Terence Crawford kicked off his career in 2008 as a lightweight and competed in the weight class until 2014, winning a world title along the way. 

Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) then became the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds during a seven-fight stretch that spanned from 2015 to 2017. 

The Nebraska native has fought as a welterweight over the last six years and knocked out all seven of the opponents he’s faced in the division.

Crawford will put his overall ten-fight stoppage streak and undefeated record on the line when he takes on Errol Spence Jr. on July 29 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight for the undisputed welterweight title will headline a Premier Boxing Champions card on Showtime pay-per-view. 

Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) has fought exclusively as a welterweight ever since turning pro in 2012, and he’ll walk into the ring the bigger man. Spence will sport a 1 ½ inch reach advantage while Crawford will have a two-inch reach advantage. 

"It feels good to finally be here. This is a fight that I’ve been wanting for about five years now. It's finally here. All I can do is embrace the moment,” Crawford told the assembled media Saturday in Nebraska during a celebration send-off to training camp in Colorado Springs. 

"This is for the supremacy of the welterweight division. You got two top pound-for-pound fighters in their prime. This is one of those fights where it’s a pick 'em fight in everybody’s eyes and it’s labeled one of the biggest fights in the last decade. 

“I’ve never been in the ring with him, but in my eyes, no [his size won’t be a factor]. All my life, I’ve always been the smaller guy, but I’ve always been the strongest guy. So come fight night, we’ll see. In every fight, I’m always looking to make a statement. In every fight. So, I’m not just going to say that this fight I’m trying to make a statement. Every time I step foot in the ring, I want to make a statement, and yes, on July 29th, I’ll be looking to make a statement.”

Crawford and Spence have been tracking toward the super fight ever since “Bud” stepped into the division and claimed a world title in his first fight at 147 pounds by stopping former Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn. 

“It just took patience, you know. Everything in life happens on God’s terms and in his time. So I just had to be patient, just wait for my moment and just keep winning. I’m here now,” said Crawford. “It’s one of the biggest fights of my life, if not the biggest fight of my life. We’re going to carry it that way into the fight. 

“In my eyes, I always prove people wrong that underestimate me. A lot of people, in my recent fights, always question whether I can do certain things, and I prove them wrong. That’s why you watch the fight, right?”

Crawford claimed the career-defining fight against Spence will stamp his case to be enshrined in Canastota, New York as one of boxing’s greats once he calls it a career. 

“I’m very comfortable with my career right now. I feel like I already accomplished a Hall of Fame career and I’m happy with where I’m at, but I’ll be satisfied once this job is done. I would say this is the cherry on top,” said Crawford.  

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.