LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Undefeated Terence Crawford has never let his size stand in the way of reaching his boxing goals and he’s not about to start now as he puts his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) title on the line today against Kell Brook.
Crawford will rely on his speed and skill when he battles the bigger Brook, of England, in a 12-round welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
“I’m always perceived as the smaller guy. That’s nothing new. It’s just a matter of skill, will and determination,” Crawford said. “If he’s banking on me being scared of him, he’s in for a rude awakening. I got power, too.”
Organisers have decided to allow 100 spectators into the venue to watch the fight in the midst of the global pandemic which has killed 244,000 Americans.
The 33-year-old Crawford will look to improve his 36-0, with 27 KOs record, while Brook is trying to better his 39-2, 27 KO record.
Both fighters will have to shake off some ring rust because of a lack of activity due to the coronavirus disruption. Crawford weighed in at 146 pounds on Friday while Brook, who has fought as high as a middleweight, tipped the scales at 147.
Crawford is making his first ring appearance of 2020 as his last fight was a TKO of Lithuania’s Egidijus Kavaliauskas last December.
Power puncher Brook has had a shorter layoff with his last bout being in February when he scored a seventh-round TKO of Mark DeLuca. It was his third straight win after suffering back-to-back losses in an eight month span to Errol Spence and Gennady Golovkin.
“This is the fight of my life,” said Brook who is eager to repair his image after the losses to Spence and Golovkin when he quit on the stool.
“The pressure is on him, but I’m putting pressure on myself for this fight because I want this so bad. I wanna show the world that me at 100 per cent is a complete different guy of what you’ve seen before.”
Crawford is one of just seven boxers to win titles at lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight. The other six are Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Adrian Broner, Pernell Whitaker and Barney Ross.