Terence Crawford (-1600) vs. Felix Diaz (+1300), Draw (+3500)
At this point, there’s not much left for Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs ) in the light welterweight division. He’s already collected the WBC, WBO, The Ring, and lineal titles, and there aren’t too many notable fighters for him to face. Nevertheless, Crawford has opted to remain in the weight class for the time being and will take on Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) on May 20th at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Diaz is nothing to scoff at. In 20 professional fights, the aggressive brawler has only lost once. And that was quite a controversial decision. He recently issued Sammy Vasquez his first defeat and went on to knock out Levis Morales. After both bouts, he called out Crawford for a title shot.
He may be a distinguished amateur boxer with an impressive professional record, but he hasn’t faced too many notable fighters. He stands at 5’5”, significantly shorter than Crawford at 5’8”, and has a reach disadvantage too.
Crawford’s team were reluctant to accept the fight against the little-known Diaz, but after their other options fell through, they took him up on his offer.
According to The Ring magazine, Crawford is the fifth-best pound for pound fighter in the world. He’s a two-weight world champion and one of the most technically gifted boxers in the sport. On top of that, he’s got his speed and some impressive power.
Since becoming the light welterweight champ, Crawford cruised to victory against the then-unbeaten Viktor Postol, and most recently stopped John Molina Jr. in the first round.
After the Diaz fight, Crawford has his eyes on WBA and IBF light welterweight champ Julius Indongo for a division unification fight. After that, he’ll probably look to the welterweight division, where he could challenge the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman.
That’s all contingent on a win this weekend at MSG, though. Diaz has promised a “war”, and we’ll see if he delivers. Crawford has outgrown the division and the odds reflect that. Promoter Bob Arum seems to have a plan for him, and I doubt he would have set up a fight with Diaz unless he was extremely confident in Crawford’s chances.
Pick: Terence Crawford (-1600)
Photo credit: Martial Arts Nomad [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]