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Crawford Continues His Rise

(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)
(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)


When you ask the co-manager of lightweight Terence Crawford, who faces Andrey Klimov this Saturday night from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida (HBO 9:45 p.m., ET), just how good his charge is, Brian McIntyre doesn’t pull his punches.
 
“I think he’s the best, man,” he says of Crawford’s standing at 135 pounds.”I think he’s number one; he just doesn’t have that title. I really do. Looking at those lightweights out there that got those titles, they can’t stand a chance with him.”
 
And what’s his overall ceiling as a fighter?

“’I honestly, see Terence surpassing Mayweather.”

 
What?! (And yes, McIntyre means Floyd Jr., not Roger or Jeff.)
 
“Surpassing Mayweather’s status,” he reiterated. “Just by his demeanor, his attitude, his love for the game, his work ethic, how much he loves the sport. I see him surpassing that. It’s a slow pace with him. We ain’t in a rush or nothing but just knowing him from birth to now, I see him getting past that.”
 
OK, let’s slow down just a liiiiiittle bit here. Right now, the native of Omaha, Nebraska is getting into his physical prime at age 26, has a record of 21-0 (16) and looks to have a bright future. The bout with Klimov is Crawford’s third HBO appearance and it’s clear his career is headed in the right direction and bigger and better things lie ahead.
 
“Oh, yeah, most definitely but I try not to get caught up in that,” said Crawford, who isn’t nearly as boisterous as McIntyre. “I just try to go out there and keep doing what I’m doing and keep winning.”
 
When asked if there was pressure to not only win but also impress and entertain, Crawford calmly stated, “No, not really, my whole objective is to go out there and win. I never go out there trying to look for something that’s not there and if the knockout’s there, most definitely I’m going to take it. But I just think my style of fighting, I’ll put on a show every time I step in that ring.”
 
But sometimes winning isn’t enough. There is some expectation to put on a good show if you’re going to truly become a star in this sport. In the past, boxers like Vanes Martirosyan have learned that coming out victorious isn’t enough for you to become a staple on HBO.
 
“I think every fighter is under pressure like that regardless of who it is,” said Carl Moretti, VP of Boxing Operations for Top Rank Promotions. “Every fighter out there needs to make an impact or an impression to the fans and everybody else and I think Crawford has done that in his two HBO appearances.”
 
Currently, Crawford is rated number one in the WBO (where Ricky Burns holds the title) and number three in the IBF (whose beltholder is Miguel Vazquez). He’s inching closer and closer to a title shot.

“If I could say it, I’d be fighting for it right now,” said Crawford. “I just feel like I’m ready now.”
 
The plan is for Crawford to fight for a belt - should be defeat Klimov, of course - in his next bout.
 
“That’s the plan. We were looking at the WBO title but since Ricky Burns got his jaw cracked, I don’t know what they’re going to do about it or how they’re going to go about it. But that’s what our plan is, to get Ricky Burns and try to get him to New York at that Madison Square Garden,” said McIntyre. What complicates matters is Burns might have to give Ray Beltran, who, by all accounts, beat him on September 7th, a rematch.
 
Regardless, Crawford is in the mix.
 
“I think he’s clearly one of the best lightweights in the world,” stated Moretti. “Hopefully he can get a shot at Ricky Burns in his next fight or in the not-too-distant future and I think with him and Ray Beltran and Crawford, you have a lot of exciting lightweights.”
 
The plan is for Top Rank to do a show at the Theater of MSG on January 25th that will most likely feature one of these lightweight match-ups. But Crawford has to get past Klimov before making any future plans. He admits he hasn’t seen a lot of his Russian foe outside his gritty majority decision over Johnny Molina earlier this year.
 
“[Klimov] did alright. He showed some movement, threw the jab a lot, bouncing around,” Crawford said. “He did what he had to do to get the job done.”
 
POUND-FOR-POUND
 
OK, they win; I’ve come around. Pound-for-pound lists are important. They are absolutely vital to the health of boxing. I’m sure like with every other pound-for-pound list, there will be disagreements and debates but this is just one man’s opinion. So here ya go:
 
10 - Lee Corso: “The Coach” is great. Say what you will about him but “College GameDay” wouldn’t be the same without him and his headgear prediction is must-watch television every fall afternoon. Hey, “not so fast, my friend.”
 
9 - Ray Donovan: This is a great show and Ray Donovan is a great character with many roles: father, fixer-upper, enforcer and sometimes husband. And yeah, his family is a complete rip-off of Freddie Roach’s life but hey, they made it work.
 
8 - Grey Goose and root beer/ginger ale: You can’t go wrong with either combination. Go with root beer if you want some sweetness; ginger ale is great to settle your stomach and get a good buzz at the same time.
 
7 - Chester’s Cheddar Popcorn: Yes, it’s back. And get this: it’s as cheddary as ever but now you don’t have orange fingers after you polish off a bag. And is there a cooler cat than Chester? Not even close.
 
6 - @BloggerBoxing: He might infuriate others on Twitter but the RamJam Boxing Extravaganza (featuring Ramiro’s cohort, @JamesBaggJr) cracks me up on a daily basis.
 
5 - Peyton Manning: This guy is the Picasso of the gridiron and he quarterbacks masterpieces every week. He’s as good as ever if not better. Anytime this guy is playing, I want to watch. This is true greatness at work.
 
4 - Jon Taffer: If he can’t rescue a particular bar, then it simply can’t be rescued. Taffer is a guy who takes no guff and he doesn’t embrace problems; he embraces solutions. Take him to Tampa Bay and he’d rescue the Buccaneers.
 
3 - Al Golden: Hey, that’s my coach and he’s doing a helluva job in rebuilding “The U” back to greatness. Fear the Tie.

2 - Twitter: Seriously, I don’t know what I’d do without it. I admit, sometimes I really crack myself up on this thing. There’s nothing better than blocking people.

1 - Mikey Donovan: Everyone wishes they had a grandfather like him. Mikey had the line of the year when his son asked him, “What did you do?” and he replied, “No, no; what did YOOOOUUUU DO?”
 
FRIDAY FLURRIES
 
 
ESPN3 will have exclusive streaming in the States of Scott Quigg’s attempt to win the “full” WBA 122-pound belt against Yoandris Salinas, along with the pro debut of heavyweight gold medalist Anthony Joshua on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m....Here’s my latest contribution to SportsOnEarth.com on the reunion between Miguel Cotto and Top Rank: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/62293556/...The latest episode of “The Next Round” can be heard here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thenextround/2013/10/01/the-next-round-episode-451...Is Greg Schiano the Captain Queeg of the NFL?...Olivia Pope would’ve prevented a government shutdown. She would’ve dug up dirt on every politician and threatened to spill the beans if they didn’t come to a resolution...I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing, where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in via our fully interactive article comments sections.


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