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TERENCE CRAWFORD: AMAZING BENEFACTOR

October 25, 2015, Queens, NY  You have two fighters, both 140 lb. champions in the sport of boxing. One fighter, Adrien Broner (A.B.) says he’s About Billions. He has lost twice, and not looked very impressive more than a few times, but he is given opportunity after opportunity, paid relatively handsomely, and has a degree of celebrity. The other champion is undefeated, goes about his business without fanfare, is more exciting in the ring, and is more talented, but he isn’t given the kind of coverage that compares to the former fighter. The latter fighter was 2014’s fighter of the year, isn’t trying to be the reincarnation of “Money” Mayweather, or doesn’t make excuses for underwhelming boxing performances. The former fighter was anointed by many boxing pundits as the next great fighter (PureSportsNY Senior Writer Greg Jacobs said otherwise and declared Broner as overrated.) The latter fighter, Terence Crawford, is an A.B. of sorts. He’s an Amazing Benefactor.

Terence Crawford Saving Lives

Terence Crawford Saving Lives

Crawford has made two trips to give his money, lend his time, and raise awareness about poverty in Rwanda and Uganda. He has partnered with the charitable organization Pipeline Worldwide, and his concerns go beyond having his hair combed during the post-fight interview, wearing platinum chains around his neck, and accumulating enough luxury cars to open up a dealership. Crawford’s exploits don’t make the headlines. It’s not surprising. Here is a young man doing good things, an athlete who is socially conscious, who is not perpetuating materialism–and he is not being featured for his positive exploits. With the rash of negative portrayals of athletes (particularly African-American athletes) on shows like Ballers and Survivor’s Remorse, Crawford is a real-life fresh of breath air.

Hard Left

Hard Left

Last night, Crawford, 27-0, (19 KOs) defeated Haitian-born fighter Dierry Jean, 29-2 (20 KOs) by 10th round stoppage when referee Tony Weeks stopped the bout. The fight was held in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, at the CenturyLink Center in front of a crowd of 11,000.

Crawford didn’t disappoint as he dominated from the start knocking down a game, but overmatched, Dierry Jean in the first round. The end was expected several rounds earlier, but came in spectacular fashion. Crawford backed Jean against the ropes and unloaded a chopping right that buckled him. Jean avoided a long right jab by turning nearly sideways and got caught with a long straight left. Jean stumbled and took a few awkward steps with his back against the ropes, almost running, and that’s when Crawford ended it with a right-hook, left-hook combination.

Pacquiao Maybe?

Pacquiao Maybe?

In the post-fight interview, Crawford was asked by Max Kellerman of HBO, “Why were you especially amped up for this fight?” Crawford replied, “Well, you can look to your left and see those two guys over there who called me out. They called me out twice. ‘Did you get what you were looking for?’ His manager guaranteed me that he was going to walk away to Canada with my belt from my hometown, and I felt that was a bit disrespectful.”

Crawford is promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank and is likely to fight Manny Pacquiao on April 9, 2016. Pacquiao is claiming this will be his last fight–and if this is true, he is picking a most dangerous opponent in Crawford. “I’m ready. Bob, make it happen,” was Crawford’s statement when asked about the possibility of fighting Pacquiao.  Kellerman continued to press Crawford about Pacquiao, but Crawford would only say,”You just have to watch it and see. It’s going to be the thing to see.”

Crawford is obviously not a big talker, but he’s a big doer with a big heart. His good deeds do not need to go unheralded. He’s going to be a great fighter when it’s all said and done–great for what he does inside and outside the ring.  Crawford is an Amazing Fighter and an Amazing Benefactor.

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

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