By Adam Kallanous
Terence Crawford (Bud) had a wonderful 2014. His win over Yuriorkis Gamboa, put him, and Nebraska on the boxing map.
In a spectacular performance Crawford floored the undefeated former unified featherweight titleholder four times. At first the Cuban Olympic gold medalist appeared to be putting on a boxing clinic, however the Omaha fighter stayed calm, made adjustments, and completely turned the fight around in the 5th with a knockdown. His switch to southpaw, proved effective, and definitely demonstrated his ability to adapt.
Throughout 2014 he won the hearts of the boxing public, beat three quality opponents, won a world title, and even won 2014 ESPN fighter of the year.
Saturday, Crawford will face Thomas Dulorme for a vacant WBO super lightweight belt, and if you are like most of the boxing world you are expecting Crawford to win, and look good doing it. The odds are currently 12 to 1 in favor of Crawford (according to odds checker).
Crawford is at the top of his game, and with his current streak, punching power, and Dulorme’s suspect chin you can understand why the boxing world is backing him in this fight.
Thomas Dulorme, however was once in the spotlight himself. Despite struggling in his debut, he rose to a promising prospect, even sometimes described as the next Felix Trinidad. Then he ran into Luis Carlos Abregu in 2012. Dulorme was dropped in the 3rd and 7th round by the rugged Argentinean before his corner threw in the towel.
Despite the lone loss, Dulorme is a force to be reckoned with, and has since strung together 6 wins. He has solid skills with an unbelievable piston like jab, often coming in two’s and three’s. This combined with his powerful check hook, and solid straight right, create a high quality arsenal that will be brought to the ring Saturday night.
Besides his offensive skill set, he brings many subtle nuances like great timing, and distance control.
One of the most dangerous aspects of the current version of Dulorme is his will to win. Simply put he needs to win this fight to revitalize his career.
In 2014 he made a huge decision in leaving longtime trainer Jose Bonilla to train with Robert Garcia at his gym in Oxnard, Calif. As you know Garcia trains some big names, and Dulorme wants to be one of them.
I am going against the grain here and predicting that Dulorme will in fact upset the Terrence Crawford apple cart.
Both have great boxing skills, are ambidextrous in the ring, and have power, so it will be competitive. This will be a great chess match, however in the end I think Dulorme has been underestimated.
Crawford will be coming up 5 pounds for this fight, which does not seem like a huge difference, but it in this case it also means he will not have his usual reach advantage. This is a big factor, since in recent fights Crawford has used it to create traps by forcing his opponent to come forward. I think Dulorme will use his jab to control the distance, and turn the tables on the Omaha star.
One thing is for sure. This will not look like a 12 to 1 fight, and promises to be an exhibition of the sweet science at its finest.