Oh yeah, I noticed right away,” he said. “It really wasn’t anything though, because I haven’t conquered my goal yet. All those were stepping stones. I don’t get too excited about the little things. This is what I really want. This is the one that’s going to excite me.”

So when he was approached with the Burns bout, there was no hesitation for him to accept it, even though it would be in the champion’s backyard.

“None at all,” said Crawford, who isn’t even bothered by the controversial draw between Burns and Ray Beltran last September, a verdict that many observers believed should have gone to Beltran.

“That’s not my place to worry about that,” he said. “My place is just to go fight.”

And fight he will, with no trash talk, no bad blood, and no extra baggage. It’s just him and Burns on Saturday night, and he’s fine with that.

“I see a tough guy,” said Crawford of his foe. “He’s the champ. I can’t take nothing away from him.”

It’s clear that Crawford may best be described as an old soul, and he agrees, saying “it’s just something that’s inside me.”

So even if the rest of the world has been slow to catch up to what he’s shown in the ring, he’s kept the faith, aided by some words of wisdom that have never left him.

“When I was fighting all those top guys and everybody was doubting me,” recalled Crawford, who defeated Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia as an amateur, “I would go in there and beat those guys easy, and my coach would always tell me ‘you’re gonna be world champion; you just gotta stay disciplined and stay focused.’ That’s what I did and we’re here now.”

And if a world championship belt is the reward, it’s more than worth the nearly 4,000 mile trip.

“The emotions are gonna be high,” he said of Saturday night. “I’m just ready to go out there and put on a show.”

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by petero on 02-26-2014

Burns wins ko 9th round.

Comment by buckfangs on 02-26-2014

Crawfords good but very boring and cautious and has zero personality, he might as well be a cuban fighter

Comment by Oasis_Lad on 02-26-2014

Road Trip? He took a Plane over to Scotland and immediately went to a hotel.

Comment by Hougigo on 02-26-2014

I wanna know how Burns's jaw is..... thinking Crawford via KO

Comment by starsjuicebar on 02-26-2014

Crawford wins this fight with body shots.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (15)
Top Headlines Margarito-Alvarez Finalized For August 13th in Baja California Photos: Jamel Herring, Denis Shafikov Ready For Battle Hekkie Budler Ring Return is Scheduled For October 22 Ward's Coach: Brand Trumps Wade, Golovkin Didn't Want It! Chocolatito vs. Cuadras: Both Ready as Negotiations Heat Up Herring, Shafikov Make Weight For Crossroads Clash On ESPN Hearn: Eubank Win Over Golovkin is Bigger Than Hatton-Tszyu De La Hoya Sees Big Things For Niko 'Baby Face' Valdez Photos/Weights: Ganigan Lopez, Jonathan Taconing on Point Oscar Negrete: I Have To Be at My Best Against Bustos Dolton, Ghvamichava Meet in July 12 PBC on FS1 Headliner De La Hoya: Canelo a 154-Pounder, Golovkin Fight in 2017 Ryabinsky: WADA Has Ruled, Certified Povetkin as Clean Golovkin vs. Eubank: Hearn Gives Update on Finalizing Terms Oscar Negrete Wants a Title Shot After Bustos Fight Sammy Vasquez To Face Felix Diaz, Collazo is Out With Injury Anthony Joshua is a 4/1 Favorite To Win BBC SPOTY Award Photos: Andre Ward Throws Ceremonial First Pitch in Oakland Photos: Jamel Herring vs. Denis Shafikov Open Workouts Photos: Mikaela Lauren, Klara Svensson Go Face To Face Zac Dunn Stops Carlos Jerez In Five, Remains Unbeaten Promoter: David Benavidez Will Become Youngest 168 Champ Daniel Jacobs Rips Mora, Says Billy Joe Saunders Rejected Fight Golovkin Focuses on Middleweight Legacy, Canelo in Rearview Frank Warren: Wilder, Fury Would Outwork, Outfight Joshua Hearn: After Watching Thurman-Porter - I Know Brook is Better! Joshua Gormley To Face Andy Ruiz on July 16, Detroit Anthony Joshua's Fall Options: Stiverne, Jennings, Pulev, Parker Keith Thurman Very Interested in Facing Kell Brook in The Fall Wilder Embraces VADA, Feels Drug Testing Should Be Year-Round Margarito: Canelo Will Not Be Able To Help His Brother! Golovkin's Promoter: Eubank in The UK Would Be Huge Event Luis Rosa vs. Luis Hinojosa Ends in First Round No-Contest Peter Quillin Mulling New Direction, Move To Super Middleweight Ricky Burns, Kirill Relikh Have 30 Days To Reach a Deal Soto-Karass vs. Kamegai II Eyed For Canelo vs. Smith PPV Telemundo Weights From Mexico City: Ruiz 130, Diaz 129 Jezreel Corrales-Jason Sosa Ordered To Collide By The WBA James Kirkland in Training, Reunites With Ann Wolfe Canelo Back on 'Regular' HBO? - Door is Open For December
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement