Monday, October 26, 2015

Is Terence Crawford On A Collision Course With Manny Pacquiao?

The fight between undefeated two-division world champion Terence Crawford and top contender Dierry Jean had what appeared to have what this observer said were the makings of a hell of a fight. Two fighters with similar styles each possessing the type of hand speed and punching power that gave the impression of a bout that would be a competitive fight between two highly skilled world-class boxers.

No matter how a fight might look on paper however, it does not always translate into what one might think will happen once that fight actually takes place in the ring. When Crawford and Jean met on October 24th at the Centurylink Center in Omaha, NE for Crawford’s WBO Jr. Welterweight world championship what took place was a showcase of an undefeated world champion’s skill as he continued his march towards stardom against a “Game” fighter in Dierry Jean who on that evening was over matched.

Although it appeared that the fight would develop into a competitive tactical battle early on, Crawford was able to take control. In what was a competitive first round where Dierry Jean was able to have some success, Crawford made a tactical adjustment late in the round by switching from an orthodox to a southpaw stance.

Crawford would score a knockdown of Jean seconds later with a right hand at the end of round one. It was at this point in the fight where Crawford began to administer a gradual beating to the challenger. Although there was not always a lot of activity in terms of punches landed in several of the rounds in this fight, Crawford’s effective aggression and ability to dictate how the fight was fought was the story.

Crawford had particular success fighting out of the southpaw stance in being able to land his right hand and mixing in combinations as well. Jean simply did not have an answer to combat the southpaw stance of Crawford or Crawford’s ability to be effective in his aggression, get his punches off first the majority of the time, and ability to deflect much of Jean’s offense.

As the fight progressed, Crawford’s dominance continued. The champion would score a second knockdown of Jean in the closing seconds of round nine with a left hand. It would be in a tenth round that Crawford would close the show.

A barrage of punches highlighted by a right hook brought the fight to its conclusion late in round ten as Jean was knocked almost through the ropes and was prevented from going down as the fight was stopped. For Terence Crawford it was a near perfect performance against a very difficult fighter who had never been stopped previously in his career. 

The biggest story coming out of this fight however, is the potential that Crawford could face former multi-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in April of next year in what could be Pacquiao’s final fight. Off of what was an impressive performance, Crawford made as good an argument as a fighter could make if he is indeed being considered as a potential opponent for Pacquiao.

Crawford is a young and unbeaten two-division world champion that stylistically could pose a difficult test for Pacquiao in what would be his first fight since losing to Floyd Mayweather. Although much of the discussion prior to Pacquiao’s return to the ring no matter who the opponent will be, will center on the condition of his right shoulder after suffering a torn rotator cuff prior to his bout with Mayweather, if it will indeed be Crawford who will be standing across the ring from Pacquiao, Pacquiao should be given credit for opting to face not only a fighter on the verge of stardom, but arguably one of the most difficult fighters to fight in either the Jr. Welterweight or Welterweight divisions.

Even though nothing has been announced as to who Pacquiao will fight in his next fight, this observer believes that Terence Crawford is definitely a fighter that should be considered a front-runner in regard to potential opponents. It will be up to fighters in both the Welterweight and Jr. Welterweight divisions to make their case for being a potential opponent for Pacquiao between now and April 2016. Regardless of Manny Pacquiao’s recent loss to Floyd Mayweather he is still a superstar of the sport and a consistent top pay-per-view draw regardless of who he fights.

 Whether or not Pacquiao’s next fight will be his last is a subject that will likely be debated. In this observer’s eyes a potential fight between Pacquiao and Crawford would be an interesting battle and any questions as to what Pacquiao has left to give as a fighter will likely be answered.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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