As expected, WBO lightweight champion Terrence “Bud” Crawford has moved up in weight in search of bigger fights with bigger named foes.
Boxing’s Biggest Star
Crawford was boxing’s biggest star in 2014 after three impressive victories that earned him the prestigious Boxing Writers Association of America 2014 Fighter of the Year as well as other Boxer of the Year awards. He started out his star making year by invading Glasgow and taking the WBO lightweight belt away from Ricky Burns’ waist. He then proceeded to defend it against former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on June 28th, 2014 before his hometown fans in Omaha Nebraska. Crawford knocked out the previously unbeaten Gamboa in the 9th round to keep his belt and earn superstar status. He then ended his spectacular year by returning to the Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska with a one-sided unanimous decision win over Raymundo Beltran last November 29, 2014.
No Big Fights
With his status and popularity fast growing, Crawford and his team believed that the only way to maximize his new found star potential would be to move up in weight and chase the bigger guys for the bigger prizes. With that in mind, Crawford will start his 2015 campaign as a light welterweight as he faces Puerto Rico’s Thomas Dulorme for a vacant world title on April 18th at the College Park Center on the campus of the University of Texas Arlington in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The fight, which will be viewed via HBO, will feature a split-site card that will air the highly anticipated showdown between hard hitting sluggers Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse who incidentally are also fighting at 140lbs. That fight will be telecast from its venue at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Against a Naturally Bigger Foe
While Crawford has fought before as a junior welterweight, his opponent is “tweener” according to his promoter Gary Shaw. Dulorme has fought back and forth as a welterweight and junior welterweight. The 25-year old Puerto Rican has won six fights in a row since being stopped by Luis Carlos Abregu in 2012. His best wins have come in his last two bouts when he dealt Karim Mayfield his first loss last March of 2014 and when he outpointed contender Hank Lundy last December. Dulorme trained under Robert Garcia for those two bouts but has since parted ways with the famed trainer.
Will Size Matter?
Crawford admits the size difference but believes that size won’t matter just as it didn’t when Crawford faced Breidis Prescott. Bud believes he will even be better on fight night because of the size difference. Dulorme on the other hand, acknowledges his opponent’s skill and calls him a throwback fighter with the hands of stone. But he says he is ready to step up and upset Crawford.