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 profitable, Crawford’s battle this Saturday (December 10) on the CHI Well being Heart in Omaha turns into all of the weirder 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 earlier than we had been advised it was near being made and now we should settle, as earlier than, for each Crawford and Spence preventing different welterweights and consequently shedding time. Right here, with Crawford preventing Avanesyan, we get an honest battle, one Avanesyan’s current type possibly even deserves, however it’s nonetheless not Crawford vs. Spence, nor, when one takes into consideration the place each Crawford and Spence are of their careers, a battle that makes any form of sense.
In any case, Avanesyan, regardless of his current type, is a person largely unknown in America; his scalp due to this fact unlikely to additional improve Crawford’s legacy in any approach. 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 the planet than any of Crawford’s earlier wins.
That’s what makes this battle a irritating one for all who fee Crawford, 38-0 (29), as one of many very best abilities of the trendy 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 no less than concerned in a battle in opposition to an opponent recognisable to most boxing followers; somebody who, although accustomed to developing brief, had shared a hoop with a lot of the world’s prime welterweights. It wasn’t Errol Spence, no, however it was somebody who had fought Spence earlier than and somebody who had confirmed pedigree in and round that sort of stage.
There are, in fact, various stable 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 current ones (albeit in opposition to names destined to sink and not using a 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 preventing 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 perfect win on the Crawford file stays the ninth-round TKO he secured in opposition to proficient Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa all the best way again in 2014. If that doesn’t act as a wakeup name, nothing will.
Definitely, whether or not you consider Gamboa represents his greatest win or not, there may be an argument to be made that Avanesyan, his subsequent opponent, is not 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 have a look at the chilly, laborious details, and assess their respective information, Avanesyan’s wins in opposition to the likes of Josh Kelly (TKO 6), Liam Taylor (TKO 2) and Oskari Metz (TKO 1) don’t recommend Crawford is assembly a contender recent from ripping by way of murderers’ row.
The very best you may say is that Avanesyan, whereas unproven at this sort of stage, has no less than 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 provide them sufficient to have them suppose they had been in any approach aggressive with him. As a substitute, as has grow to be his customized, Avanesyan noticed a weak spot 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 status as a little bit of a destroyer, although at what stage he is ready to destroy stays to be seen. Clearly, this status 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 preventing a person who has not solely encountered his type earlier than however a person who has, up to now 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 find out about Crawford, nor do a lot for his profession. However it appears however the likeliest final result 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.