Robert Silva is back with his list of greatest super lightweights in boxing history. Terence Crawford is number four.
Since the 140 pound title was fractured back in the 1970s, only two men have held the Undisputed Championship in this division. One of the two, Terence Crawford, along with his incredible craftsmanship inside the ring, is why he’s the fourth greatest Super Lightweight of all-time.
A year after winning the WBO Lightweight Title, Crawford moved up to the 140-pound division on April 18, 2015 to fight for the vacant WBO title. In what has become a staple of his championship fights, Crawford put on a virtuoso performance, stopping Thomas Dulorme in the sixth round to win the title. This was the beginning of a two year reign that saw the division’s most dominant champion since the early 1980s reign of Aaron Pryor.
After two successful defenses, Crawford took on Viktor Postol for the unification of the WBC and WBO titles. Postol was supposed to be Crawford’s stiffest test, as he was considered by many boxing experts as the class of the division. On July 23, 2016 Crawford put on a dazzling exhibition of boxing. Crawford had Postol dizzy the entire night, as Postol was unable to utilize his incredible left jab once Crawford turned southpaw in the second round. Crawford’s side-to-side movement and his counters over Postol’s jab were too much for Postol to overcome. All Postol could do was survive the 12-round distance as he was totally outclassed. It was another virtuoso performance by the Omaha, Nebraska native. The only thing left to accomplish at 140 was to unify all the belts.
After two more successful defenses of his titles, the WBC, WBO and Ring Magazine Super Lightweight Champion Crawford faced WBA and IBF Champion Julius Indongo to attempt to become the first undisputed 140-pound champion in almost 15 years on August 19, 2017. Indongo was considered a dangerous opponent for Crawford as the Namibian was a powerful puncher with a southpaw style. Crawford is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport when it comes to switching from orthodox to southpaw. From the opening round, Crawford fought as a southpaw, which totally confused the much taller Indongo. In the second round, he dropped Indongo with a vicious right to the body. Then, in the third round, Crawford became the Undisputed Super Lightweight Champion of the World with a spectacular left hook to Indongo’s stomach that left him drowning on the canvas.
It is a testament to the greatness of the fighters rated above him that Crawford is only the fourth greatest 140-pound fighter of all time. Had he stayed at 140 the last two years and defeated fighters like Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis, and Jose Ramirez, an argument could be made for Crawford being rated higher. Nevertheless, it goes without saying, Crawford was and is a generational, once-in-a-lifetime talent.