FRANK WARREN’S SCRAPBOOK – 26.2.16
There’s still a certain magic about Madison Square Garden which not even the MGM Grand in Las Vegas can match. So it will be the perfect stage for Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford to strut his stuff, displaying skills that I believe make him the most talented of American boxers now that Floyd Mayweather jnr insists he has hung up his boxing boots for good.
This Bud’s certainly for me. I’ve been a great admirer since he brilliantly deprived Ricky Burns of the WBO lightweight title in Glasgow two years ago and I believe he will now assume the Mayweather mantle in the US for some time to come.
Usually he boxes out of Omaha, where he has become a home-town hero but his Saturday night date New York where he makes the second defence of his freshly-acquired WBO super-lightweight title against Philadelphian Hank Lundy offers a platform for wider appreciation of his all-round ability.
Undefeated in 27 bouts, the 28-year-old Crawford, is a slick , clinically-punching fighter much in the mould of the early Mayweather but without the egotistical baggage. He is also more exciting, with fast, switch-hitting hands and well-honed technique.
BoxNation viewers will have seen for themselves just how attractive and adroit a fighting machine he is with his calculated demolition of Canadian Dierry Jean back in October.
Now the Channel of Champions again has live and exclusive coverage from the Madison Square Garden Theatre, starting at 2am Sunday.
Lundy, aka ‘Hammerin’ Hank (26-5-1) , is a go-forward southpaw who should bring out the best in a man Top Rank promoter Bob Arum plans to showcase as the best of the current US hit parade.
No doubt our own Terry Flanagan will be keeping an eye on the undercard when young undefeated Puerto Rican starlet Felix Verdejo makes the third defence of his WBO Latino lightweight title against Brazil’s William Silva.
Saturday’s ‘unification’ super-bantamweight set-to in Manchester between Brits Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg has been almost as long in the making as Mayweather v Pacquiao but there’s every chance it will be a better fight.
Just as they were with Billy Joe Saunders and Andy Lee, the bragging rights are as much a part of their rivalry as the respective IBF and WBA titles at stake.
Both are good box-fighters but I lean slightly towards Frampton who is the stronger puncher of the two, though possibly the more vulnerable on the evidence of his last fight when he was twice decked by the little-known Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez.
Britain currently has a record 12 world champions, but this will be reduced to 11 after tomorrow night – unless it is a draw.
And this is such a close call that a draw is not an inconceivable outcome.
Tomorrow in Hubbard’s’ Cupboard: Why it is crazy for the Olympics to go pro