The history of the welterweight division is rich with great fighters, truly special warriors who are universally recognised as all-time greats. Is Terence Crawford deserving of being in their company? Barry McGuigan, who lit up the featherweight division in one big way back in the 1980s, writes in his regular column for The Mirror how Crawford, “slots into an elite group of historic figures at 147 pounds, led by the likes of Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Pernell Whitaker and Felix Trinidad.”
But does he?
Looking at Crawford’s welterweight resume, we see a total of just four fights, all wins. Crawford’s 147 pound opponents were: Jeff Horn, Jose Benavidez Jr, Amir Khan and Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
Really, do wins over those four fighters, all of them good but far from great, earn Crawford a place in the same company as the legends McGuigan has compared Crawford to? Not a chance. A look at Crawford’s entire body of work – world titles won at 135, 140 (all four belts) and 147 – lets us know how he is indeed a fine fighter. But going solely by “Bud’s” body of work at 147, we cannot in any way say he is as great as the welterweight masters McGuigan listed.
Crawford won’t get there with a win over Kell Brook, either. Crawford the welterweight needs a win over an Errol Spence, A Manny Pacquiao, even a Keith Thurman. Only then will he be within reaching distance of the likes of Sugar Ray, The Hitman, Hands of Stone, Sweet Pea and Tito.
So has McGuigan got it all wrong, has he heaped far too much praise on Crawford? For what it’s worth, I sure think so. But what about you guys? Is Crawford deserving of being mentioned in the same breath as the all-time greats the former featherweight king has said he is?
As for tomorrow night’s fight in Las Vegas: McGuigan says Crawford will “at some point make Brook miss and then, like Golovkin and Spence (who both stopped Brook), make him pay.”
If Crawford does defeat Brook, it will rank as his biggest win yet at welterweight.
As for Leonard, he picked up 147 pound wins over Hearns, Duran and Wilfredo Benitez. Hearns picked up 147 pound wins over Pipino Cuevas and Randy Shields. Duran picked up welterweight wins over Leonard and Carlos Palomino. Whitaker earned welterweight wins over Buddy McGirt and Julio Cesar Chavez (forget the scores that saw the fight a “draw”). Trinidad picked up 147 pound wins over Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya and Hector Camacho.
Again, does Crawford’s 147 pound resume (even with a win over Brook) come anywhere close?