The No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer on the planet Terence”Bud” Crawford is back in action, laying his WBO welterweight title on the line against undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. that Saturday in the CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. The champion is a -2500 favorite in this fight with the challenger coming back in +1000.
Crawford has been preferred in each of the last seven fights with an ordinary final line of -1335. The lowest odds of the existing WBO titleholder were -402 when he defended his title. The fight went the distance making the success in July 2016. Meanwhile, Benavidez has been favored in his last two bouts with an average closing line of -2646 and that he won both of those fights by knockout.
Breaking Down Crawford vs Benavidez
Crawford (-2500) has been called the 2018 Fighter of the Year in the ESPYs in LA earlier this season, his second such award in his career. The 31-year-old has a tremendous ability to change from orthodox to southpaw, although he’s a pure orthodox fighter, keeping his rivals off balance as he peppers with his furious hands and power. Bud has a perfect record with 24 wins coming by way of T/KO at 33-0.
Does the Nebraska native have supreme offensive skills, but his defensive movements are also equally as impressive, rarely absorbing heavy shots. That is Crawford’s first title defense of the belt, having only moved to this weight class in June when he knocked out Jeff Horn to claim the title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Benavidez (+1000) has picked up back-to-back T/KO successes after getting his career apparently ended. The California native was shot in the leg 2016 as he was climbing the ranks to a championship battle and physicians warned that he could never walk again. Not merely is Benavidez fighting but he’s now taking on a few of the top boxers in the world.
The 26-year-old won the 2009 Golden Gloves in the light welterweight division to create him the youngest-ever Golden Gloves champion at 16 years of age. He trains with Freddy Roach, sparring with the likes of Manny Pacquiao, and he holds a perfect 27-0 record with 18 wins coming by knockout for its orthodox fighter.
Though Crawford is a three-division winner and is the second-best pound-for-pound fighter on earth, Jose Benavidez Jr. is a valid threat. He will have a four-inch reach advantage within the winner and owns comparable punching power. The biggest issue is when the 26-year-old can penetrate that defensive wall that the 31-year-old can install. Benavidez was in comparison to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. prior to the shooting and when he could return to form from Crawford, this may be a hell of a struggle.
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