Cody Crowley steps into the ring tonight feeling different. Today is his 30th birthday. And a win over Abel Ramos would prove meaningful, it would push the Canada man another notch or two towards those bigger-stakes bouts, with fatter paychecks and more spotlight.
Only Crowley will know how it feels to have that pressure on, and to be handling his business without his father in his life. James Crowley committed suicide last year. His son will be walking this hard path with complex emotions in play. You see his grin in that Esther Lin pic from the weigh in. Only he knows, how much is he trying to “fake it to make it.” Only he could tell you how much the pain from losing his dad affects him.
“When I first moved to Vegas at 21, I was living at the Hooters Hotel right across the street from the MGM,” Crowley recalled to John Stouffer. “I remember waking up every day looking across at the MGM saying that I'd fight there one day. Almost a decade later, here we are.” And yeah, the journey hasn't gone as envisioned. But those best laid plans usually don't go to form, as we wish they would…
Cody considered hockey, like ay good Canadian boy. His pop put him into boxing, to help him trim down. “As I was growing older, most of our relationship was just through my boxing,” Crowley said to Stouffer. “I would win, and I would get his acceptance, but there wasn't much communication back and forth…A lot of his demons his from his childhood that he wasn't able to work through caught up to him. And I feel like a lot of those demons are what caused me and his relationship to go a little bit sour.”
Heavy props to Cody, it seems he hasn’t let sadness sap his energy. “It has allowed me to take the role as a man and a person a lot better,” he continued to Stouffer. “And it has shown and been an inspiration to me to open up more and share my feelings. One of the ways that I'm doing that is talking about my own demons, my own personal issues. I’ve battled with suicide a lot.”
To honor his father, for his upcoming fight, Cody Crowley is looking to put attention on the situation, rather than looking to move on and gloss over the hard patch. Check out this effort, 55 For 55: Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness, and consider donating. “I’m using my dad's passing as a way to raise money and help others who were in the situation that he was in.” He touched on some of the same stuff in talking to Keith Idec at Boxing Scene:
I was moved seeing Crowley talking to Brian Campbell after making weight on Friday. His voice broke, but he held his composure as he shared that he himself was perhaps headed down the same dark road as dad—but he’s resolving to fight the darkness with some of the same intensity he’ll need to deal with Ramos.
Cody Crowley enters with a 21-0 mark. He’s not a power hitter, he has 9 kayoed to his credit. The lefty will need to be on point defensively against Ramos, who sports a 27-5-2 mark, with 21 KOs. The fight is billed as a WBC welterweight eliminator, for the record. Ramos might be a half step up from anyone Crowley has faced. The Canadian has been a once a year fighter of late, so we will see if that relative inactivity hurts the Canadian. Ramos took an L his last time out, and is 1-2 in his last three, so this is a mini crossroads match.
Yes, I will be biased in favor of Crowley as I watch the PPV opener on PPV.com.