The No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer on the planet Terence”Bud” Crawford is back in action, laying his WBO welterweight title at stake against undefeated Jose Benavidez Jr. this Saturday in the CHI Health Center Omaha in Omaha, Nebraska. The champion is a -2500 favored in this fight with the challenger coming back in +1000.
Crawford has been preferred in each of the last seven fights with an average final line of -1335. The smallest chances of the WBO titleholder were -402 when he defended his title against Viktor Postol. The fight went the distance with Crawford earning the unanimous-decision victory. Meanwhile, Benavidez has been favored in his last two bouts with an ordinary closing line of -2646 and he won both of these fights by knockout.
Breaking Down Crawford vs Benavidez
Crawford (-2500) was called the 2018 Fighter of the Year at the ESPYs at LA earlier this season, his second such award in his career. The 31-year-old has a tremendous ability to switch from orthodox to southpaw, even though he’s a natural orthodox fighter, keeping his rivals off balance as he peppers with his furious hands and power. Bud has a expert record in 33-0 with 24 wins coming by way of T/KO.
Not only does the Nebraska native have supreme offensive abilities, but his defensive motions are also equally as impressive, rarely absorbing heavy shots. This is Crawford’s first title defense of this belt, having only moved to this weight class in June when he knocked out Jeff Horn to assert the title in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Benavidez (+1000) has picked up back-to-back T/KO victories after getting his career seemingly ended. The California native has been shot in the leg in 2016 as he had been climbing the rankings to a championship battle and physicians warned he might never walk again. Not only is Benavidez fighting but he’s now taking on a few of the very best 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 retains a perfect 27-0 record with 18 wins coming by knockout for the orthodox fighter.
Although Crawford is a three-division champion and is the most second-best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Jose Benavidez Jr. is a valid threat. He’ll have a four-inch reach advantage over the winner and possesses comparable punching power. The largest issue is when the 26-year-old can permeate that defensive wall that the 31-year-old can put up. Benavidez was in comparison to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. prior to the shooting and when he can return to form from Crawford, this could be a hell of a fight.
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