By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Terence Crawford’s advice to Felix Diaz is to ask any of the 30 opponents the undefeated Crawford has fought.
No matter how it might appear from the outside, looking in, beating him is a lot harder than it looks.
“It’s crazy because on the onside it looks easy,” Crawford said during an informal press conference Thursday at Madison Square Garden. “It looks real easy. A lot of fighters say, ‘Oh, I can beat him. I wanna fight him. I wanna get in the ring with him.’ But then, when they get in the ring with me, it’s a whole, totally different thing. And they see something they ain’t never seen before.”
The 29-year-old Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) is a 25-1 favorite over Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) in their 12-round fight for Crawford’s WBC/WBO super lightweight championships Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Diaz pursued this fight aggressively on social media, however, and some have suggested the 2008 Olympic gold medalist will amount to the toughest opponent of Crawford’s career.
The two-division champion from Omaha, Nebraska, isn’t so sure.
“Every fight that I fight, y’all say this is the toughest opponent of my career,” said Crawford, who dominated John Molina Jr. (29-7, 23 KOs) in his last fight, December 10 in Omaha. “And I tell you the same thing over and over – we’re gonna have to see.”
Crawford considers Diaz a very credible opponent, but Crawford is better than anyone Diaz has faced as a pro. That group includes WBA welterweight champion Lamont Peterson (34-3, 17 KOs), who defeated Diaz by majority decision in a 12-rounder 19 months ago in Fairfax, Virginia.
“Good fighter,” Crawford said. “Like I said, I don’t really go by who he fight and how he fought that opponent because I can assure you he’s not gonna fight me the same way that he fought the other [people] that he fought.”
HBO’s “World Championship Boxing” doubleheader will begin at 10:15 p.m. ET with a 12-round lightweight bout between Mexico’s Ray Beltran (32-7-1, 20 KOs, 1 NC) and Peru’s Jonathan Maicelo (25-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.