Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

A Terence Crawford win Saturday could mean bout with Manny Pacquiao

A Terence Crawford win Saturday could mean bout with Manny Pacquiao

The sport has Terence Crawford as that superstar that Top Rank has elevated to this point and there is always room for Diaz to become another star if he wins this one.

Unbeaten double world junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford defends his crowns against former Olympic champion Felix Diaz on Saturday at New York's Madison Square Garden.

The undefeated champion will defend his titles Saturday against Felix Diaz, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist from the Dominican Republic.

So, when will he go searching for a showdown at 147 pounds? Crawford has shown versatility few others have as he can fight inside and out, he has good power and excellent technique and he adds to that package exceptional ring IQ and a mean streak.

"One step at a time", Arum said.

"I acknowledge that Crawford is a great fighter, but I don't believe he's invincible and I'm here to win", Diaz said.

"I don't agree", DiBella said. "I've just got to keep winning and keep putting on great performances and, eventually, my name is going to be bigger than it is right now".

"This fight is so important to me". He's an Olympic gold medalist.

"I give great credit to Crawford - terrific fighter - but he's been protected". He is one of the best, but I have fought at welterweights and he hasn't.

"But if Crawford handles my guy impressively, then 147 should be around the corner". "When I was arguing with my managers about finding the biggest fights out there, Crawford was No. 1 since he is the best out there and it's such an incredible opportunity to finally get that fight with him". But Crawford's own camouflaged style allows him to attack or wait, in a traditional or southpaw stance, while brawling or boxing.

"I'm looking forward to fighting in the big arena where all of the greats have fought", Crawford said. On the undercard Shakur Stevenson the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist will be making his NY debut in his second pro fight after winning an initial bout as a pro.

No matter how it might appear from the outside, looking in, beating him is a lot harder than it looks. But no fighter wants to be considered an underdog and that mindset could go a long way Saturday night.

Stevenson, from Newark, N.J., anticipates the warm ovation he's expecting while fighting so close to home. I have a lot of Peruvian fans coming to the fight to root for me. Felix Diaz trained in Indio, California with Joel Diaz and, along with ring strategist Alex Ariza, have devised a plan to neutralize Crawford's height and reach advantages.

"Terence Crawford is a beast", Stevenson said. "But if it's not in front of me, then I am really not anxious about it".

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