The Big Question: Where does Terence Crawford rank in the p4p rankings?

Boxing Monthly
27/07/2016 8:12am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYeshYJAVmU

The superlatives are still coming in for Terence Crawford after his wonderful performance on Saturday night against Viktor Postol. Viewed by many as a 50-50 fight, Crawford proved himself to be at a different level to the number two in the super-lightweight division. After a dominant 12 rounds Crawford, now unbeaten in 29 fights, had his hand raised in victory and bagged himself the WBC world title to go along with his WBO strap. With all that being said where does the pride of Omaha rank in the mythical pound-for-pound rankings? The BM online team gave their answer.

I'm not into hypothetical pound-for-pound lists (I still chuckle at the interview Tyson Fury did last year where he tries to wrap his head around the concept). It's difficult enough to figure out who the best fighter is in each division without trying to weigh up fighters who can never compete against one another.

I've been high on Crawford since the Ricky Burns fight. I truly regret passing up the chance to see him fight live in Glasgow.

I will say this: There aren't many genuinely great fighters doing the rounds at present. Crawford looks like he has all the attributes to become one. And that puts him in rare company. - Andrew Harrison

First off, I don’t have any issues with pound-for pound-lists. It’s a nice way for more casual fans to find out some new names and gives the more hardcore something to argue over. It also gives the spotlight to some of the lighter weight classes. They are a bit silly but sport is about entertainment and, personally, I find them entertaining discussions.

Regards Crawford, I’d definitely have him there or there about in the discussion. I’d consider Roman Gonzalez the best around right now. But in terms of a mixture of popularity, natural ability and a string of enjoyable fights against decent opposition, Crawford is hard to top. I’ve recently completed Sugar Ray Leonard’s autobiography. I’m not saying Crawford is in that league, but the Nebraska man reminds me of ‘Sugar’ in his supreme physical gifts alongside a real nasty streak. He wants to finish opponents and often can do it.

Hopefully the Pacquiao fight happens. If so, I hope he then continues to fight decent opponents and doesn’t become over protected. Opponents such as (a focussed) Adrien Broner, and maybe down the road Keith Thurman, Errol Spence and Danny Garcia, could cement his legacy. - James Oddy

I have no problem with pound-for-pound lists, although I can’t get along with heavyweights being on it. Wladimir Klitschko being ranked by some didn’t sit right with me, he’s benefited from the bigger man 90% of his career, something that goes completely against the idea of P4P.

But anyway...

Crawford's performance was very much a break out moment for him, whereas before he was an undefeated titlist, now I think it’s fair to say he has arrived. In Postol he beat a world class fighter and made it look easy, scoring a complete shut out on my card.

Up until this point while his opposition has been good, it hasn’t been amazing, his best win until he beat Postol was probably Yuriorkis Gamoba, who is still an excellent fighter but had no right being at 135lbs when they fought.

In Postol Crawford beat a guy bigger than him and coming off a career best win, his performance shouldn’t be underestimated. While I think it’s too soon to call him the P4P best, he’s definitely in the conversation; Chocolatito, Kovalev, Ward and Canelo are definitely ahead of him, I have no issue with him being in the lower top 10. If he was to fight and beat Manny Pacquiao in November, he would be a lot higher. - Callum Rudge

Crawford is there or thereabouts, that's for sure. In the post (?) Mayweather and Pacquiao boxing world the P4P standings are wide open. No one boxer has proved himself such a transcendent and dominant talent that he could be said to be the undisputed P4P king.

Gonzalez, Golovkin, Alvarez, Rigondeaux, Kovalev, Crawford and Lomachenko are all part of the conversation, but I would have Andre Ward as my number 1 though, just ahead of Gonzalez. Not many people would agree with me, largely because of Ward's frustrating inactivity in recent years, but I think he's defeated a stronger class of opposition than most of his rivals. Added to which, he's barely lost a round as a pro, let alone a fight. If he beats Kovalev later this year, which I expect him to, then he'd have beaten a fellow top 1- P4P-er and that, for me, would seal his position as the sport's most supreme talent. - Luke Williams

Terence Crawford's emergence as a "pound for pound" contender has followed a similar path to that laid by Top Rank stablemate Tim Bradley. Travelling to the UK to claim his first title, it wasn't until unifying the very same two titles Crawford now wears, against Devon Alexander, that Bradley entered the "best at any weight" debate.

