By Allan Cerf
On May 20 at the Theatre, Madison Square Garden NY, NY, it’s Terrence, ‘Bud’ Crawford vs. Felix Diaz in a Junior Welterweight Championship fight. Also, HBO.
Background: Crawford, supremely talented and a guy I’ve long touted, is fighting Felix Diaz, a very slick left-hander and winner of Olympic Gold. Why someone as good as Diaz who features crafty side-to-side movement, is left-handed and possesses enough power to enforce respect has fought only 19 times as a pro is unknown. Given his intriguing, excellent fight with Lamont Peterson – based on that kind of stuff, I would think his brain trust would have built-out his professional career much, much more rapidly. The dude’s been at the pro game since 2009, coming off Olympic Gold in Beijing. Talk about a SLOW career arc.
Terrence Crawford is in the news as a boxer who can do – if not literally everything, then pretty damn close. Powerful, quick, awkward, switch-hitter, killer instinct; all boxes ticked. ‘The’ question on the horizon in my view, is: can Lomachenko make 140, skills intact, and will Crawford wait for him? And please God – NO catch-weights. Such a brawl would - with due respect to Anthony Joshua, anoint the best fighter on planet earth.
Crawford is also in the news recently for getting bent out of shape at the time a local auto body took to paint his car. Angered, Crawford hauled the car away, damaging the equipment of the establishment. Stupid behavior for a guy who previously had only traffic infractions. Next - he was ludicrously over-charged. Here’s hoping cooler heads prevail and this returns to civil court where it belongs. This needs to happen because Crawford appears headed to stardom and is, according to most, a very decent guy. A grossly unjust criminal conviction would darken his star.
Scorecards: (Speed, Power, Defense, Reach, Age, Stamina, Experience)
Crawford: B+ B+, B+ B B B+, B+ (Average of all) B
Diaz: B+, C+ B, C C- B+ C+ (Average of all) B-
Reality Check: Because Crawford enjoys commanding advantages in terms of age, reach and experience and is an all-round better fighter, this one could end early. Diaz won gold for The Dominican Republic in 08,’ but was stopped in the 2004 Olympics. Yes, the amateur game is a distant cousin of the pro ranks, yet for some reason, that ancient stoppage makes me think Crawford can end things early. Don’t sleep on Diaz, though. He is very skilled. Curiously, Diaz’s single punches aren’t all that fast, but his combinations are often blinding. Unusual. I didn’t have a chance to interview Felix (another fighter to put on my “must interview” list) and would ask him, to belabor a point: “Why so few fights dude?”
Personal: Crawford has been covered in this department before and I could find nothing on Diaz- and again, an interview is in order to rectify this oversight.
Fight and Prediction: Crawford TKO 9 in a showcase performance.