By: Hans Themistode
Well before Terence Crawford received his credit as being one of the best fighters in the world, Tim Bradley was singing his praises.
As a two-division world champion, Bradley constantly tells the story of sharing the ring with Crawford during a sparring session several years ago. Although Crawford hadn’t yet won a world title at the time, Bradley was immediately taken aback by his skills in the ring.
Fast forward several years later, and Bradley is even more impressed with Crawford.
For as great as Crawford has been, current unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. is viewed as his biggest challenge by far. With the Dallas native sporting a strong overall resume and two of the four major titles at 147 pounds, the boxing world is patiently waiting until they share the ring with one another.
If and when they do square off, most would consider their showdown a 50/50 fight. However, in the mind of Bradley, he believes Crawford will leave Spence Jr. on the seat of his pants before the sound of the final bell.
“I been said Spence gets knocked out,” said Bradley during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “Crawford does too many things. He’s going to find a way to knockout Spence. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Bradley’s overwhelming belief in the skills and power of Crawford was only reinforced this past weekend. At the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Crawford took on his toughest opponent to date in former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter.
Early on, Crawford couldn’t time the awkward rhythm of Porter. However, after fighting on fairly even terms through the first half of their contest, Crawford took over down the stretch. In the tenth, the Omaha, Nebraska, native registered the first knockdown of the night thanks to a left uppercut. With Porter seemingly dazed, Crawford went in the finish, successfully doing so just moments later.
Throughout the career of Porter, the former titlist has long been lauded for his ability to give every top 147 pounder a difficult time in the ring. Although Bradley tips his cap to Porter for giving Crawford several issues early on, he points to Crawford’s adjustments which led to the first stoppage defeat in Porter’s career.
“Spence, [Keith] Thurman, they all struggled with Porter. Crawford, he did struggle a bit, the kid had a great game plan, has a ton of experience, and used it very well but for the most part, Crawford was able to neutralize a lot of the stuff that he did. It just shows you how great Crawford is.”