Stakes are high for Terence Crawford.
The 28-year-old boxer will put his undefeated record (27-0, 19 knockouts) on the line Saturday night (10 p.m. ET on HBO) when he faces Hank Lundy at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City during the World Championship Boxing event.
His promoter, Bob Arum, says he'll push for Crawford to fight at least two more times — maybe three — this year, with Crawford hoping to be a full-fledged pay-per-view prize fighter by the end of the year.
Three fights, maybe four, this year is grueling, but Crawford is up to the task.
That being said, BET.com threw a counter punch at Crawford during a recent interview by bringing up the topic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease becoming synonymous with late NFL players.
When asked whether boxers like him are concerned about the effects of repeated head shots and the possibility of CTE, Crawford was pretty candid in saying yes, going as far as to say that he'd be open to boxing conducting more regular tests for possible brain injuries.
"I've gotten tested and scanned on my brain a couple of times and I feel it's much needed," Crawford said of a more frequent testing protocol. "We go out there and put our lives on the line for a sport that don't give anything back. You see a lot of fighters, after their career they can't even enjoy their money and that's not right because we give most of our whole life to the sport of boxing. I feel like it's a good thing to [test more frequently].
"Yeah, test on a more frequent basis," he added, "and if they don't pass the test, they don't get to fight."
Currently, the way most sanctioned boxing councils are set up, fighters undergo a yearly physical in addition to a physician checkup before and after bouts.
But Crawford invites extra testing, leaning on the adage it's better to be safe than sorry.
"It's much needed for the sport of boxing," Crawford said about instituting a more regular testing for brain injuries.
Of course, there's one way boxers could stay out of trouble, altogether, and that's not to get hit much in the ring, as evidenced over the course of Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s prolific career.
Crawford, too, hasn't taken as much punishment as he has administered, thus his flawless record.
Let's see if he can continue that Saturday night.
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(Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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