Crawford's title opposition had been underwhelming until the Postol clash, but dominating the Ukranian makes him the clear number one in a shallow 10st division. Crawford has now answered critics wondering if his lightweight superiority was a result of size advantages he enjoyed. It's clear the southpaw has the speed, skills and boxing brain to baffle and manhandle a good bigger man, too.

If the Omaha fighter is to remain attractive to US pay-per-view, then with little to challenge him at 10st, he'll likely jump to welterweight soon, where there are numerous excellent matches to be made. It wouldn't be a surprise if Top Rank arrange Pacquiao v Crawford as a passing of the torch opportunity. If he were to beat the Filipino icon, Crawford may elevate to top five pound for pound. So ironically, Terence moves through the weights to improve his pound for pound standing. Anyone else's head hurting? - Chris Williamson

In terms of ability, Terence Crawford is amongst the best in the sport. In a match-up between the two best super-lightweights (light- welterweights to you, and me) Crawford showed himself to a be a league above Viktor Postol. The way he neutralised his opponent's jab was a joy to watch. The fact that Postol was made to look so pedestrian is testament to just how good Crawford is.

However, at present Crawford doesn't have the résumé to match his talent. That may seem an odd accusation to level at someone that has been widely regarded as THE champion in two weight classes - opposed to just being an alphabet title holder. This is through no fault of his own, 135lbs and 140lbs are just two divisions that don't have a huge depth of talent at the minute. Wins over Postol and Yuriorkis Gamboa were impressive, but the likes Henry Lundy, Thomas Dulorme - while solid contenders - don't set the pulse racing. In the future, Crawford may sit at the top of these mythical rankings, but that time isn't now. - John A. MacDonald

Crawford is in my top five, meeting several of my "pound for pound" criteria:

1. Fighting and winning on foreign soil (Burns)

2. Defeating elite opponents (Gamboa)

3. Winning titles in multiple divisions (135, 140)

4. Dominating bigger fighters (Postol)

On top of all that, he's a strong regional draw in and around his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Like Golovkin, Terence "Bud" Crawford just needs a mainstream star opponent (Pacquiao?) to take him to the next level. - Michael Montero

I wouldn't rank him that highly. His last eight fights in terms of opposition have been decent.

Ricky Burns was a genuine champion when they met but Crawford took him to school. Dierry Jean and Hank Lundy are good fighters and great athletes, not top level material, and it is against them that he has looked his best - until he fought Postol. Postol is probably one of the darkest horses in boxing and most people inside of certain circles will tell you he is every inch of the Iceman tag around his shorts. Great jab, scathing, grinding and precise shots that wear an opponent down, as well as a bit of power.

For Crawford to beat him so convincingly is a real statement, but I don't think it places him higher than Rigondeaux or Lomachenko on the pound-for-pound list. You could make a case the his achievements match unto their's but his ring performances aren't quite at that level. Golovkin's, Kovalev's and Ward's natural ability, achievements and opposition outmatch his for me. Roman Gonzalez I'll admit I don't watch enough of to make a case for as well as those five. - Daniel Armstrong

Crawford is very definitely in the Top 10 pound for pound........... but I don't think he's Top 5 just yet: Golovkin, Canelo, Gonzalez, Ward, Kovalev, Lomachenko - there are some tasty fighters to contend with right there.

However Crawford is the real deal and he's steadily marching towards to top of boxing's most attractive weight class, Welterweight. Being the traditionalist that I am, I would like to see him totally clean-out 10st and then move up to 147lbs, but I think he'll be rushed through to 147lbs sooner rather than later and be mixing it up with the division's top names. He seems to have a lot in common with Tim Bradley in how their careers have gone, but I think he may surpass him as time goes on. - Colin Harris

Crawford is comfortably in my Top 10 pound-for-pound rankings, but in the bottom half.

A move into welterweight and beating the likes of Spence, Thurman and even Pacquaio would take him to number one in my opinion. Crucially, Crawford seems to save his best for his biggest fights. He outclassed Burns, out-fought Gamboa and trumped Postol in every department.

He is a potential superstar in the making with the world at his feet. He's a bit of a throwback fighter in some respects and, in modern day boxing, is fighting as regularly as he can. - Shaun Brown