This fight is not simply another one in the books for either fighter. There is a bit of bad blood between these two.
Just a few months ago they were seen having a heated discussion on the night of Crawford’s debut at Welterweight against former champion Jeff Horn. Crawford invited Benavidez Jr to step outside in order to settle the debate. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed, but that confrontation set the table for the matchup we have this weekend.
In a recent media call involving Crawford, Evan Korn and the President of Top Rank, Todd Duboef, Crawford spent much of the conversation downplaying any so-called rivalry with Benavidez Jr., labeling their confrontation as more of a little heated discussion.
Terence is all too familiar with back-and-forth chatter between himself and the fighter opposing him. When he took on Hank Lundy two years ago, Crawford was told repeatedly how he would lose by knockout. Come fight night, it was Crawford who was actually the hammer as he stopped Lundy in Round 5.
A few months prior to that it was Dierry Jean who antagonized Crawford throughout the buildup of their fight. He too could not cash the checks his mouth continued to write. After Crawford stopped him in the the 10th round he infamously asked Jean after the fight, “Did you get what you was looking for?”
Crawford has a way of not just winning his fights and coasting to an easy victory, but truly punishing his opponents.
For Benavidez Jr., the task of taking down Crawford is hard enough, but doing it in Crawford’s backyard of Omaha, Nebraska seems insurmountable.
Benavidez Jr. has been telling every and anyone that would listen that Crawford has been ducking him. He even said it to Crawford’s face during their back stage dust up just a few short months ago.
“He just came up to me, told me that I was ducking him, and I never wanted to sign a fight, I never signed a contract, and I was scared of him, and he was going to knock me out,” stated Crawford as he began to regurgitate some of the scenes of that night.
Yeah, sure Crawford is the favorite. Many are looking at Benavidez Jr. as nothing more than a speed bump in Crawford’s path on his way to bigger fights. Such as matchups with IBF champ Errol Spence Jr., WBA titlist Keith Thurman and newly crowned WBC champion Shawn Porter.
Those are the fights fans want to see Crawford in but before he can make those bouts a reality he needs to get past his opponent this weekend. Benavidez Jr. is not coming to simply lay down. He’s undefeated himself and would love to stop the hype train.
Crawford has never been much of a talker. Throughout the entire media call he was very reserved and calm, but exuded a quiet confidence.
“Like I said, talk is cheap. Come next week, all the talking and all the answers that everybody want to ask about the fight will be answered” said Crawford. “I really don’t have nothing to say about the guy. Come fight night, you know I’ll be ready.”
Crawford and Benavidez Jr. both seem ready. I think I speak for every fan when I say we’re ready for the bell to ring already. Saturday night is fast approaching. Lets see how this fight plays out.
Who do you see getting their hand raised at the end of the night? Leave a comment below.
Header photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank