Terence Crawford Defends Egidijus Kavaliauskas as an Opponent!
WHERE: Madison Square Garden
WHEN: Saturday, December 14
NETWORK: ESPN & ESPN Deportes
TIME: 9:00 PM ET
For those boxing fans who follow the welterweight division, it’s no late breaking news that the pressure is on WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (35-0, 26 KO’s) to contract a crowd pleasing fight.
In 2017 Bud was riding high as the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world.
WHAT YOU WANT! WHAT YOU GOT
Then in his first fight at welterweight, Crawford, out classed, roughed up and stopped the durable Jeff “The Hornet” Horn (19-2-1, 13 KO’s) in nine rounds. In the process of his public domination, Bud lifted Horn’s WBO title from his possession.
Rather than receiving praise for his display of skill and dominance, the public has almost universally dismissed his accomplishments in order to demand he fight another titlist.
Chief among these would be opponents is WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KO’s). At the moment, however, Spence is an unavailable option as he was involved in a horrible car accident on October 12. The word on the street is Spence is in great condition but he has yet to make a public appearance to verify this speculation.
Instead of Spence, Team Crawford has signed up to fight his mandatory challenger, Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KO’s). When this news broke there was a collect groan that echoed through the boxing world. While Kavaliauskas is far from a tomato can or a push-over, he is not the level of fighter the boxing masses demand of the WBO champion.
MAKING A CASE
Recently, Crawford defended his selection of Kavaliauskas as his next out. Rather than demean him, Bud charged the boxing media at large with negligence. It was his belief the Mean Machine was not receiving his just due as a result of the press not doing their homework. That’s a mistake that Crawford is careful not to make.
Unlike the public, when Bud investigated Kavaliauskas’s background he found a highly skilled fighter with an accomplished amateur pedigree staring back.
Although as a professional, the most notable name that the undefeated Lithuanian has fought is “The New” Ray Robinson (24-3-2, 12 KO’s) who is ironically the last man to defeat Crawford (in the amateurs).
Kavaliauskas walked away from that bout with a draw.
“Everybody poses a threat! This guy is a dangerous fighter. He is a two-time Olympian. He’s earned the right to be here right now.
“He’s undefeated, he’s strong, he’s hungry, he got everything to win and nothing to lose really. So, these make for those dangerous fights. You just got to be prepared for it!
“Y’all really ain’t did your history on the opponent. Like I look at Mean Machine as a good opponent. A quality opponent. You know, he’s a two-time Olympian. He never lost before.
“Yeah he had a close fight with Ray Robinson but Ray Robinson is an awkward fighter. He can fight. He know what he doing in there and it makes for a great fight.”
Only time will tell if Kavaliauskas turns out to be a worthy adversary. However, if I was a betting man, I would not be putting the rent money, (or my Snicker snack change) on the Mean Machine to put even as much as a bump in the road.
3kingsboxing will continue to cover this swiftly approaching prizefight.
By: Bakari Simpson