By Andreas Hale
Terence Crawford is linked differently than most fighters. That's why he is commonly known as one of the top three pounds for poundfighters in the world and is one of the most entertaining fighters to watch.
What makes him different, you ask?
An interview with ESPN gave a hint.
"Bidding is a friendly man," Brian McIntyre, his long-time tracker said in a new interview. "But he wants to hurt [people]."
That's what distinguishes him from other fighters. The nasty battle. He does not struggle to win, he is struggling to destroy. But it's not like Mike Tyson where there was only one shift, Crawford is another race of fighter. His technique is untouched with the ability to change position and become a completely different fighter with a completely different toolbox that can be emptied. But there are those moments when you look at him and he appears to want to pull out a fight until it's time to mercifully end it.
Depending on who he is fighting and how it works, Crawford will make subtle things like holding back on a combination or just to see how shook his opponent. It's a mental attack on the senses. Once he knows he can hurt you, it's a guess game when he allows you to go home. Julius Indongo was thought to be sustainable, Bud got wind of it and did not say much to the game. But when the clock ran, he knew what he had before him. Of course, fighters do not pay for overtime so the Nebraska product dug a left hook in Indongo's body in the third round. Indongo took a knee and decided that it was enough.
But then Felix Diaz was supposed to put up some kind of challenge. But if a round or two in the game it was painful obvious that Diaz had nothing for the united light welterweight champion. But instead of putting the fight to rest early, Crawford continued to plague and torture his opponent over the next ten rounds until Joel Diaz had to wave the white flag to save his fighter from further punishment.
Both Bud would hurt anyone.
That's what makes Crawford a scary opponent. Although he was world champion, Crawford always fought like he had something to prove. Unlike other champions, he did not defend titles. What does it mean? Well, some champions change their minds in fights to do enough to win and keep their titles away from the opponent. The killer instinct and need to impress is no longer present. Rather than search and destroy, these fighters count the round they win and do enough to arrive.
Keith Thurman is one of these fighters. Once upon a time Keith Thurman acted on "KOs for life" heading to the top. Obviously, as you move into the rankings, the opponents are not a lot of cans that will blow over. But if you look at Thurman's last game against Danny Garcia, you see a fighter who made math, thought he was ahead and continued to almost give the match back to his Portuguese opponent. But you get the feeling during the battle that Thurman could have pushed the action and broke Garcia down. It's not necessarily a small thing because there's a time in your career where it's really about winning, but you can.
But for Crawford he is not here to defend. He is here to fight like he has a chip on his shoulder. Even though he thinks he's forward, he wants to finish his opponent and leave them with a blow as they will remember years after his boxing career is in the back mirror. He likes to punish his opponents for their violations leading to the match.
Throughout the week, Crawford has asked questions about Jeff Horn's rubbish. Instead of becoming an active participant in barbinkasting, Crawford retains his answers shortly. But then there would always be something he would say to remind everyone that he knows.
"He may get hurt," Crawford said when discussing Horn's style. He left these words. He meant it. If Horn decides to become physically, Crawford has decided that he will need to hurt him. He is not sadistic, but he is proud of the ability to dominate his opponents. Jeff Horn is no different. It is also important to note that Crawford makes his debut debut and there are a lot of fighters that he has to notice. Although they may not admit it, Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia will look and he wants to make an impression. He also wants people to know that he is not Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn has no business in the ring with him. He will not say that, but he will refer to it.
Crawford makes statements with his actions and not his mouth. For what he fails to give a buzz worthy interview, he makes up to beat people up in a boxing. And if you hear him say it or not, he likes to beat people up. No world title will make him change his fight. He does not protect him attacking. And Jeff Horn is likely to be the next victim pummeled by Terence Crawford.
When everyone gets the message, it becomes interesting to see if Al Haymon is eager to put one of his fighters in the ring with Bud. Unless otherwise, Crawford's achievement and his future will be the water cooler conversation comes Monday. And that's just what he wants – you'll talk about him and how bad he's knocking down his opponent.