By Bill Green
Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Last week Fightnews discussed several topics with a lead trainer and manager Brian “BoMac” McIntyre and #2 ranked P4P champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs). We already know the importance and history in the making of the highly-anticipated showdown between fellow two-belt holder Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs). What we don’t know is what goes through the mind of Team Crawford and better yet the champ himself as the fight is merely 9 days away.
Fightnews discussed strategy tips, weaknesses, strengths and possible common opponents in style.
Hello Bo, can you tell fight fans, what goes through your mind each day, especially the closer we get to the fight. In other words, what goes through the mind of a trainer?
BoMac: Everything is intact. I make sure that the sparring is sharp, avoid being complacent, always looking for new ideas to switch things up. My job is to keep the rhythm and momentum flowing smooth. We discuss everything as a team, we are all on our asses if we feel there is any kind of slacking.
Terence, how about you? I hear stories from the fellas all the time that your demeanor changes. Can you elaborate on the change or do you notice it?
Crawford: I get more serious, more focused as we get closer, absolutely. I get in that zone where I focus on all the details, everything from A to Z. Cutting weight can change anybody’s demeanor, it’s not easy work up here, we bust our asses, but we are in the fight game. Not to mention, we know that the other guy is training to take your head off so the change in demeanor is necessary.
A lot has been talked about boxing experts stating that Indongo may quite possibly be the biggest fighter that you have faced in your career. I’ve seen some reports say he’s 6ft tall and has an enormous reach advantage. However, recently you posed for a picture with him in L.A at the Lomachenko press conference and to me the size difference did not seem to be significant at all. Can you tell the viewers your impression?
Crawford: I mean the size and all that really doesn’t mean much to me, at the end of the day he must make 140 and we are going to test our skills in there regardless. Honestly, I didn’t view him any different than anyone else. I fought plenty fighters in both the amateurs and pros that were taller and bigger. We have been sparring with two slightly taller fighters in Jamontay Clark (12-0, 7 KOs) and Gaku Takahashi (15-7-1, 3 KOs). I can’t thank those two enough as they pushed me in camp. I’m forever grateful.
BoMac, Indongo while undefeated has mostly only fought two recognized but respected opponents, that being Ricky Burns and Eduard Troyanovsky. Nearly all his bouts have been fought in his home country of Namibia. Do you believe fighting in the US and especially near Terence’s back yard in Lincoln, Nebraska, will be an overwhelming experience for him?
BoMac: Good question, I mean it could go either way. I could see him being totally fine with it because he won both his titles in different countries. However, if he doesn’t handle it well, that will be his undoing because we expect 15k of screaming Nebraskans come the 19th.
Terence, it has been widely publicized that both you and Indongo are being charged up to 100k a piece for sanctioning fees for this unification bout. I guess my question for you is….is that a fair price and is it worth it in the end?
Crawford: Honestly, I don’t put much thought into that. This is boxing and this is the way things are done. I let my management and promotional team take care of all that.
BoMac, have you watched video of Indongo and if so, what things do see that trouble you, in addition, what deficiencies do you see in his game?
BoMac: Yea, I study everything. We know everything about this cat. I can tell you this, he’s a very solid fighter. He has a ton confidence, uses his hands and feet very well together. Knows when to punch. We see some things that we can capitalize on of course but you all are going to have to kick back and watch to see what those deficiencies are come fight night. I never understood how teams always say we are going to this or that. It’s a strategy and a game plan and we are not playing checkers in there, you all are going to see it on fight night. We don’t talk a lot of trash because we respect this game and the fighters in it. Sometimes people open their mouths and, of course, we’re not going to back down but this promotion is about history.
Terence, we all know how competitive of both a person and an athlete you are. With Husker Nation, especially more than likely several players and coaches from both the basketball and football team watching, what kind of a statement would you like to make on behalf of your home state in front of thousands inside the Pinnacle Bank Arena but also millions watching on a new network for you — the worldwide leader in sports, ESPN?
Crawford: Everyone that supports me and the fellas by buying tickets are going to feel united…we are Nebraska and we together are strong. We are fighting in Husker Country and I want to keep the winning tradition alive and thriving. The people in Lincoln and the University have always showed me love every time I’ve been in attendance to support them, so yeah, I will be plenty amped. As for ESPN, I grew up watching fights on that network, this fight means a lot for me. To be the best, you must fight and beat the guy that has all the belts. He has two and I have two. Now, I need to go out there and convince him that they’re mine.