Terrence Crawford steps up in a major way considering his lack of top-level opposition facing Shawn Porter this Saturday night live from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on ESPN+ PPV. Will Crawford answer the bell and show his worth as a marquee fighter, or will Porter overwhelm Terrence once this fight enters the deeper waters? Most folks believe Terrence will get his hand raised on Saturday, but there seems to be a strong debate on how this fight will actually play out in the ring. Plenty of boxing experts think Crawford will beat Porter like no other 147-pounder has before. Whether that equates to Crawford outclassing Porter say 10-2, or an opinion that’s picked up steam of late, Bud stopping him.
It’s hard not to be excited for this welterweight clash for a variety of reasons. One is that Bud finally gets an opportunity to fight a top-tier boxer in what is still the deepest weight division in boxing. The second of many reasons is the style of this bout could really blow the roof off the Mandalay Bay Arena. Even if Crawford took the “safe” route and tried to stick and move, it’s not like it’s easy to do versus a bulldog-like Porter.
Yet another reason is Shawn Porter just in general stepping up to take on another killer. Think about it Shawn fought Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence, among others, and now Terence Crawford. Win or lose, Porter is knocking on the door of the Hall of Fame, making a strong case based on his resume. Let us rejoice just for the fact that Top Rank is taking the training wheels off and finally facing a PBC boxer of a high caliber. That last line will probably piss off Bud fanboys and even be looked at as suspect by media members.
The bottom line is Bud re-signed with Top Rank back in 2018, which coincided with Manny Pacquiao moving over to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. Clearly, Top Rank hasn’t made any legit offers to the upper-echelon of the PBC, and the politics of boxing has hurt Crawford. Credit to Top Rank and ESPN for making a deal with Shawn Porter; from the sounds of what’s been reported anyway, it’s more than fair purse. I want to make it clear I don’t think it was Crawford purposely ducking fighters across the street. He just got caught up in the mess that is the boxing biz.
Back to how this fight will play out in the ring, as mentioned, there’s a strong push of fans and media members calling for a Bud stoppage. Talk about a measuring stick moment if, in fact, Crawford gives Porter his first loss coming by knockout. Don’t get me wrong; it’s possible based on Crawford’s accurate punching, especially his ability to counter. The looks he will give Shawn as he seamlessly transitions from orthodox to southpaw, along with Bud’s timing and power, gives him a real chance to KO Porter. This fight will defiantly help show just how much power Bud has at 147 instead of judging it by knocking out a severely-faded Amir Khan and Kell Brook.
On the Shawn Porter side, what version will we get against Crawford? Porter 1.0 is a face-first ruthless attacker who smothers his punches too much but also swarms foes while toeing the line of being a dirty fighter. The fighter we saw in the Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas fights was Porter 2.0. Shawn used his feet and skill, mixing an outside game with his rough and tumble style. What he probably needs is Shawn Porter 3.0, a guy dedicated to throwing his jab, moving his head, resetting on the outside, and also giving him hell in the trenches. One-hand free punching will be a nice tool to frustrate Bud as well possibly wear him down.
Will Bud use a blend of boxing skills or look to do what Errol Spence did and fight Shawn Porter’s fight from the opening bell? Although, there will be lots of moments of give and take on the inside look for Crawford to clinch and pivot out of the pocket. Crawford, in a skills-fest affair at a comfortable range in the pocket, is where he thrives. Against Postol, after losing round 1, Terence made an adjustment and basically didn’t lose another round by fighting on the move and scoring points, eventually landing heavier shots.
Here’s an interesting question I see getting debate about online. Will Bud try to go for the knockout, or if hurt, will he fire back quickly, putting him in harm’s way. Lots of people talk about Bud being a mean fighter, and it does appear that way in the ring and even during interviews at times. As far as Crawford losing his cool and getting in trouble trying to pay back Porter if he gets hurt, I’m not so sure about it. This boxing podcaster does think Bud, within that actually round he was buzzed in, will let his emotion take over, so to speak. I say that because it’s already happened a few times.
That said, Crawford won’t let it affect the rest of the rounds, and with his canny-ability to show versatility, he’ll just get back to the game plan. Bud has too many paths to victory to ignore, and that alone is the reason I am picking him. The only thing stuck in the back of my mind is the years of fighting good but not great opponents could catch up to him and thus be a shock to his system. An action fight turns more one-sided once Bud finds his groove and timing.
My Official Prediction is Terence Crawford by Majority-Decision.
Side Note: On Friday, DAZN has a card topped by Demetrius Andrade, also featuring Murodjon Akhmadaliev, Martinez vs. Arroyo, and Reis vs. Camara.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio