Terence Crawford, who has his second fight of 2019 this Saturday – “Bud” having had a less than active or stellar year, certainly not for a man of his talent – is looking way past Egidijus Kavaliauskas. The 32 year old, for some the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today, has stated more than once, and with utmost sincerity, that he is going up to middleweight after his WBO welterweight title defence on Saturday night.
Speaking with Fight Hub, Crawford, 35-0(26) said he is deadly serious, and is “not playing” – he is going up to 160 pounds in his next fight.
“I’m going to 160,” Crawford said. “Whoever is at 160 [I will fight]. I’m not playing. I’m going to 160 my next fight.”
When pressed on if he wants to fight either star, Canelo Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin, Crawford replied how Canelo is “up at 175,” and he said that Triple-G is “at 168.” But if Crawford does indeed go up in weight and then looks really good at middleweight, fans will call for him to fight the big names at 160 – whether that’s Canelo or GGG. But can Crawford make it at 160, his fourth weight class? Tall enough at 5’8”, Crawford certainly has the skills and the boxing brain. But will his speed go up with him? How about his punching power?
Crawford cannot afford any slip-ups against Kavaliauskas, 21-0-1(17) and he clearly feels no need to worry on that score. But could Crawford be underestimating the man from Lithuania, if just a little? Maybe. Crawford is a big favorite to win on Saturday, though, and barring an upset “Bud” will retain his WBO welterweight title. Perhaps for the last time.
Maybe Crawford feels, as some fans do, that he is in danger of seeing his prime years slide by without him having had a genuine super-fight. Maybe Crawford feels he can show his true greatness as a middleweight. Might Crawford’s defining fight come at 160? Next year promises to be a very interesting one indeed for the man from Omaha, Nebraska.