Once again, Terence “Bud” Crawford (25-0,17 KOs) in his campaign against Thomas “Thunder” Dulorme (22-1, 14KOs) is set to battle away from the usual fight hubs of Los Angeles, New York or Las Vegas when he fights this Saturday, April 18, 2015 at College Park Center at the University of Texas Arlington as part of a split sight doubleheader live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. However, when you are the 2014 Fighter of the Year and thus the apple of your promoter’s eye such as Crawford is, one tends to find oneself in the catbird seat when it comes to making fights in places off the beaten path. Possibly this led to the atypical venue as well as the fact that the Dallas/Fort Worth area, home to College Park Center is in proximity to a healthy number of Mexican American fans to whom the Latin American Dulorme can likely appeal. However, the undisputed star of the night remains Crawford as the 6:1 odds winner versus an “imperfect” Dulorme, hailing from Puerto Rico versus Mexico. Puerto Rico is not exactly a perfect fit the local fans when it comes to the details and often it’s those types of little details that count when it comes to the fans and on whom they decide to shower their love and support. Perhaps this is why Dulorme – certainly nothing to take light as the number 2 rated contender, seemed a bit scornfully conservative when it came to giving any sort of favor to Crawford’s accomplishments despite them being sizeable.
Rigidly insisting upon billing his fight against Crawford as simply “ another step forward in my career,” Dulorme seemed to lose no love between himself and those voting on fighter of the year for 2014 or beyond, tersely stating on the matter, “ I know the way the boxing analysts feel… those who make the decisions to choose who will be the fighter of the year,” griped Dulorme openly. “Everyone thinks this is a very comfortable fight for Crawford, “ continued Dulorme, casting a big net for his disdain. “I will say this – those who bet with me as the winner of the fight are going to take home a nice chunk of money,” warned Dulorme as an open invitation to Crawford for a war of words. All this despite the fact that should Dulorme unseat Crawford by defeating him as he suggests, Dulorme will find himself in the awkward place of needing to quickly reverse his less than enthusiastic estimation of Crawford’s abilities. A win over Crawford for Dulorme would mean getting a huge up tick in professional and public respect and support with regard to Dulorme’s stock – precisely the current lack thereof in comparison to Crawford that would seem to be the bee in Dulorme’s bonnet going into Saturday’s match up.
In rather stark contrast to Dulorme, Crawford preferred to do his job in the ring versus talking down Dulorme or anyone else to boost the aggression level going into fight week. Indeed, with regards to any enmity or angst he might be wrestling, the most Crawford could muster were his past problems with making weight at 135 versus Ray Beltran (29-7-1, 17KOs). “I don’t know what it was but my weight wasn’t coming down like it normally does,” related a bewildered Crawford in recalling that time not so long ago. As such, Crawford would seem relieved to now be fighting at the more comfortable weight of 140. “For this fight my weight has been down for about a week… my body is growing and I’m filling out a little more. This is the right time to move up,” shared a much more relaxed and fit Crawford.
When asked directly about Dulorme, Crawford was respectful but to the point in his assessment. “I think he is a good boxer. He’s got a sharp, nice jab, he’s got a nice right hand. He likes to throw the little right hook. He moves well. He switches like me. I don’t have anything bad to say about him,” said Crawford amicably. When lightly goaded to talk a little more smack, Crawford was markedly uninterested in that pre fight ritual quickly explaining, “I don’t feel like I need to do that. That’s not me…. I’m not about being a showman. I am a showman in the ring… those unnecessary things outside the ring that people do; I don’t feel like I need to do that,” stated Crawford warily. What Crawford was considerably more eager to discuss with relish was the planned receipt of his 2014 Fighter of the Year award as part and parcel of a well planned post Dulorme fight schedule well planned in advance of Saturday night: “It’s taking care of business Saturday, then resting up and enjoying my weekend. Then go get my award, then after that go to the Mayweather fight. I am just looking forward to everything this weekend,” enthused Crawford adding “Come Saturday I feel like I’m going to make my adjustments in the ring and do what I’ve got to do to get the job done.”
I think we as fans can all give a hearty Amen and bottoms up to that plan on the part of both men.
Written by Kylie Krabbe
Photos by Top Rank
April 17th 2015