A chat with Terence Crawford
This week, I got the opportunity to spend a few minutes chatting with one of boxing’s hottest fighters, undefeated WBO junior welterweight titleholder Terence “Bud” Crawford. He is fast moving north on most fans’ pound-for-pound lists, is undefeated at 27-0 (19), a two-division world champion, can count world renowned business magnate Warren Buffett as one of his biggest fans and has become a one-man sports franchise at home in Omaha, Nebraska. On Oct. 24, Crawford scored a 10th round stoppage win over Dierry Jean in the first defense of his 140-pound title at the CenturyLink Center.
Bill Tibbs: Good afternoon, Terence. How are you?
Terence Crawford: I’m fine; thanks.
BT: So to say the last couple of years have been pretty good might be a bit of an understatement. You’re about as hot as it gets right now.
TC: Oh yeah, I’m delighted with where my career is at right now. Things are going well.
BT: What about those Omaha crowds? You have become your own sports franchise at home. You’re packing ‘em in even during football season.
TC: We are gettin’ there. The support has been great. It goes to show that I have real good support from Omaha, great fans.
BT: You go into Ricky Burns’ backyard (in Scotland) to pick up a title. And you come home and pack the big room in Omaha as a one-man sports franchise, carrying boxing into the Midwest on your back. Does the pressure motivate you?
TC: Yes, absolutely. The pressure of a fight makes me fight that much better. I know there is a lot on the line with a win or a loss, so it makes me want to go out there and perform at my best. It makes me want to get into great shape and be ready for whatever happens in the fight. If it turns out to be a real hard fight, I’m ready. Pressure makes me train that much harder to be ready for anything.
BT: There are a lot of great fighters at 140 pounds. Is there anyone in particular you’d like to face? And, of course, what about a fight against Manny Pacquiao before he retires?
TC: I don’t look for any fighters in particular. I leave that up to my team. I would, of course, like the Pacquiao fight if it happens. God-willing, it would be great but if it doesn’t, then we will go a different route.
BT: You have been very successful against every style you have faced. You and your team seem to really have a strong game plan going in. And one thing that has really stood out is your ability to make adjustments in the ring.
TC: I think my greatest strength in the ring is my ability to out-think you. If I can out-think you, then I got you.
BT: I had a nice chat with your longtime coach and manager, Brian McIntyre, last night, a very friendly and engaging guy. That’s been a great relationship in your entire career.
TC: Oh yeah, I have known him my whole life. Well, he has known me my whole life. He’s been with me forever, my whole career. He was friends with my parents. We’ve been in the gym together forever. When he became my coach, later, it was just a natural fit. We have great chemistry.
BT: You moved up to 140 pounds. Was it getting too hard to make 135 or were you just ready to tackle a new division? You’ve had a couple fights now at junior welterweight.
TC: Making 135 was getting very hard. My body was filling out. It was getting very hard, so we decided it was time to move up. I feel very good at 140, stronger. I still feel fast as well. I just feel a lot stronger, very fast and strong at 140.
BT: What is 2016 looking like for Terence Crawford? You’d like Pacquiao but, if that doesn’t happen right now, what is next?
TC: I just leave that up to my manager and team. They will make the best move for me. I would like the Pacquiao fight; we are just waiting right now to see what he is going to do. We will just have to wait and see what will happen. Whoever they decide is next for me, I will train for them and get ready for them. I’ll get in great shape and I will win.