LAS VEGAS – Terence Crawford feels he has properly prepared for everything Shawn Porter can throw at him Saturday night.
That includes Porter’s head and elbows, two weapons some of Porter’s have accused him of using intentionally at times. Crawford respects Porter, his friend since their amateur days, yet the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion admitted that he’ll be ready to deal with Porter’s physical tactics whenever it becomes necessary in their 12-round, 147-pound title fight at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena.
The skillful Crawford is typically touted as one of boxing’s best technicians. The intelligent boxer-puncher has demonstrated during his 13-year pro career, though, that he is more than willing to become as rough as necessary against a physically imposing opponent.
“Well, you know, I’ve gotta prepare for everything,” Crawford said before a press conference Wednesday at Mandalay Bay. “You know, his speed, his movement, his aggressiveness, his wide shots, you know, his head-butting, elbows, a lot of things. You know, but that’s why we practice and that’s why we go to the gym and, you know, we prepare for the fighter that’s in front of us.”
Crawford feels Porter does virtually everything well, yet the Omaha, Nebraska, native also is confident that he does everything better than the former IBF/WBC welterweight champion.
“Well, I’m athletic as well,” Crawford said. “You know, so I don’t think I need to do anything but be myself. You know, Porter is athletic – so am I. You know, Porter’s fast – so am I. He’s strong – so am I. You know, so the things that everybody is questioning how I’m gonna fare with his attributes is, you know, the same that you can ask him. Like how you gonna prepare for Terence strength? How you gonna prepare for his power, his speed, his counter ability, his movement, you know, all different types of things that I bring to the table. So, you know, we gonna be ready. I’m pretty sure he gonna be ready. And that’s what makes for a good fight come Saturday.”
Most credible handicappers have established Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) as at least a 6-1 favorite to defeat Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) in their ESPN Pay-Per-View main event ($69.99; 9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT). Neither fighter has boxed in over a year, but Crawford considers their extended layoffs beneficial for both he and Porter because they’re 34 years old.
Crawford figures to fight out of a southpaw stance for much of their bout, but he isn’t counting on that approach troubling Porter.
“I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not,” Crawford said. “You know, Shawn Porter has been in the ring since [he was] a kid with southpaws, orthodox fighters. So, there’s nothing that he’s gonna be surprised about.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.