News May 2019

Crawford: Burns is ducking me, he doesn't want to fight me


by @shaun_brown

September 2008, and after four fights Terence Crawford has a career full of promise but one that is very much in its infancy. After an amateur career that produced wins over current world champions Danny and Mikey Garcia, the Nebraskan lightweight was in training for his fifth fight and a date on ESPN. His career was on track but there was a road taking him down to a heated game of dice that led to a bullet hitting him in the head behind his right ear.

It proved to be one bad decision too many.

As an amateur I didnt have many lows but that day was certainly one of them, the 22-0 contender told Livefight.

I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I used to fight on the streets all the time because that what you did but when I got shot it changed my whole life and the way I go about doing things. It made me a much stronger person and if the Terence Crawford of now could talk to the Terence Crawford of back then Id say be yourself but at the same time make smarter decisions. Ive made a lot of bad choices that I didnt have to do. Thats life. You learn, you get older and you get wiser.

Crawford, now 26 and father to three children has set his sights on helping local youngsters in his home of Omaha, Nebraska to make sure they dont end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Im opening up a gym right now for the kids in North Omaha. The community has a high rate for violence. And Im trying to show the kids that theres another way out other than picking up a gun or drugs or stealing or anything that pertains violence. Im trying to explain to them as well that theres a way that you can protect yourself so you dont get bullied all the time.

In addition to helping local kids in the area, Crawford is trying to put Omaha on the map by becoming their first world champion in just under 100 years since Perry Kid Graves won the world welterweight title by knocking out Johnny Alberts. The largest city in the state of Nebraska has produced contenders such as the Hernandez brothers Art and Ferd as well as Dick Ryan and Ron Stander. Crawford wants to bring world championship boxing back home but do that he may have to play the waiting game.

I feel like hes ducking me. He dont really want to fight me, said Crawford when asked about WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns.

The American is the mandatory contender to the Brits belt that he has been lucky to hold on to in his last two outings against Jose Gonzalez and Ray Beltran, respectively. Rumours have Burns giving Beltran a rightly deserved rematch early in 2014 should the Scots jaw successfully heal after being broken during their first bout in September.

If he [Burns] did want to fight me then things would be moving along. Im his mandatory so at some point we have to fight unless he vacates or loses his title. Burns is who Im focused on right now. Im not really worried about anyone else right now like [Miguel] Vazquez (Crawford is ranked number three for Vazquez IBF strap). Were trying to get Burns over here. I know hes got big backing over there but were trying to make a deal to fight him here.

LF asked Crawford if he had watched the controversial victory that Burns had gained over Beltran.

I thought Burns lost but a lot of people go in the ring, win fights but dont get their just rewards. I just want my next fight to be for a world title. I feel like Im a little behind in my career, I should be a further on with it but Ive just gotta wait my time.

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