Ray Robinson: ‘I would beat Terence Crawford, I got his number’
Ray Robinson is the latest fighter to call out Terence Crawford.
However, unlike WBO junior middleweight titleholder Patrick Teixeira and some others, these two have a history.
Robinson (24-3-2, 12 knockouts) was the last fighter to defeat Crawford in the amateurs, and he badly wants a shot to prove who is the better fighter in the professional ranks.
He almost had that chance a year ago.
The 34-year-old Robinson fought then-WBO No. 1 ranked contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas in March 2019 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. He dictated the pace, demonstrated excellent ring generalship but had to settle for a controversial 10-round majority decision draw.
Robinson told The Ring on Friday evening that the winner of that fight was supposed to face Crawford, who has won titles in three weight classes, including the undisputed junior welterweight championship.
Calls for a rematch were rejected by Top Rank, which promotes Kavaliauskas, and, as a result, the two-time Olympian from Lithuania, also known as “Mean Machine,” got the opportunity to fight Crawford instead. He wound up getting stopped in nine rounds by the pound-for-pound star from Omaha, Nebraska.
However, Kavaliauskas gave Crawford his money’s worth early in the fight, forcing the champion to take a knee following a big right hand in the third round, although the referee ruled it a slip.
What went through Robinson’s mind when Crawford was momentarily in trouble?
“Not much honestly. I just thought it was crazy that they called that a slip,” he added.
Then Robinson slammed Top Rank for allowing politics to get in the way of making a more competitive fight.
“Politics knocking at the door again,” Robinson said. “At the end of the day, I’m not stupid. I know that Top Rank wasn’t going to do me any favors — I’m not their fighter. They were using me as a steppingstone, and they basically used me as a sparring partner to prepare for Crawford, who is a southpaw like myself. It didn’t go the way they planned.”
Robinson added that “100 percent” he would beat Crawford if they fought.
“I got his number. I would beat Crawford,” he continued. “I know that I’ve beaten him once already, but I know for a fact that I got his number. He hasn’t fought anyone like me. I feel like it would be the same result.”
Following his fight with Kavaliauskas, Robinson, of Philadelphia, came out on the short end of the stick again last June with yet another majority draw against flashy British prospect Josh Kelly, who had blood streaming down both sides of his face in the final round from two cuts.
“I beat him, too,” Robinson said. “I can box in a variety of ways. Against Kavaliauskas, I was boxing from the outside. And against Kelly, I walked him down.”