The No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer on the planet Terence”Bud” Crawford is back in action, laying his WBO welterweight title at stake against undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. that Saturday at the CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. The current champion is a -2500 favored in this fight with the challenger.
Crawford has been preferred in every one of the last seven fights with an ordinary closing line of -1335. The current WBO titleholder chances were -402 when he defended his title against Viktor Postol. The fight went the distance with Crawford earning the success in July 2016. Meanwhile, Benavidez was favored in his last two bouts with an average closing line of -2646 and he won both of those fights by knockout.
Slimming Down Crawford vs Benavidez
Crawford (-2500) has been called the 2018 Fighter of the Year at the ESPYs in LA earlier this season, his second such award in his career. The 31-year-old has a tremendous ability to change from orthodox to southpaw, although he is a pure orthodox fighter, maintaining his opponents off balance as he peppers with his furious hand speed and power. Bud has a perfect record with 24 wins coming by means of T/KO at 33-0.
Does the Nebraska native possess supreme offensive skills, but his defensive motions will also be equally as striking, rarely absorbing heavy shots. This is Crawford’s first title defense of the belt, having only moved into this weight class in June when he pumped out Jeff Horn to claim the title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Benavidez (+1000) has picked up back-to-back T/KO successes after having his career seemingly ended. The California native has been shot in the leg in 2016 as he had been climbing the rankings to a championship battle and physicians warned that he might never walk again. Not merely is Benavidez fighting but he’s now taking on a few of the very best boxers in the world.
The 26-year-old won the 2009 Golden Gloves in the light welterweight division to create him the youngest-ever Golden Gloves champion at 16 years old. He trains with Freddy Roach, sparring with the likes of Manny Pacquiao, and he holds a perfect 27-0 record with 18 wins coming by knockout to the orthodox fighter.
Though Crawford is a three-division winner and is the most second-best pound-for-pound fighter on earth, Jose Benavidez Jr. is a legitimate threat. He will have a four-inch reach advantage within the champion and owns comparable punching power. The largest problem is when the 26-year-old can penetrate that defensive wall the 31-year-old can put up. Benavidez was in comparison to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. before the shooting and if he can return to form from Crawford, this may be a hell of a fight.