WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford 36-0 (27) is every bit as good as Sugar Ray Leonard, according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.
The 32-year-old Nebraskan southpaw has won versions of the world title in three separate weight classes from 135 to 147 pounds since turning pro 12 years ago.
Leonard retired in 1997 after a 20-year pro career with a record of 36-3-1 (22) with signature wins over Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Wilfred Benítez. He won world championships in five separate weight classes.
“He reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard, and that to me is a great compliment because I always thought Leonard was the best,” said Arum according to BoxingNews24. “And this guy is equal or better than Ray was.”
Crawford won his world title belt on the road when he outpointed Ricky Burns on the road in Scotland for the WBO 135-pound championship in Scotland in 2014.
After successful title defences against Ray Beltran and Yuriorkis Gamboa in the same year, he moved up to junior welterweight to defeat Thomas Dulorme for the vacant WBO crown in 2015.
In 2017 he unified all four major titles at 140-pounds with a dominant third-round knockout of Julius Indongo.
The following year he wrested the WBO welterweight championship from Jeff Horn, a title he has now defended three times.
“Terence is certainly the best welterweight I’ve seen since Sugar Ray Leonard,” Arum said.
“I would make him comparable or a slight favourite over Ray if he fought Sugar Ray back in the day, who was a great welterweight. He’s of that calibre. I really believe that Terence matches up with the ability of Sugar Ray Leonard.”
The other boxer that Crawford reminds Arum of is another welterweight standout from the 1980s.
“The fighter he reminds me the most of is Donald Curry,” he said. “Whenever I see Crawford fight, I always think back to Donald Curry.”
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