By Keith Idec
Terence Crawford’s trainer hasn’t given a second thought to the wide odds on the Crawford-John Molina fight.
Brian McIntyre has seen Molina win fights he was supposed to lose often enough to know that Crawford needs to be as prepared as possible for a difficult fight Saturday night. Most Internet sports book list the hard-hitting Molina (29-6, 23 KOs), of Covina, California, as a 14-1 underdog entering his 12-round fight against the diverse, undefeated Crawford at CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford’s hometown (HBO; 9:35 p.m. ET/PT).
But Molina upset Russia’s Ruslan Provodnikov (25-5, 18 KOs) in his last fight, a 12-round, unanimous-decision win June 11 in Verona, New York. He also tested Lucas’ Matthysse’s mettle in a brutal fight Argentina’s Matthysse won by 11th-round knockout in April 2014.
“I really do believe it’s gonna be a damn good fight,” McIntyre said during a press conference Thursday in Omaha. “You can’t sleep on John Molina. When you sleep on him, he gets that knockout – he gets that win, because he’s always in there, ready to do what he needs to do to beat his opponent. That’s one thing we understood going into this fight, is you’re in there with a guy who’s ready to go 24 rounds.
“So by just saying that, we stepped up the training a little bit. We brought in better sparring. We brought in a few guys. I think we had five or six guys to try and emulate his style. And they did a wonderful job, a damn good job. But as they say they’re ready for us, you better believe we’re ready for them. Because it’s gonna go down. I guarantee you, if he tries to up his game, watch Terence up his game even more. Because that’s the type of fighter that he is.”
The 29-year-old Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) dominated Ukraine’s Viktor Postol (28-1, 12 KOs) in his last appearance, a 12-round title unification fight Crawford won by unanimous decision July 23 in Las Vegas.
Crawford dropped Postol twice in the fifth round of their bout and won by large margins on all three scorecards (118-107, 118-107, 117-108). He defended his WBO super lightweight championship that night and also left the MGM Grand Garden Arena ring with Postol’s WBC 140-pound title.
His title defense against Molina will mark Crawford’s fourth fight at CenturyLink Center since June 2014.
“This fight is gonna be a great fight,” Crawford said. “There’s a lot at stake for me and I’m looking forward to seizing this opportunity, and becoming what I wanna become, come Saturday. We trained real hard and I can assure you – I can assure you – that whatever he brings come Saturday, we’re gonna be prepared for it. If he wanna box it out or bang it out or whatever, we’ll be ready.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.