By Frank Warren
The standout performer, for me, on a busy weekend of televised boxing was a man who I believe has greatness within him.
Now I don’t make such statements about too many boxers, but Terence ’Bud’ Crawford really does look the part and already one of the very best in the business.
With Crawford you are talking about genuine quality, a class fighter, who has cemented his place in the top bracket of elite fighters.
Ok, I know he has just received a short jail sentence in home town Omaha for what appears to be a relatively minor misdemeanour, which he is appealing, but this does not detract from his greatness in the ring – though of course it might now preclude him from being named Fighter of the Year in the US.
I have long believed he is the best around, along with Vasyl Lomachenko – they are the finest two fighters on the planet, with Gennady Golovkin not too far behind.
It is a particular thrill for me that the careers of both Crawford and Lomachenko have been showcased to the UK audience on BoxNation – and there is plenty of mileage left in the journey of both men.
Crawford made it look easy in the defence of his double world crown against John Molina in the early hours of Sunday morning. He bided his time before applying a stunning finish in the eighth round.
I suspect there is not much left for him to prove in the super lightweight division and he would be a thrilling addition to the welterweight ranks.
People aren’t far off when they say he is the best fighter we have seen since Sugar Ray Leonard.
I think he would quickly set about dethroning the welterweight champs and a fight with fellow Top Ran-ker Manny Pacquiao would be an intriguing possibility.
Kell Brook is mandated to take on Errol Spence Jnr for the IBF title and Crawford taking on either of those would certainly appeal, while I would make him a firm favourite against either Danny Garcia (WBC) or Keith Thurman (WBA).
Amir Khan is always up for a big fight and that is another I wouldn’t turn my nose up at.
The fight against Molina at the weekend was yet another occasion where one of the fighters came in overweight – the challenger in this instance.
It is something that is happening far too often these days and I understand two title contests on the Manchester show were also blighted by weight issues.
Not showing the professionalism to make the weight is unfair on the promoters and, more importantly, the fans.
Even more so, it shows a total disrespect to the opponent who will have worked hard for 10-12 weeks fulfilling his side of the bargain.
More often than not the fight ends up going ahead to ensure that everybody doesn’t lose out and the boxer who hasn’t prepared properly ends up having a weight advantage.
I am not suggesting fighters should be dangerously boiling themselves down like in the old days. And certainly not by sitting on the sauna as some fighters have been doing! If they are struggling to make the limit it should be flagged up well in advance and other arrangements can be made.
This is just a lack of discipline because they will have participated in check weights ahead of the actual weigh-in and must be hitting the required mark in those.
Stronger action needs to be taken for the good of the sport. It is all very well just knocking a bit of money off, in my opinion there should be stringent penalties imposed to really ram the message home.
More from Frank tomorrow on the farewell to a modern great- and the farce of Eubank jnr’s ‘world title’ bid on ITV.