Terence Crawford insists his eyes are only on Egidijus Kavaliauskas ahead of Saturday clash

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 35-0 (26) insists he is not overlooking mandatory contender Egidijus ‘Mean Machine’ Kavaliauskas 21-0-1 (17) ahead of their clash at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night.

“I’m not focused on no other opponent besides the opponent that’s in front of me,” said Crawford, 32.

“My goal is to make sure I get the victory come this weekend, and that’s the only person I’m focused on now. Anyone else is talk. It goes in one ear and out the other. He’s young, hungry and I’m not taking him lightly.

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“I’m starting to get used to fighting on these big stages, so it ain’t nothing new to me. This week is going to be a great, spectacular show. I am well-prepared for whatever he brings to the table, and I’m sure they know that as well.

“Nothing really changed between me and [trainer Brian McIntyre]. We’re a team. Iron sharpens iron. We added some more great fighters to the team. We’re pushing each other each and every day in camp.

“If I’m tired, [Maurice Hooker] will talk to me, ‘Come on little guy, you tired?’ And that just motivates each and every one of us to go that extra mile. Either we’re running, sparring, hitting the bag. Everything is a competition when we’re in the camp.”

The 31-year-old Kavaliauskas has extra motivation to win the fight as he seeks to become the first world boxing champion from Lithuania.

“Crawford was on my mind from the start of training camp in June. So every day was Crawford, Crawford, Crawford,” Kavaliauskas said.

“My mindset is good. I’m happy for this fight. When this fight was made officially, I was super happy. I was smiling all day. I want to fight the best, and we’re fighting in the Mecca of Boxing.

“We started [training] in June, but we started light. Still, all the tactics, everything was about how Crawford fights, which stance [he’ll use].

“Sparring, we had lots of different guys, southpaw, orthodox, guys in different stances. And the training camp, [we worked on] speed, power, sparring, technique and tactics, all in this five, six months.

“Going straight ahead to Crawford is not an option because he’s too smart and he showed in his last fight that he’s smart in the ring. So, yeah, we’ll work on my combinations. We don’t want to go very wild at him.”

Promoter Bob Arum added: “Terence is worth the price of admission by himself. He is pound-for-pound the best fighter in the world, and everybody will have an opportunity to watch him fight a very tough Lithuanian in Kavaliauskas, who has fought for us for many years and is a tough, tough Eastern European fighter.”

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