The sport of boxing had seemed at one point to be lagging a step or two behind while the UFC skyrocketed in popularity. In the last year though, boxing has seemingly regained some of its footing against the UFC and mixed martial arts, and it is because of the output of great fights, and another one is taking place this weekend.
Terence “Bud” Crawford has long been a mainstay in the sport atop or near the top of its pound-for-pound rankings and has held onto a world title since 2014. He remains undefeated with a record of 37-0 with 28 knockouts. Across from him on Saturday though is one of the toughest tests of his career in Shawn Porter, the former Golden Gloves champion also boasting a strong career record of 31-3-1.
Both men possess power in both hands, good defense, and, most importantly for fight fans, a willingness to stand in the middle of the ring and deliver a fight of the year.
Terence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter Preview
In order to understand the significance of Saturday’s bout, it is important to know where both men come from in their careers.
For Crawford, it has always been a struggle to earn the respect and gratitude of his predecessors in the lower weight classes like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. In the case of Porter, he has always been seen as one of the best fighters in the world inside his weight class, but he has had trouble winning “the big one”. Both men can take a serious step towards dispelling these false pretenses that have attached themselves to these men.
The respect that Crawford is pursuing may finally be at hand though, because in the case of him facing Shawn Porter, it is without a doubt the best fighter he has faced in his career. Although Crawford has faced the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Vicktor Postol, Amir Khan, and Kell Brook, all of these men were either not on the level of Crawford or proved to be a shell of what they once were.
Despite his competition being less than ideal given the rising stakes Crawford always had going, he did what he was supposed to do by dispatching them all in a highlight reel fashion. Shawn Porter may not be in the high of his physical peak, but he is an absolute gamer and a proven champion who doesn’t shy away from a tactical fight or a barn burner.
What Threat Does Shawn Porter Bring?
During the same stretch that saw Crawford fighting the names mentioned above, Porter was facing equally strong names. However, Porter fought those names when they still had gas left in the tank. His fights against a tough, rugged, and talented duo of Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi were the first two fights that got everyone’s attention.
Following that up, he also was able to beat a then-tough Adrian Broner, Andre Berto, Danny Garcia, and Yordenis Ugas, who just defeated Manny Pacquiao in his retirement fight. Unlike Crawford, though, Porter does have some blemishes on his record with a majority decision loss to Kell Brook, a unanimous decision loss to Keith Thurman, which was a closer fight than that would indicate, and a split decision loss to one of the pound-for-pound best today in Errol Spence Jr..
Porter has never backed down from a challenge in his career and while his record may not be as “clean” as Crawford’s, he has the better resume overall at this point.
Why Should MMA Fans Be Invested?
If fans somehow missed out on the Tyson Fury or Canelo Alvarez fights over the last month and a half, they still have an amazing boxing match on their hands this weekend.
Both men have power in both hands, are defensively sound, and have top-level footwork and head movement that allows them to compete at the level they do. Will this be an Arturo Gatti versus Mickey Ward-type fight? Probably not. Can it be the fight of the year though? One hundred percent.
MMA brings the beauty of different techniques and different martial arts disciplines is what brings people in. This fight will have the beautiful mix of violence but also the technical prowess of a defensive battle: the ultimate matchup for the ultimate fighting fans that want it all.
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