Terence Crawford has predicted Shakur Stevenson will succeed him as the world’s finest fighter.
Stevenson on Thursday at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena fights Edwin de los Santos for the vacant WBC lightweight title.
If, as is widely expected, he succeeds he will be established as a three-weight world champion, and continuing the trajectory that has long led to predictions he will prove one of the finest fighters of all.
With his stoppage victory over Errol Spence in July, Crawford ended the debate over who of he, Naoyo Inoue and Oleksandr Usyk is the world’s best active fighter, but he believes the time will come when Stevenson – at 26, two years older than De Los Santos – will occupy the same status.
“Man, y’all going to be talking about it real soon, given the opportunity,” the 36-year-old told ProBox TV. “All he need is the opportunity and then the rest will follow.
“I’m at the tail end of my career. It’s his time now. He’s about to take over boxing. Like I said, given the opportunity, he’s going to be the number one fighter in the world. It’s an era right now.
“He’s older. He’s more mature now. He’s more focused now. That’s going to take him to the next level.
“About two years ago he became a different individual because he became more mature in his body; his mind. Everything.
“He was a kid then. He’s an adult now. He takes his craft more serious than he used to.”