THE TRUTH IS THAT BUD IS BETTER PRESERVED AND SELF-ASSURED: TERENCE CRAWFORD BY 12TH-ROUND TKO
Since the Errol Spence-Terence Crawford showdown was announced nine weeks ago, the subject of “who wins?” has been one of complete avoidance.
There are some tough calls. But this one, wow.
Do you like Spence, 28-0 (22 knockouts), the southpaw Texan with the insanely fast hands and the sharp, accurate punches who has dominated the welterweight division since 2017?
Or do you prefer Terence Crawford, 39-0 (30 KO’s), the switch-hitting Nebraskan with multi-layered skills who has conquered three divisions?
It’s an impossible call – one that has changed with the dawn of every day for about the last three years.
For many of those years, Spence was the pick. “The Truth” is the natural welterweight and the bigger framed fighter.
When skills are this equal, the edge goes to the bigger fighter, right? At least, on paper.
Terence Crawford Vibe Influences Pundit
But lately, there’s a detail about Crawford – known as “Bud” – that has become more apparent. Someone called it a “coldness.”
Hard to describe – but it’s there.
A look, a vibe, that is palpable, and a little unnerving. A confidence that seems to go beyond confidence. It’s a “know.”
Marvin Hagler had that knowing aura 38 years ago.
After a multi-city tour that the Marvelous One shared with Thomas Hearns to promote their April 15, 1985 fight, the two fighters pretty much despised one another.
They traded barbs and insults throughout the grueling tour, and it raised interest in a fight between two guys who weren’t really known for selling fights.
One observer noticed an assuredness in Hagler, though, that stood out.
“Marvin’s so sure he’s going to knock Tommy out,” he said.
And, sure enough, he did, after the most epic three rounds in boxing history.
Not that this fight will be determined by a prefight look or feeling. Too much is read into whether a fighter blinks, reacts or flinches. It typically means nothing.
And sometimes it’s the fighter who isn’t trying to stare the other guy down who wins.
Manny Pacquiao won most of his fights and he was nothing but smiling and happy at prefight weigh-ins.
But there’s something about the way Spence and Terence Crawford have interacted this week that makes one lean toward Bud after months of thinking it would be Spence.
At age 35, Crawford is better preserved, and he fights looser.
Spence is wound a little tighter – throws a little harder – and the specter of his car accident and eye injuries still linger.
At 33, Is “The Truth” the same fighter he was prior to the accident?
He was stunned by Yordenis Ugas big time in 2022. For a split second, he looked done.
This will be classic.
Back-and-forth, changes in momentum, dramatic exchanges of skill, boxing IQ and athleticism.
But around the 10th round, that self-assured Bud will start to emerge. The one with the knowing look. He will start to hurt Spence. And he will surge as the fight enters the final stages.
A combination will put Errol down. And Bud will apply the final touches.
Terence Crawford by 12th-round TKO.
Matthew Aguilar may be reached at [email protected]