Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Crawford cares about size of crowd he draws to Garden big room

Photo courtesy of HBO

Terence Crawford is focused on facing Felix Diaz on May 20.

But the RING and two-belt junior welterweight champion is also concerned with the size of the crowd he draws for his match, especially considering it’s the first time he will fight in the big room at Madison Square Garden. The arena is being scaled for just under 10,000 seats, and Crawford, a rising star who is building his brand, wants to have the building teeming with fans as a show of his marketing power and popularity.

“I do care because at the end of the day those are the people who are going to carry your career to the next level,” Crawford said on Tuesday before a press conference to formally announce his bout with Diaz. “Selling tickets and having a support system. When you look at all the greats, they all had a fan base — Floyd, Pacquiao Cotto, Canelo. They all had that big fan base where they can go to any arena and sell it out and that’s something that I’m looking forward to doing in my career.”

Crawford, of Omaha, Nebraska, sold out Madison Square Garden’s Theater, the venue’s smaller room, when he stopped Hank Lundy in five rounds in February of 2016, drawing 5,092 fans. Crawford is popular back home, where he has fought four times at CenturyLink Arena, most recently an eighth-round stoppage of John Molina Jr. in December when he attracted 11,270 fans, an impressive number but short of capacity there. On Tuesday, however, Crawford said he doesn’t plan on fighting in Omaha anytime soon because of “personal reasons,” adding, “I’m not going back right now. Not anytime soon.” He declined to elaborate why. Crawford said he expects “quite a few” fans from Omaha to make the trip to Manhattan on May 20. “I’m expecting a lot of them to show up,” he said.