Crawford can continue climb to stardom with strong Jean defence
Lee Gormley | October 23, 2015
Terence Crawford v Dierry Jean
- WBO super-lightweight title fight
- Sunday, October 25th
- Scheduled for: 01:00 GMT
- CenturyLink Center, Nebraska
Crawford contests Jean on home turf
Two-weight world champion Terence Crawford aims to maintain his momentous pursuit of boxing stardom with a successful defence of the WBO super-lightweight belt against Dierry Jean this weekend in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Crawford has enjoyed a sublime rise to prominence in recent years, becoming recognised as one of the most talented pound-for-pound fighters around, having clinically grabbed earlier chances at success with both hands.
The undefeated 28-year-old (26-0, 18 KOs) will be hoping to continue his rapid rise against veteran Jean (29-1, 20 KOs), who has proved in the past he is capable of ruffling a few feathers, with the home favourite 11/8 from Coral for a points victory.
Blows landed before bout
Other than sharing a fistbump earlier in the week, both fighters hadn’t really come face-to-face with each other until Thursday during a final press conference stare-down at the CenturyLink Center, when they traded verbal blows.
“I promise you on Saturday – not being disrespectful – I’m going to beat your ass, man,” stated Jean.
Crawford was swift to respond to such claims in front of the media, declaring that Jean has been given false hope ahead of their contest in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“You’ve got to quit listening to them people, man. They’re pumping your head up,” Crawford stated towards his foe. “But he’s a good fighter. He does some nice things in there.”
Champion Crawford holds gallant record
Back in March last year, Crawford travelled to Glasgow and stunned an intimidating Scottish crowd as he emphatically dethroned Ricky Burns by storming to a solid unanimous decision triumph.
Successful defences of that WBO lightweight strap then followed against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Raymundo Beltran, before moving up divisions and becoming a two-weight world champion, with a clinical halting of Thomas Dulorme in six rounds last April.
Although, the Omaha-born champion is relishing returning to his hometown as he aims to extend his flawless record in front of adoring Nebraska fans.
“I’m from Omaha, Nebraska. I’m not from Council Bluffs,” stated Crawford. “That was the biggest thing. It’s not that there’s a rivalry or anything. But I wanted to fight in my hometown, and someplace in Iowa, even if it’s next door, is not my hometown.
“I felt like my city deserves it. I’ve been boxing since I was seven years old, and I always said I was going to bring big things to Omaha. And that’s what I’ve done.”
Being able to adapt his style accordingly in the ring and possessing the dangerous ability of casually switching stances throughout bouts, Crawford is a deadly threat with so many skills to bring to the table, making him 11/8 for a stoppage win in rounds 4-6.
Hometown hero ‘Bud’ like Pacquiao
With several out-of-ring charity projects currently ongoing and, having overcome difficult times to reach his current platform, Crawford, nicknamed ‘Bud’, has become a special sporting figure in Omaha, with his promoter Bob Arum praising such passion and effort.
“Terence is looking to be to Omaha what the Red Sox are to Boston. And to be able to do that you have to show dedication to your turf,” admitted Arum, whose fighter is odds-on at 8/11 to win by knockout.
“His fans really embrace that, that he hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. A lot of people have proved their mettle in life after they’ve left Omaha, whether it’s Marlon Brando or Gerald Ford. But few go out into the world, find their success and come back to Omaha. That’s what Terence Crawford has done.”
“This is a kid who, in his spare time, is doing wonderful things. He’s almost like an Omaha or Middle America version of Manny Pacquiao.
“His involvement in philanthropic ventures has been part of Pacquiao’s appeal. It helps define his character. Soon people will realize that this kid, in his own way and in his own milieu, is comparable.”
Crawford will look to put on another solid showing in front of 11k home fans, but is 8/1 to be stunned by a 33-year-old Canadian Jean, who possesses a dangerous right hand and a longer reach than the defending champion.
Read our boxing archive
See who else is in action in the ring this weekend
Coral’s top tip: Terence Crawford stops Dierry Jean in rounds 4-6 @ 11/8