Unbeaten American Terence Crawford is also known as “The Hunter” and the switch hitting stylist has arrived in Scotland intent on capturing the WBO lightweight championship at the expense of reigning titleholder Ricky Burns.
Still the challenger was in no mood to talk prior to undergoing a light workout at the Morrison’s Gym in Glasgow, as he switched between sullen and inwardly jovial in what became a rather awkward Q&A session with the media.
“I’m fine,” said Crawford, in a disinterested tone. “Training is good, sparring is good, my weight is good and I’m just ready to fight. I’ve never fought in front of 10,000 people, but I don’t really care. I’m not worried about the crowd and I’m not worried about the atmosphere.”
The Burns bout marks several firsts for the talented American. It’s his first world title challenge, his first 12-round contest and his overseas debut as a professional. Still despite all of that new territory one could have been forgiven for thinking that Crawford didn’t have a care in the world.
He calmly admitted to having only seen Burns in one fight, which was the controversial clash with Raymundo Beltran, in September, during which the Scotsman sustained a badly broken jaw, prior to retaining his title on a controversial draw.
Crawford said, “I watched Burns’ last fight against Beltran and he should have lost. This is definitely my biggest fight, but I’m not worried about what happened that night (in terms of the decision)
“We knew he wouldn’t come to the States, but it doesn’t matter where this fight is held.”
The 26 year old completed hard training in Omaha, Nebraska, but was unwilling to disclose any details on his preparation and when asked for a prediction on the outcome of Saturday’s fight he remained completely detached
“You’ll have to come and see.”
Suddenly Brian McIntyre, head coach for the undefeated mandatory challenger, decided to interject and was quick to launch the type of unattractive rhetoric one expects in the lead up to a big fight.
“Burns is a Golden Gloves runner up fighter,” said McIntyre. “He’s basic and doesn’t bring anything special to the table, with the exception of being in shape.”
When the outspoken trainer who, it must be said, will not be trading punches with Burns on Saturday night, was asked if that level of disrespect was necessary his response was, once again, dismissive.
“I don’t care and it makes no difference to me. I’ve known Terence since he was a kid and I know what he can do. You’ll see for yourself and we didn’t get into this position through luck.”
Photo / Naoki Fukuda
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing