Heading into his junior welterweight title fight against Thomas Dulorme this past Saturday night, Terence Crawford spoke about continuing his ascension up boxing's ranks.
Already the Boxing Writers Association and ESPN Fighter of the Year for 2014, Crawford continued his upwards trajectory, landing a punishing right hand before knocking Dulorme down three times and scoring a sixth-round technical knockout at the University of Texas at Arlington. With the victory, Crawford won the WBO junior welterweight title in his first fight in the 140-pound weight class and remained undefeated at 26-0 (18 knockouts).
If it wasn't clear before that Crawford is a force to be reckoned with following wins over Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Raymundo Beltan last year, the dominant six-round stoppage of Dulorme should make believers. But just being a champion isn't enough for the 27-year-old Nebraska native.
"I would like to be labeled as one of the greats. That's every boxer's dream. The first goal is to always become a world champion and when you succeed at that, you want to go further," Crawford told BET.com. "You want to be something more than just a champion, you want to be something more than just a boxer. You want to be something everybody remembers you of. You want to be remembered as a great fighter or a great champion. You don't just want to be labeled as a champion. You want to be labeled as a great champion like the [Marvin] Haglers, [Thomas] Hearns, Muhammad [Alis], [Robert] Durans and Pernell Whitakers — those type of guys."
While he has a ways to go, Crawford is grinding his way up in weight just to be regarded as one of the sweet science's elite. Could a bout with fellow unbeaten boxer Danny Garcia be in the cards next? After all, they are in the same junior welterweight 140-pound weight class. The two fought twice as 132-pound amateurs in 2006, with Garcia defeating Crawford in the U.S. National Championships, but Crawford edging Garcia in the Blue & Gold National Championships.
Professional rubber match next?
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(Photo: AP Photo/LM Otero)