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Crawford vs Porter: Friendly fire is all business – Saturday, ESPN PPV

Written By | Nov 19, 2021
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (L) and Shawn Porter (R) show a little fire at their final momentsat the weigh-in on November 19 in Las Vegas. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images Crawford vs Porter

WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (L) and Shawn Porter (R) show a little fire at their final momentsat the weigh-in on November 19 in Las Vegas. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, November 19, 2021 – The seeming ease of Terence “Bud” Crawford’s domination over his opponents has simultaneously put him near the top of boxing’s pound-for-pound lists and given the doubters fuel to argue he’s got a thin resume.

WBO World Welterweight Champion Crawford of Omaha (37-0,28 KOs) can shut the doubters down with a solid performance Saturday against rugged challenger “Showtime” Shawn Porter of Las Vegas (31-3-1, 17 KOs). The fighters made weight with ease on Friday, and the fight is on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Hotel’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. The card airs as an ESPN PPV starting at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT.

Business first, friendship later for Porter and Bud

Terence Crawford (left) and Shawn Porter have kept the trash talk to a mininum, saving it for the ring on Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams. Top Rank Boxing Crawford vs Porter

Terence Crawford (left) and Shawn Porter have kept the trash talk to a minimum, saving it for the ring on Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams. Top Rank Boxing

Crawford and Porter, both age 34, have known each other for more than two decades and have been friends. At one point, Crawford said he’d rather not fight Porter. It was Porter who contacted Crawford and encouraged him to make the fight across their respective promoter aisles, and Crawford vs Porter fell into place.

Both men understand boxing is a business and it’s an opportunity both need to prove a point. Crawford doesn’t come right out and say how irritated he is not to enjoy universal pound-for-pound acclaim, but he’s got a legacy at stake. Porter is the rare fighter who never says no to a challenge, and he’s fought nearly every prominent name: Spence, Garcia, Porter, Ugas. While he’s lost three times, he’s always been competitive to the final bell, and fans love watching him put on the pressure.




Crawford’s skills as a switch-hitting craftsman with power are undeniable. They’re matched with a mean streak motivating to put a hurt on opponents who dare to test him. We watched Crawford in a workout with trainer Brian “Bomac” McIntyre several weeks ago. Note the balance, easy footwork, and Crawford’s raw strength in pressing against the much larger McIntyre.

Porter’s stamina, work rate, and determination are unmatched in their own way. His efforts aren’t always pretty, but he can take away a technician’s skills through his sheer will.

Shawn Porter knows better than to make Bud Crawford mad before they step in the ring Saturday. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

In the lead-up to Crawford vs Porter, Crawford has maintained his respect for Porter. “He’s athletic. He can box. He can bang,” said Crawford. “I just think I do a lot of things better than Shawn.”

The outgoing Porter, who’s developing his career as a broadcast analyst, has tried to needle Crawford without making Bud too mad. This never goes well for anyone.

“I don’t think there’s really much I can say to Bud that’s going to change the way you think about yourself and the outcome of this fight,” Porter said to Crawford in the final pre-fight news conference. “37 times he’s gotten his way.  This is the one time he’s not gonna.”

Oddsmakers have Crawford as a significant favorite. There’s no reason to doubt the likelihood of Crawford winning, retaining his title, and remaining undefeated. It will be the way he does it that becomes the story of the fight. Porter has never been stopped. If Crawford can be the first, it will help shut down most of the critics. But if Porter scores the upset, he’ll prove all those close losses look better than the BoxRec numbers reflect.

Prediction: Crawford by decision

Saturday's lesson from Madison Square Garden: Don't make Bud Crawford mad. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

The lesson Ediijus Kavaliaskaus learned at Madison Square Garden: Don’t make Bud Crawford mad. Photo: Mikey Williams, Top Rank Boxing

Expect a slow start to Crawford vs Porter. Terence Crawford has been out of the ring a year, Shawn Porter out for 15 months. Crawford’s last fight was a four-round blowout of Kell Brook. Porter fought a 12 round snoozer vs Sebastian Formella. But it’s Porter who has the stronger resume. His loss to Errol Spence Jr. was razor-thin. I had Porter winning on my ringside scorecard. Once both men heat up, expect Porter to try and make things ugly. He’s got one big forward gear, and most of the time, he makes it work for him. Porter will force Crawford to work hard if he wants to win.

Crawford is boxing’s Felix the Cat with his bag of tricks. Box or bang. Orthodox or southpaw. Speed or stealth. Where Crawford has the edge is the kind of mean streak champions use to close the show. When it’s time to put a hurt on someone, this Bud’s for you. Porter has been dropped twice but never stopped. I’m not sure Crawford can accomplish this, but he should win on the cards after 12 rounds. It could be a fight close and entertaining enough down the stretch, so we will all want to see it again.

A final word about Crawford vs Porter being made by rival promoters Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions. Promoters remain reluctant to match undefeated stars against serious threats for a good reason. But the fight will happen when the demand is there and the money is enough to shift the risk versus reward ratio. Until this Saturday, Crawford had to be content with the opponents in front of him. He still wants the ultimate prize, Errol Spence Jr. But Bud will dance with the one who brought him.



Undercard weigh-in notes

Janibek Alimkhanuly (L) and Hassan N'Dam (R) both made weight Friday, prior to their WBO Global & WBC Contienntal Americas middleweight fight in Las Vegas, but it took Alimkhanuly two tries. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Imagesv Crawford vs Porter

Janibek Alimkhanuly (L) and Hassan N’Dam (R) both made weight Friday before their WBO Global & WBC Continental Americas middleweight fight in Las Vegas, but it took Alimkhanuly two tries. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Hassan N’Dam, ten rounds, for Alimkhanuly’s WBC Continental Americas and WBO Global Middleweight Titles

Raymond Muratalla (L) and Elias Damian Araujo (R) face-off at Islander Ballroom at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino for their lightweight bout. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Raymond Muratalla vs. Elias Araujo, eight rounds, lightweight

ESPN2 & ESPN+, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

Isaac Dogboe (L) and Christopher Diaz (R) pose during the weigh-in prior to their NABF featherweight championship fight at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images Crawford vs Porter

Isaac Dogboe (L) and Christopher Diaz (R) pose during the weigh-in prior to their NABF featherweight championship fight at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Isaac Dogboe vs. Christopher Diaz, ten rounds, Dogboe’s NABF Featherweight Title

Don’t sleep on this rematch, which could be the fight of the night. Adam Lopez (L) and Adan Ochoa (R) pose during the weigh-in before their featherweight fight. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Adam Lopez vs. Adan Ochoa, eight rounds, featherweight

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News.  Follow Gayle on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Copyright © 2021 by Falcon Valley Group

 

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.