Photo by Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing
2014 would be a year that would be tough to beat for Terence “Bud” Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs). Crawford started his year traveling all the way to Scotland to defeat Ricky Burns and become the WBO world champ. His first title defense was against Yuriorkis Gamboa in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Keeping his title by a TKO victory in the ninth round, Crawford defended his title a second time in Omaha, this time against Raymundo Beltran in November. Crawford ended the year undefeated and proceeded to make a move that would be the next best step for his career.
A new year meant new everything for the 2014 BWAA’s “Fighter of the Year.” A new weight division, a new baby girl and a new mission to become world champ again. Crawford mentioned after his victory over Beltran that it was just the right time to make the move to 140 pounds. As fight fans recently saw during the HBO edition of “2 Days,” Crawford faced much difficulty making the 135 pound weight limit when he faced Beltran last November.
“Ever since I can remember I’ve had to lose a good 15 pounds or more to fight. I’ve never been able to fight at a weight class close to my natural weight,” Crawford said during training in Colorado Springs. Crawford and his team have called the Colorado Springs Army Base their home for most training camps. Training at high altitude and away from all distractions has it perks, and allows the team to stay focused.
Getting to see Crawford and his team train in person really puts things into perspective. From the moment the team steps foot in the gym, it’s time to work–and everyone on Team Crawford works. The strength and conditioning coach steps on the treadmill, the manager and trainer get a set of wraps ready, while the other trainer puts the music on and lays out “the ladder.”
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
A few moments after Crawford puts on his numerous layers and sauna suit everyone on the team runs through the ladder, a drill and warm up which is set to work on footwork. You can certainly feel the connection and see the dedication of this team. After the warm ups, you see Crawford wrapping his own hands. No matter what the day’s schedule is set to be–sparring, regular training–the team never stops moving.
The strength and conditioning coach hops back on the treadmill, and Brian McIntyre (or “Bo-Mac”) joins him. With so much going on you wonder why Crawford had such difficulty cutting the weight before finally reaching 135 pounds his last fight. Perhaps this time the team decided to step it up as Crawford alluded to during a media conference call.
“I could have made 135 easily for this fight, more so then the last one,” said Crawford.
Despite the great work ethic, you see just as many smiles and hear just as many laughs. Crawford–though often quiet and soft spoken during interviews–has a lot of fun with his team. At one point during training, Crawford threw water on his manager/trainer and jokingly warned him, “Watch your hands big boy,” as Bo-Mac adjusted Crawford’s shorts.
The only thing that’s missing this training camp is a belt, but it’s there in arm’s reach for Crawford to hold again. Crawford has a chance to fight for the vacant WBO world super lightweight title this Saturday against Thomas Dulorme (22-1, 14 KOs) in Arlington, Texas. The 12 round championship bout is part of a double header feature on HBO’s Boxing After Dark.
While most are hoping to see another spectacular year from Crawford, Crawford’s mindset is focused on one fight at a time. The goal is to continue winning, and prove that all the hard work pays off.
Will five pounds make a big difference for Crawford? Maybe I’m a tad bit biased, but I don’t think so. The amount of work Terence “Bud” Crawford puts in is one that cannot be outmatched, and I truly believe the only way Dulorme can beat him is if he works and trains harder.
Header photo by Porfirio Barron Jr./RBRBoxing