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Terence Crawford: From Near Death Experience to Undisputed Boxing Champion

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Terence Crawford is one of the most feared fighters in the ring. He’s won multiple titles and his credentials demonstrate he’s one of the best. His abilities showed through at a young age and he’s lived up to the expectation. 

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Crawford’s resume is impeccable. He’s won three of the four belts, and although at one time, he was an undisputed champion, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) stripped him. Find out why he lost one of his belts below.

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Terence Crawford’s Early Years

Terence Crawford’s childhood wasn’t an easy one. His father, who worked with the US Navy, was largely absent, and his relationship with his mother, who subscribed to the ‘tough love’ school of parenting, wasn’t always the best.

One day, after participating in a dice game in his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska, Terence was caught in the middle of gunshots. He was lucky to come out alive after a gunshot went past his skull. He acknowledges that things might have ended differently and knows he had to change.

“You have to change your surroundings, your friends, and your thinking,” he told CNN

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Getting into Boxing

Terence Crawford started boxing at seven after he joined the Omaha CW Boxing Club. As an amateur, he fought in 70 matches and lost only 12. He became the highest-ranked lightweight fighter and was on course to qualify for the 2018 Olympics in Beijing, except that he lost to Sadam Ali.

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Professional Career

In 2008, Terence Crawford debuted professionally and quickly found his foot, albeit against lesser-known opponents. He wrote a 19-0 record, 15 of which he won through knockout. 

Breidis Prescott was Crawford’s first prominent opponent. He won against him via a unanimous decision. From there, he defeated Alejandro Sanabria and Andrey Kiimov.

In 2014, the boxer won his first world title against Ricky Burns over 12 rounds. The judges ruled in his favor, stating “the best man won”. He then defended his title against Yuriorkis Gamboa in front of a home crowd in Omaha. This was his first professional fight there and the second title fight there since 1972.

He then defended his title for the second time against Ray Beltran to become the lightweight champion. 

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Light Welterweight Division

After his success in the lightweight category, Terence Crawford moved to the light welterweight division. He started strongly, winning the title in his first match against Thomas Dulorme in six rounds, and successfully defended it against Dierry Jean in 10 rounds. Crawford was the man to beat and signed a contract to fight Viktor Postal. 

The American was imperious, winning the bout in 12 rounds and becoming the WBC champion. This set up a fight against Julius Indongo, and like many other fights, Crawford emerged victorious.

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Welterweight

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Terence Crawford posing with his boxing gloves. Source: Instagram

Terence Crawford switched to the Welterweight division. Like the others, he was head and shoulders above his competitors. He won against Jeff Horn in nine rounds and won his next eight bouts against opponents like Kell Brooks and Amir Khan

His biggest fight was against Errol Spence Junior to determine the welterweight division champion. He won in nine rounds to become the undisputed welterweight champion. He was also the first man to be an undisputed champion, having won the titles in two weight divisions: 

Title Strip

Terence Crawford’s historic moment was short-lived, as the IBF stripped him of his title. He had a mandatory challenger, American boxer Jaron Ennis

Crawford’s team refused to arrange a bout against him, citing that Errol Spence activated a rematch clause that didn’t allow him to fight Ennis. 

As a result, he lost his IBF Welterweight World Champion and hence his undisputed status. The IBF upgraded Ennis to the World Champion.  

The decision incensed Crawford, stating he didn’t care about it. After all, he’d already achieved his target. He also accused the IBF of not applying the rules fairly. 

Terence Crawford is a force to be reckoned with. His ascendancy in the sport has happened within a short time. It’ll take a lot of effort to knock him off his patch. 

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