Tim Bradley surprisingly believes Terence Crawford can pull off the impossible by going up three weight divisions to defeat Canelo Alvarez to dethrone him as the undisputed champion at super middleweight.
Bradley feels that Crawford would get the better of Canelo on the inside just like he did against Errol Spence Jr. last July. However, Spence was never on the level of Canelo on the inside, and he looked like a shell of himself against Crawford.
If Canelo chooses to ignore the 36-year-old Crawford like he’s been going with David Benavidez & Demetrius Andrade for many years, he’s likely going to run out of time.
Crawford can’t stick around for the next five or six years, waiting & hoping Canelo will throw him a bone by inviting him up from the 154-lb weight class to give him the $20 million payday.
Canelo thinks of himself as an old-school fighter, but the decision to defend his 168-lb undisputed championship against 154-pounder Jermell last Saturday made him look bad.
“Crawford is physically strong, and when I say physically strong, he’s not normal. The dude’s an alien,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype about his thoughts on Terence Crawford.
“Canelo did use some physical controls in there against Charlo. He manhandled him; he made him feel like a little boy, pushing his head down, pushing his neck up.”
Crawford being physically strong at 147 has no bearing to being the same at 168. Jermell was physically strong at 154, but moving up 14 lbs to 168 showed that the power doesn’t transfer that far.
“He was being really physical in there. A guy like like Crawford,” said Bradley. “How you’re able to take away a guy with strength and size advantages like that is the technique, and he knows that from wrestling. He knows it’s about repositioning his body.
With Canelo having just beaten a fighter two weight classes below him at 154 in Jermell Charlo, he’s probably not going to go one division down by picking 147-pounder Crawford, opening himself up for criticism for making a complete mockery of the sport.
“I think he’ll be a lot better on the inside than Canelo,” said Bradley about Crawford. “Although Canelo is strong, I think that Crawford can be able to maneuver and push him in certain ways and get certain shots off, whereas a guy like Charlo didn’t have that ability.”
If Crawford did try and fight Canelo on the inside, he would get hit with a lot of point-blank punches to the head, and he could be sorry he tried that angle. What worked against a weight-drained Errol Spence at 147 doesn’t mean anything when you move up three weight classes to 168.
“No one thought that Crawford was going to stand there and trade with Errol Spence, and when he did, he stepped inside the pocket,” said Bradley. “That’s where he did most of his work when he stepped inside the pocket, bullied him, pushed him back, and pushed him off of him.
“I think he can take advantage of Canelo on the inside. Canelo only throws a couple of shots at a time. Granted, he does have a tough high guard, but again, he throws only a couple of shots at a time. So there are opportunities for Crawford to be able to expose a little bit of Canelo, but it’s just, can he take that punch?
“Can he take that heat that Canelo’s going to be throwing? I don’t know. It’s just going to be really challenging because of that size difference. So if Crawford if Crawford can go up and beat Canelo Alvarez, will go down as probably one of the greatest fighters of all time.
“If he can go up to 168 and beat that Canelo Alvarez, that’s historical stuff, and I think that Crawford is willing to do it. He’s that crazy. I would back him because I think he’s different, and I know some of you will be like, ‘He’s your friend. You’re going to back him.’
“He has the skill set. I’m telling you, he does. No one thought that Floyd [Mayweather Jr.] was going to be able to do it against Canelo. Canelo was a lot bigger. I think he had to be at least 15, 20 pounds heavier than Floyd on the night of the fight,
“He was 165, something like that. Floyd came in probably a buck 40 something, 40, 49, 50. I know he was a big boy, and I
don’t know if they did a weigh-in that night, but Floyd doesn’t go much up in weight.
“Floyd was able to use technique back then, though. Canelo boxed
too much. I think he’s more on the front foot much more now than he was then. He tried to be more of a boxer-puncher back then,” said Bradley.