Terence Crawford To Face Israil Madrimov in High-Stakes Clash

Boxing's pound-for-pound King moves up in weight for LA showdown
Crawford moving up in weight to face Israil Madrimov
Crawford moving up in weight to face Israil Madrimov / TERENCE “BUD” CRAWFORD FACEBOOK.

By Moses Ochieng

The numerous highlights from Terence Crawford’s career, which have contributed to his 40-0 record and status as one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters, remain vividly remembered.

From his swift response to learning he was behind on the ESPN scorecard before knocking out Shawn Porter, to his decisive victory over Errol Spence Jr. to become the undisputed welterweight champion a year ago, and many more moments yet to come.

However, Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs), is now 36, returning from a year-long layoff, and moving up in weight to face 29-year-old Uzbekistan’s Israil Madrimov, the unbeaten World Boxing Association junior-middleweight champion, who confidently declares, “This is my division.”

“Crawford just constantly looks unbeatable. There is so many layers to his style and in each (southpaw and orthodox) stance. He’s amazing in all aspects. That’s why he’s the best fighter in the world right now.

“But at the age he’s fighting, you’ve got to go one fight to the next. It happens at this age, and you wonder. Crawford could step in the ring and maybe it’s not the same Crawford,” Paulie Malignaggi, former professional boxer, said in media reports.

Malignaggi clarified that as long as there are no signs of decline, the expectation is that Crawford will remain his usual self.

Madrimov versus Crawford headlines the Riyadh Season-promoted event at the LAFC soccer stadium in Los Angeles. Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz will defend his 140-pound belt in the co-main event, while former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr. faces veteran Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller. The card also features talented contenders Jared Anderson, David Morrell, and Andy Cruz.

Crawford aims for an Alvarez fight if he wins, while Madrimov expressed confidence that he can also alter boxing's narrative.

“Gym culture is really important. It seems Madrimov is in over his head, but it seems he has the right answers and the right culture to be prepared for the moment, to be prepared and bring the best version of himself. He’s very much a threat to even the great Terence Crawford,” former 140-pound champion Chris Algieri a former 140-pound champion, commented in a press release.

Is Crawford already focusing on a potential showdown with Canelo in Saudi Arabia, as suggested by Turki Alalshikh?

“Not at all. He understands what’s in front of him and he understands he’s at the tail end of his career. He’s a dead-focused guy who lives in the gym. I can see Crawford figuring him out and getting a late stoppage,” Algieri added.

Judy Rotich