IT WAS competitive up until the 4th round when all of a sudden Terence Crawford sneaked in a right hook that caught Kell Brook off guard.
Brook staggered backwards towards the ropes, his equilibrium clearly in disarray. A follow-up combination didn’t quite land from Crawford as the ref stepped in and ruled it a knockdown because Brook had the ropes to support him.
A few seconds later, Crawford thundered in to finish off his wounded quarry, and the ref saw enough to call for the sudden denouement of what had been a close fight up to that point.
CRAWFORD. With this victory, Crawford cemented his place as being shoulder to shoulder with Canelo Alvarez as the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
His demolition of Brook, a top-tier fighter in the division, showcased his style and skills in a way that reminded us how good he can be. A switch-hitter who likes to take his time in figuring out his opponents, Crawford only needed a couple of rounds to zero in on Brook’s weakness and when he did, he finished him off in spectacular fashion.
If only he fought more often.
ALVAREZ. Talent-wise, both Canelo and Crawford are at par. But the former is the flagship fighter of the sport, simply because Alvarez has had more career-defining fights and ergo, he is more recognizable and more popular.
Boxing is a superstar-driven sport, and so it needs superstars to be the straw to stir that drink. Being talented is of course a pre-requisite, but that of itself is not enough. You need exposure and lots of it. Alvarez has had more and resonates more with the fans, not to mention his huge Mexican base.
That leaves Crawford outside looking in, and while he can always still catch up—at age 33, that window of opportunity is closing fast.
Consider that Alvarez is still 30 years of age but has already fought Sergey Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin twice, Daniel Jacobs, Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Not that all of those are career-defining fights, but at least opponents are recognizable names and top draws.
In contrast, all that Crawford has to show in terms of name opponents are Brook, Amir Khan and Jeff Horn. Quite a paltry output, really.
Now, his promoter Bob Arum is pursuing that Manny Pacquiao fight and while indeed, getting the Pacman’s scalp would be a huge boost in this inventory, remember that our fighting senator is already 41 years old, and has fought only four times since 2017. He is at best, a semi-active fighter.
Speaking of Pacquiao—when he was 33, had already fought Juan Manuel Marquez (twice), Shane Mosely, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Ricky Hatton and Oscar dela Hoya.
Of course it’s not all Crawford’s fault, and part of that may just be on his promoters, but when you see how “Bud” is losing out on his prime years we can only shake our heads in wonder as we see one of those generational talents waste away his career.
VERBATIM. “I already said who I want. I want Pacquiao.”—Terence Crawford (www.boxingnews24.com)
LAST ROUNDS. Are on my sis-in-law, Atty. Renelda Chanco, and my kumpare Roger Lee who recently celebrated their birthdays. Cheers!