Terence Crawford’s dossier is one of the most dissected and disputed dichotomies in boxing.
The former undisputed unified lightweight champion and current WBO welterweight champion Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) believes his accomplishments thus far as a three-division champion has been enough to silence his critics.
“They are not going to give me respect because they are haters. If you don't have somebody hating you, then you're doing something wrong. I just take it in stride and keep it moving,” Crawford told SiriusXM. “Everybody is saying I never fought anybody and they run with that.”
When the conversation moved to a possible super fight against the much discussed-and-desired Errol Spence Jr., Crawford brushed off the notion that the unified welterweight champion is the appropriate dance partner that he needs to seal his legacy.
“[A fight against Spence Jr. is] not that important. I keep telling everybody, I don't need Errol Spence for my legacy. I don't know why people make it seem that I need Errol Spence. He needs me. I don't need him,” said Crawford.
A Crawford versus Spence meeting is one of the most ballyhooed boxing matches that’s been marinating in recent years. Whether or not the stars align perfectly for a fight to take place will certainly require Spence to reconsider his position of a desired 60-40 purse split.
In the meantime, Crawford has his sights set on Manny Pacquiao and reigniting discussions with the eight-division champion and 2010s fighter of the decade after a deal was within striking distance this summer — all while mired in beef with Top Rank boss Bob Arum.
“If a fight with Pacman happens it's because [Pacquiao] wants the fight to happen, not Bob,” said Crawford. “I feel like I can get the Pacman fight somewhere else as well being that Pacman is not with Top Rank.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.