One of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport Terence Crawford defends his WBC and WBO world super lightweight title at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York City on May 20th.
Terence Crawford boasts a perfect 30-0 record and at 29 years of age looks a fighter at the peak of his powers at this moment in time. Speed, timing, footwork and power… no fighter has exposed a weakness in Crawford as of yet.
Hailing from Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic, Felix Diaz will not be widely known around the world and whilst Crawford is expected to dispose of him in good style the diminutive Dominican is no mug. Having won the Olympic Gold medal in 2008 in Beijing, Diaz really knows his way around a boxing ring.
Relatively speaking he has gone under the radar as a professional. He has one solitary loss on his record, a majority loss to Lamont Peterson back in October 2015. However, Lamont Peterson is a hard fighter to look great against with the exception of the dynamite fisted Lucas Matthysse who blasted him out.
Adrian Granados is the only other well recognised contender on his resume and he beat him via way of a majority decision and Adrian Granados really has been in good form of late giving Adrien Broner a tough twelve round fight losing only via a split decision.
Crawford showed how devastating he can be boxing on the backfoot against Victor Postol who was picked to pieces as he tried to close the range down. Terence will have a 3 inch height and reach advantage in this fight so Diaz at 5ft 5 inches will have an extremely hard task slipping into range without being stung by the lead hand of the champion.
That is not to say Crawford will be content with simply sitting behind a long stiff jab all night. When he senses his opponent is wilting, he gets on the offensive and goes in for the kill. Like all top fighters he has the killer instinct.
Many are drawing comparisons between this fight and Crawford’s fight against the quality Cuban, Yuriorkis Gamboa, who was undefeated when they squared off. Gamboa, like Diaz, was also a former Olympic Gold medal winner having won in 2004 in Athens in the Flyweight division.
However Diaz won his at light welterweight so is naturally a heavier man than Gamboa. This might help him absorb a punch better but may not be as advantageous as at first thought as Gamboa’s main advantage early in the contest was his hand speed. Diaz does not possess the sort of hand speed that Gamboa does.
One of the attributes that Crawford has over many other fighters is his ability to switch hit. He is so adept in either the southpaw or orthodox stance and carries enough power in either hand that at times it is hard to see what his natural inclination is.
Diaz is a good operator but it is hard not to go with Crawford to win this fight. He has faced the better opposition and dealt with them in better fashion. He really is looking at the top of his game. His sharpness, smartness and natural attributes should see him through this encounter.
A win could see a unification fight against tough Namibian WBA an IBF champion Julius Indongo who is fresh off ripping titles away on foreign soil in Russia and Scotland in his last two outings. That is of course if we don’t see Crawford decide to move up a weight into the stacked 147lb division. He definitely looks to have the natural physique to do exactly that.