Last night in Omaha, Nebraska, for the 34th time Terence Crawford stood victorious in his 34th attempt. It was another late night breeze taking care of José Benavidez Jr. without an ounce of stress. Crawford’s picture perfect TKO in the 12th round served as more proof he is the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather.
Crawford clearly does not have the personality of Mayweather to be the PPV draw and the topic of mainstream discussion, yet in the ring, he is on par with the historical great. Like Mayweather, Crawford has made it an all too difficult task to even fathom that he could lose to anyone. While the resume is not yet loaded with household names, potential fights with Errol Spence, Mikey Garcia, or against the legendary Manny Pacquiao would quickly change that. Sorry Errol, Mikey, Manny, you cannot defeat him either.
As the world actively searches for the next face of the boxing, Crawford’s two, and only, competitors are Canelo Alvarez and Vasyl Lomachecnko. Canelo is the biggest money-maker in the game — unless Mayweather comes back — but only a fool would look at him on the same level as Crawford. Canelo is a warrior in the ring but is a really good fighter, not a great fighter. Canelo has officially beaten Gennady Golvkin once and tied him the other time, but all honest consumers know the truth: he lost twice.
Vasyl Lomachenko is better than Crawford pound-for-pound. Lomachenko may actually be, when is all said and done, a better overall prizefighter than Mayweather. The issue is that he is more appealing to the niche boxing crowd. History has proven that even the greatest of fighters in the smaller divisions – that Lomachenko is in – do not draw the intrigue they deserve. Crawford, on the other hand, is in the much more lucrative welterweight division with stacked competition.
Crawford is also more exciting in the ring than both Canelo and Lomachenko. The atmosphere he creates surrounding him resembles the movie-like scenery once created by Sugar Ray Leonard. Lomachenko has a better case than Canelo due to skill in the ring, but doesn’t check off nearly as many boxes as Crawford.
The face of boxing is not going to be what it was when Mayweather carried the unofficial title. However, that is not Crawford’s fault. It is Mayweather’s. In order for a fighter to get “over” — wrestling style — they must beat the previous gold standard. Barring a shocking turn of events, Mayweather will never step in the ring across from Crawford and receive his first ever career loss.