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Crawford: “Pound-for-pound is my ultimate goal”

Terrence Crawford
Terrence Crawford

By Anson Wainwright

When welterweight champion Timothy Bradley says something, we know by now to pay attention. When he sparred with rising lightweight Terence Crawford, he was instantly impressed. He rang his manager, Cameron Dunkin, with a glowing report, which Dunkin recounts, chuckling, “Yeah, Tim called raving about Terence saying, ‘Who is this guy? Where have you been hiding him, too?’” The secret is close to being out on the 25-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska, who moved to a spotless 18-0 (14) with a fourth round stoppage over Hardy Paredes that followed a stunning demolition of once-touted former Manny Pacquiao sparring partner David Rodela. At this juncture of his career, the quiet but likable Crawford is crossing over from prospect to contender with the plan to rise through the rankings and zero in on a title opportunity next year. Dunkin continues, “I saw [Crawford] at the Olympic trials in 2004 and I loved him. After I signed him, we’ve been patiently bringing him along, letting him mature. It’s not an exact science. He signed with Top Rank last year and he’s had three fights with them and we’re all happy with his development. I think next year could be his year.”

Anson Wainwright - In your most recent fight, you won in the season finale of “Friday Night Fights.” Could you tell us about the fight?
Terence Crawford – I felt real good; I felt I did OK. I wouldn’t say great because I got caught with a couple of things I shouldn’t have got caught with. I should have finished him a lot earlier than I did when I hurt him in the first round. Other than that, I think there’s more things to work on.
AW - You previously impressively stopped David Rodela in two rounds over the summer. How happy you were with your performance?
TC – I’m OK with it; I’m not satisfied ‘cause I’ve seen the amount of mistakes I made. I got room for a lot of improvement.
AW - When are you looking at fighting next?
TC – I leave it to my handlers. As far as I’m concerned I’m ready for whatever.
AW - You’ve been a pro since 2008. How do you think you’ve developed? What have you improved?
TC – I got stronger; I got smarter mentally and physically. I know the game more than just coming out of the amateurs, just throw punches and not have a meaning for them.
AW - Who are the key members of your team? Also where do you regularly train?
TC – My trainers are Saul Diaz and Brian McIntyre. My managers are Cameron Dunkin and Brian McIntyre. My promoter is Top Rank. I train at the Viking Shed in Omaha.
AW - Can you tell us about your amateur career, what titles you won and your final record?
TC – I won the PAL, the Blue and Gold, third and fourth at the USAs. I made it to the quarterfinals in the [Olympic] trials. I won Ringside, which is an invitational you don’t have to fight in the regionals to qualify [for]. You just sign up and go but it’s one of the hardest tournaments out there. I won that twice; I was runner-up once.
AW – What current pros have you fought?
TC – I fought Danny Garcia twice, Diego Magdaleno three times. I fought Sadam Ali, Jerry Belmontes. I fought Mason Menard; I fought Miguel Gonzalez, Michael Dallas, Javier Garcia, Mikey Garcia, Ray Robinson, Luis Ramos. I fought pretty much all the prospects out there. I don’t know [what my record was]. I think I lost 11 or 12; I think I had 70 fights.
AW – You mention those lightweight prospects. Where do you feel you think you fit in?
TC – I’m there; sometimes I feel I don’t get the recognition I deserve but I feel I’m right there.
AW - You’re from Omaha, Nebraska, which isn’t known for boxing. Can you tell us how you first became interested in the sport?
TC – I used to fight a lot on the streets and my mom, my dad, everybody was into boxing. My dad was a boxer, my grandpa, my uncles, my cousins. That’s pretty much how I became a boxer. The guy at the gym asked me if I wanted to box and I didn’t know nothing about it. So I’m like, yeah, ‘cause I know I like to fight. So I asked my mom; she said yeah and I’ve been boxing ever since.
AW - For his last two fights, you’ve been Timothy Bradley’s main sparring partner. Can you tell us a little about that and how you’ve found sparring and training with him?
TC – It didn’t affect me at all; it showed me where I am and where I want to be. I’m in there sparring with a world-class fighter, a champion, a true champion and I did good. I know if I can do good with him, then the fighters I’m going to be in with aren’t going to be nothing like him. I feel good about the situation. He’s a good guy; he let me know a lot of things that I probably didn’t know about in and out of the ring. So it was a good experience both times.
AW - Can you tell us a little about your life away from boxing? What are your interests?
TC – Well, currently, I just like to train, take care of my family and do what I got to do to be the best I can be. I play basketball, video games, go outside do things, I got to be active, do some kind of sport. I got a son I take care of. Me and his mom live together but otherwise everything else is boxing with me.
AW - What goals do you have in boxing?
TC – To be the best I can be, be in the Hall of Fame. Pound-for-pound is my ultimate goal but my first goal - one at a time - win this championship at 135 and show I’m the best at 135, then move up.

AW -
 What fighters did you enjoy watching when you were younger and who do you like to watch today?
TC – I watch a lot of Floyd Mayweather Jnr., Pernell Whitaker, Shane [Mosley] at 135. I watch a lot of boxers; I like boxers who show the art and skills like [Marco Antonio] Barrera. I just like boxers.
AW - As you say, you’re not one of the most known guys but you’re making your way through. Do you have a message for the lightweight division?
TC – They know I’m coming. I might not be as known but they know about me. They see it.
Questions and or comments can be sent to Anson at and you can follow him at Anson is also a member of The Ring magazine’s ratings panel.
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