Terence Crawford on Floyd Mayweather Jr., his future
Declaring his favorite fighter to be Floyd Mayweather Jr., newly crowned WBO lightweight titleholder Terence Crawford said he's ready to fight "whoever they put in front of me" during a Thursday interview with RingTV.com at the MGM Grand, site of Saturday night's rematch between Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.
"I like Floyd because he's been doing it for so long and ain't nobody been able to capitalize and beat him. I appreciate learning new things from any boxer that I watch or if I see that they're doing something nice or something that can help me in my arsenal," said Crawford (23-0, 16 knockouts), a 26-year-old who was last in the ring for a dominant, title-winning decision over Ricky Burns in Glasgow, Scotland on March 1.
"I feel good, being where I came from and where I'm trying to go. I gave a lot of people back home a lot of inspiration that they can be successful and do similar things. I just fight the fights and let my manager and my promoter handle all of that and I just train hard and just fight. I'm the type of guy where anything goes. I feel like I'm the best at what I do and whoever they put in front of me, that's who I will fight."
A winner of three lightweight title defenses, with a draw prior to the Crawford bout, Burns (36-3-1, 11 KOs) was returning to the site where he scored a controversial draw with Raymundo Beltran (28-6-1, 17 KOs) last September. Burns' jaw was badly broken in the fight, requiring the surgical implantation of titanium plates.
"I thought that I had to go in there and to show everybody that there wasn't any doubt who was the better fighter and the winner in that fight," said Crawford. "Because everybody knows of the cases that have happened over there in England where the fighters coming from overseas don't get their just due in the fight. So I felt like I had to go in there and really dominate the fight."
Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum would like to match Crawford against the winner of Saturday night's bout between Beltran and Arash Usmanee, which will take place on the Bradley-Pacquiao undercard.
In his past two fights, the 32-year-old Usmanee (20-1-1, 10 KOs) has lost by unanimous decision to unbeaten Rances Barthelemy and battled to a draw with then-IBF super featherweight titleholder Argenis Mendez in January 2013 and last August, respectively.
Arum said he envisions a matchup this summer in Council Bluffs, Iowa, adjacent to Crawford's hometown of Omaha, Neb.
"We'll see what happens on Saturday night because I would like the winner of that fight to fight [Crawford]," said Arum. "This summer, he'll be defending his title in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is three minutes from downtown Omaha. That's where the casinos are and so forth. So the fight might not be held in Omaha but it will be in Council Bluffs, which is the same thing."
Crawford, for his part, is up for the challenge.
"We know what's going in and we know that there is a possible chance that there can be a fight in Omaha and we just have to get it all together," said Crawford, who is managed by Cameron Dunkin.
"I've been with Cameron since my second professional fight and I have nothing but good to say about him. We came from nothing, you know, the bottom and move on up and now we're here. It's a blessing."