Out of sight, out of mind.
This adage should also have been true of Terence “Bud” Crawford if not for the Ring Magazine and those so called prestigious ratings bodies.
Out of the ring for more than a year since turning back yet another unexciting challenger, past prime former world champion Kell Brook of the UK in November 2020, Crawford has nevertheless managed to keep his lofty standing especially with The Ring
Bud Crawford remains in the top three of The Ring’s and other rating bodies’ best pound for pound fighters in the world alongside Canelo Alvarez and Naoya Inoue.
He is still generally regarded as the best welterweight fighter particularly compared to unified WBC/IBF titleholder Errol Spence who is listed in the lower tier of the pound for pound totem pole but strangely number one at the divisional ranking over Crawford.
Over the past two years, despite the pandemic, Bud has had the opportunity to prove that he indeed was and is the best welterweight vis-a-vis Spence and then still active Manny Pacquiao—inside the ring but inexplicably blew his chances.
In both instances, the issue was purse split, though in the case of Manny, it was allegedly sponsors failing to deliver the money to make a fight somewhere in the Middle East viable, if we are to believe Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
Some people are apt to question the credence of Arum’s claim as Crawford himself was reported as so frustrated with his promoter, he himself stated he wanted out of Top Rank.
Anyway, on both counts, Crawford and Arum had no reason to ask for higher or even equal split of the take as Errol and especially Manny are the more proven fight sellers. It was said Crawford could not even attract a fly in his own hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Last seen, Crawford was an interested spectator in the WBO/IBF super featherweight title fight between Jamel Herring and his young close friend and stablemate Shakur Stevenson in October.
Bad as it was that he was merely mentioned as one of the special people in attendance, the press covering the fight seemed unmindful of him.
Worse, after the fight won impressively and quite easily by Shakur Stevenson, Bud Crawford also appeared not just like a doting older chum of Stevenson but also a fan, an admirer and worst, Bud looked like he was just part of the young boxing sensations entourage!
Hence, whatever respect and credibility Bud still has with the boxing fans, got even eroded with that scene which was aggravated by Crawford’s natural low key and soft spoken news. Of course, Bud had only wanted his pal, Shakur to solely bask in the glory. But a picture as they say could paint a thousand words.
This weekend, November 20 (November 21 in the Philippines), Crawford will have an opportunity to salvage his Image and pride as he defends his three year old WBO welterweight crown versus Shawn Porter, another ex-titlist at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Crawford is a slight favorite (-700 to ÷500) over Porter in this fight which not only his WBO crown at stake but also his immaculate 37-0 (28 KOs) and lofty ranking as top P4P fighter.
Bud has been untouchable at lightweight and super lightweight where was undisputed champion and since winning the WBO welterweight belt by stopping Jeff Horn in 2018 but his quality of opposition has largely been questioned at 147 lbs.
In Porter, Bud would be up against probably his most formidable foe.
Porter has been beaten thrice before—by Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence, all in title fights but none of the victors could claim a clear, decisive, pretty win.
An excellent former amateur who fought at middleweight with victories even versus Oleksandr Usyk, would you believe, Porter is known for his bullish strength, incessant in- your- face pressure and punching power that earned him two tenures as WBC titlist and numerous title tries
Terrence “Bud” Crawford has to win big—by clear cut points victory or if possible by stoppage or knockout—to salvage his waning image and pride in boxing.