NOTHING sums up the profession of Terence “Bud” Crawford fairly like a low-key battle in December in opposition to Russian David Avanesyan on a pay-per-view streaming service referred to as BLK Prime. A dangerous battle, a difficult battle, a battle he’ll get no credit score for successful, Crawford’s battle this Saturday (December 10) on the CHI Well being Heart in Omaha turns into all of the more strange and irritating when one considers 2022 was speculated to be the yr he lastly confronted main rival Errol Spence to deliver readability to the welterweight division and solidify their respective legacies.
Because it occurred, that battle fell aside no before we had been advised it was near being made and now we should settle, as earlier than, for each Crawford and Spence combating different welterweights and consequently dropping time. Right here, with Crawford combating Avanesyan, we get a good battle, one Avanesyan’s latest kind possibly even deserves, however it’s nonetheless not Crawford vs. Spence, nor, when one takes under consideration the place each Crawford and Spence are of their careers, a battle that makes any kind of sense.
In any case, Avanesyan, regardless of his latest kind, is a person largely unknown in America; his scalp due to this fact unlikely to additional improve Crawford’s legacy in any means. He is an effective fighter, a succesful fighter, however beating him does no extra for Crawford’s standing as both the first- or second-best welterweight on this planet than any of Crawford’s earlier wins.
That’s what makes this battle a irritating one for all who price Crawford, 38-0 (29), as one of many very best skills of the fashionable period. At 35, he can’t afford to have too many extra of those assignments, not when, as is the case with this one, it marks his solely ring look of the yr.
Even the final time we noticed him, in a November 2021 battle in opposition to Shawn Porter, he was a minimum of concerned in a battle in opposition to an opponent recognisable to most boxing followers; somebody who, although accustomed to arising brief, had shared a hoop with many of the world’s high welterweights. It wasn’t Errol Spence, no, but it surely was somebody who had fought Spence earlier than and somebody who had confirmed pedigree in and round that type of stage.
There are, in fact, a variety of strong wins on the Crawford resume, of that there is no such thing as a query. Wins in opposition to unbeaten fighters like Jose Benavidez (TKO 12) and Egidijus Kavaliauskas (TKO 9), for instance, had been good pretty latest ones (albeit in opposition to names destined to sink with no hint), as had been, going again additional, wins in opposition to Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo and Viktor Postol, all of whom had been additionally unbeaten.
However the worrying factor is, the reputations of these aforementioned fighters pale compared to that of Crawford, that means they had been, on the time of him combating them, comparatively unproven contenders whose “legacy” within the sport is but to be determined. Furthermore, one can nonetheless make the argument, in 2022, that the most effective win on the Crawford document stays the ninth-round TKO he secured in opposition to gifted Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa all the way in which again in 2014. If that doesn’t act as a wakeup name, nothing will.
Actually, whether or not you consider Gamboa represents his greatest win or not, there’s an argument to be made that Avanesyan, his subsequent opponent, isn’t any higher than Gamboa, Postol, Indongo, Horn, Kavaliauskas or Benavidez. Sure, it’s true, he brings to Crawford some issues these males had been unable to, but, equally, if we take a look at the chilly, exhausting details, and assess their respective data, Avanesyan’s wins in opposition to the likes of Josh Kelly (TKO 6), Liam Taylor (TKO 2) and Oskari Metz (TKO 1) don’t counsel Crawford is assembly a contender recent from ripping by murderers’ row.
The very best you may say is that Avanesyan, whereas unproven at this sort of stage, has a minimum of proven a capability to do away with opponents at ranges beneath world-class with a specific amount of favor and decisiveness. In different phrases, the 34-year-old didn’t waste time with Kelly or Taylor or Metz, nor did he supply them sufficient to have them assume they had been in any means aggressive with him. As an alternative, as has turn out to be his customized, Avanesyan noticed a weak point in these opponents and attacked it like a canine on a bone, refusing to let go of them till both the referee or their nook intervened and saved them.
This, whether or not rightly or wrongly, has given Avanesyan, 29-3-1 (17), a repute as a little bit of a destroyer, although at what stage he is ready to destroy stays to be seen. Clearly, this repute shall be examined like by no means earlier than on Saturday in opposition to Crawford.
On Saturday, Avanesyan will, in contrast to in earlier fights, be combating a person who has not solely encountered his type earlier than however a person who has, to this point in his professional profession, confirmed a capability to regulate his personal type to counteract and overcome each single type he has confronted within the ring. That’s what makes Terence Crawford such a frightening proposition for anybody who fights him. It’s additionally what makes the very fact he has nonetheless not fought Errol Spence so miserable.
A late stoppage of David Avanesyan received’t inform us something we don’t already learn about Crawford, nor do a lot for his profession. But it surely appears nonetheless the likeliest consequence this weekend.
On the Omaha undercard, Philadelphia-based Ukrainian Arnold Khegai, 18-1-1 (11), fights Mexican Eduardo Baez, 21-3-2 (7), over 10 rounds at featherweight, whereas the unbeaten Steven Nelson, 17-0 (14), meets fellow American James Ballard, 10-4 (3), over eight at light-heavyweight.