In the not so distant past, when a gifted, young pugilist established himself as a top talent, he and boxing fans could look forward to a series of exciting duels against other gifted, young warriors. When you think about it, that’s kinda the whole point of this thing they call boxing, isn’t it? But the 21st century version of “The Sweet Science” is different. For at least three years now, everyone has known that Terence “Bud” Crawford is an exceptional talent, one of the best in the game, pound-for-pound. But instead of showdowns with other elite fighters in the welterweight division, Crawford has had to play, not the fight game, but the waiting game, reduced as he is to feasting on has-beens such as Amir Khan and Kell Brook, or lesser lights like Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
There’s little point in discussing again the why’s and wherefore’s of this sad state of affairs other than to note once again that the sands in the hour glass stop for no one, and an athlete’s prime years pass quickly. That said, we are not deaf to the recent buzz about a possible Crawford vs Shawn Porter match-up, which would be an overdue high-profile showdown at 147 for the pride of Omaha. But we’ve been down this road before and we’re not getting our hearts broken all over again. It’s all idle talk as far as we’re concerned. Wake us up when contracts actually get signed.
In the meantime, let’s revisit why “Bud” is to be regarded so highly and how he earned a big money showdown against someone named Porter, Pacquiao, Thurman or Spence quite some time ago. And why it’s a damn shame such match-ups haven’t already taken place. As Lee Wylie puts it, Terence Crawford is a truly “complete” boxer, his tactical skill and ring smarts something to behold. If only we could behold them against the best of the best in the welterweight division before the sands in the hour glass, and Crawford’s peak, are gone for good. Check it out:
“Being the ‘face of boxing’ is too often equated with pay-per-view buys and marketability, and because Crawford still leaves one wanting in those areas, it’s easy to forget that we’re not waiting on his ascension. There are no more questions to be answered regarding whether or not Terence Crawford has the goods; the case is closed. He’s not on his way to the top; ‘Bud’ is already there, standing on the peak of the mountain …” — From “Case Closed” by Zachary Alapi