The world title wins of Terence Crawford's career

Terence Crawford has had an underrated career. A great amateur, who felt wronged out of his spot to attempt and qualify for USA Boxing, Crawford fought regionally until becoming a mainstay of Top Rank Inc undercards.

Crawford fit the bill of a word-of-mouth guy, not unlike Jorge Linares, as many insiders heard rave reviews about his sparring especially when he was in camp with Timothy Bradley Jr., but the world hadn’t heard of him. It wasn’t until a late-replacement bout against Breidis Prescott saw a star was born. Crawford boxed circles around the puncher on a few week's notice as Khabib Allakhverdiev withdrew from the bout allowing Crawford to fill in.

That was ten years ago, and ever since Crawford has become a name associated with greatness in the sport of boxing. The fighting pride of Omaha, Nebraska is living the American dream.

Crawford will face his rival of this generation, Errol Spence Jr., on July 29th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, live on Showtime pay-per-view.

Let’s look back at his world title wins right now.

Ricky Burns

Crawford won his first world title by traveling overseas to fight Ricky Burns for the WBO lightweight world title, in March of 2014. Not unlike, his rival, Errol Spence Jr., the duo, both won their first world titles overseas.

Crawford outworked and outboxed a game Ricky Burns, but one who had no answers for the offensive onslaught that Crawford was putting forth at him. Once Crawford was crowned the champion, he celebrated by doing a backflip in the ring.

The punch stats tell the story of the fight as according to CompuBox, Crawford landed 213 out of 811 punches compared to Burns who landed 76 out of 552 punches. In terms of power shots, Crawford landed 41% of his with 161 of his 389 power punches landing as opposed to Burns who landed at an 18% connect rate with 49 out of 268 punches connected.

Thomas Dulorme

After making two world title defenses at lightweight including one against an undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford moves up to the junior welterweight division to face a heavily avoided spoiler in Thomas Dulorme. Dulorme prior to this bout, had defeated a very good contender in Karim Mayfield, who was also heavily avoided.

Crawford would lose the first half of the fight as some concern grew about if the weight class was going to be all wrong for him, but not unlike many great fighters before him, Crawford dropped Dulorme three times in the sixth round en route to stopping him, to become a two-division world champion.

Viktor Postol

A pay-per-view fight that gets forgotten. At the time, Terence Crawford was widely considered the best junior welterweight and Viktor Postol had just stopped Lucas Matthysse for the WBC junior welterweight title to be viewed as the number-two guy in the division.

The bout was viewed as a pick’em type fight, a fifty-fifty evenly contested bout, but was far from that. Crawford dominated from the opening bell. This was signified by Crawford dropping Postol twice in the fifth round as Crawford would unify the WBO and WBC junior welterweight titles.

Julius Indongo

Julius Indongo will always be looked at by history buffs in many different ways. Indongo knocked out the Russian IBF junior welterweight champion Eduard Troyanovsky and followed that up by outpointing the WBA junior welterweight champion, Ricky Burns. Despite that, it was quite clear Indongo had a lot of flaws, and though a world-class fighter he didn’t appear to be the same caliber as Terence Crawford.

Despite being a four-belt undisputed junior welterweight fight, the outcome was viewed as inevitable which downplayed the crowning achievement of Crawford’s career becoming the undisputed junior welterweight champion. Crawford in many ways set the trend of people aiming to become an undisputed world champion.

Crawford stopped Indongo in three rounds in a fight that was never even competitive.

Jeff Horn

Jeff Horn had just beaten Manny Pacquiao. It was June of 2018, and the start of ESPN+. The first major boxing card on the platform was Terence Crawford versus Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight world title. Crawford had been calling for the Pacquiao fight but never got it.

Instead, it was a fight against Jeff Horn, who Crawford bullied until a merciful stoppage in the ninth round. The judges had scored every round for Crawford up until the point of the stoppage.

With the win, Crawford became a three-division world champion, as well as the former undisputed champion at the junior welterweight division, seemingly a hall-of-fame career.

Though the thing that haunts Crawford, not unlike Larry Holmes, is people often pick at his resume, which is a constant chicken and egg debate. Did Crawford fight ‘nobodies’ or did fighters never recover once they lost to Crawford?

Hopefully, on July 29th, this question gets answered.