Leo Santa Cruz is expecting Shawn Porter to apply constant pressure on WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford on November 20th to try and break him down in their fight on pay-per-view at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Santa Cruz, who is no stranger to dealing with an aggressive pressure fighter, says Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) will need to try and find a way to keep Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) off of him.
This will not be easy for Crawford because he’s never had to face anyone like Porter during his long 13-year professional career.
Thanks to Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank, he’s had things easy, fighting guys like Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Jose Benavidez, Jeff Horn, and Egidijus Kavaliauskas
Crawford hasn’t had to face the harsh reality of battling fighters with talent, and that can smother his offense, giving him no room to use his counter-punching or switch-hitting.
All those gimmicks are useless when facing a smotherer like Porter. Counter punchers only do well when given space, and the same applies to switch hitters.
Shawn Porter will try to break Crawford
“Porter is a fighter who comes to fight. All the time he’s putting on pressure, and getting on top of you and breaking you down, pushing you and pushing you,” said Leo Santa Cruz to Fighthype on the November 20th fight between Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter.
“It’s going to be a great fighter for Porter and Crawford,” Santa Cruz continued. “They’re both great fighters and some of the best. I see it as being a close fight, and whoever pushes it the most will take it.
“If it happens before my fight, I might watch it at home. It’s going to be a great fight, and I would love to watch it live.
“Crawford is a great fighter, who throws a lot of punches too. But when you have a great fighter like Porter on top of you, it changes it,” said Santa Cruz.
Porter’s pressure on Errol Spence Jr. in their fight in 2019 would likely break Crawford, and he’s not used to getting struck and forced to brawl at close quarters. If Porter can turn this into a dogfight, it could not be suitable for Crawford.
Crawford will have to handle pressure
“He’s going to have to change it up and see what he does. You’re going to move a lot and try to keep your distance and let him smother you,” said Santa Cruz on what he would do if he were fighting Porter.
“A fighter that is smothering you and pressuring you, it’s hard. You got to be smart and have good conditioning and be ready for that.
“You got to be able to handle the pressure that’s on top of you because that gets you tired too. You have to have good conditioning and be at your best,” said Santa Cruz.
Crawford will have to find a way to deal with the pressure that Porter puts on him without outright running from him.
If Crawford runs, he’s going to look bad and wind up getting booed out of the arena at the Mandalay Bay by the Las Vegas fans.
It’s a massive step up for Crawford compared to the opposition that his promoters at Top Rank have been shoveling into the ring for him to fight.
It’s fair to say that Crawford has yet to fight his first talented welterweight since moving up to the 147-lb division in 2018. Vergil Ortiz Jr. tried calling out Crawford, but there was no interest.
That would have been Crawford’s chance to cut his teeth on his first quality opponent at 147, and he had no interest.