Crawford vs Benavidez : The Boxing Nothing quite sells fights like true distaste and animosity. Just ask Khabib Nurmagomedov and who, despite what happened after their bout, still set a for most projected PPV buys in company history.
Crawford vs Benavidez
Tonight at 10:30 pm ET on ESPN, Terence Crawford and Jose Benavidez Jr meet in the main event from Omaha, with Crawford’s WBO welterweight title on the line.
It’s no different in boxing, especially for WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford on Saturday in his home city of Omaha, Nebraska. In what was first met by critics as simply a stay-busy fight,
Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), a former undisputed junior welterweight champion who’s among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, said the war of words between the two began in February when Crawford attended a Top Rank event in Corpus Christi, Texas. Benavidez (27-0 ,18 KOs), who fought on the card, boldly approached Crawford to call him out.
“He just came up to me, told me that I was ducking him, I never wanted to sign a fight, I never signed a contract, I was scared of him, and he was going to knock me out,” Crawford said. “So I told him,
“He’s trying to piggyback off of my name to make himself bigger. You know, talk is cheap. We’re in the same division, same promoter. It’s an interesting fight. He’s always saying that I’m fighting smaller guys, so this is a chance to see what you are made of.”
Months later, the fight became a reality as both added more fuel to the fire by exchanging trash talk in their respective interviews. But the tensions boiled over considerably on Wednesday during media day when Crawford walked in on Benavidez’s public workout and started having words.
With his team around him, Crawford drew big laughs by needling Benavidez by saying, “I’m going to get all them burritos out you boy.” He then challenged Benavidez to bet his entire purse on the fight.
On Friday, things got even hotter when Benavidez shoved Crawford during the weigh in and Crawford reacted by throwing a heavy right hook that just missed the target and could have caused an interesting situation for all involved. The two were quickly separated to keep cool.
The fight is an interesting one for Crawford, who stopped Jeff Horn in June to claim the WBO title in his welterweight debut and is seemingly short on big-name options considering the majority of top fighters at 147 pounds are aligned with Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions.
Favorite Underdog Weight class
This is a fight that’s become about a lot more than a title, though, as the two sides have some serious beef with one another, evidenced at Friday’s weigh-in where Benavidez shoved Crawford, who responded by throwing a right hand at the challenger.
Crawford (33-0, 24 KO) is the heavy favorite here, but Benavidez (27-0, 18 KO) is a very talented fighter who has been considered a top prospect — if one who hasn’t moved too quickly — for a long time now.
The 26-year-old Benavidez, the brother of WBC super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez, makes up for a lack of top-level experience with his exciting style and brash personality. And despite not having faced anyone of even remote comparison to the talent level of Crawford, Benavidez hasn’t backed down for a second. In fact, it doesn’t seem part of his DNA.Prediction