As Pacquiao showdown looms, Crawford focused on upcoming fight
By Dino Maragay (philstar.com) | Updated December 6, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford said he is not pressured to look good against John Molina this Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Even if it means getting a shot at Manny Pacquiao.
“No, critics will be there – win, lose or draw. I have zero pressure from the press. Everyone keeps saying I need this or that to get Pacquiao,” Crawford told Bill Green in fightnews.com article.
“No, I need to be me. That is what got me here,” he added.
Close Ad X
Indeed, an impressive win by the undefeated Crawford over Molina can put him on a collision course with his stablemate Pacquiao, who is running out of worthy opponents in Top Rank Inc.’s roster.
Pacquiao has just defeated Jessie Vargas to regain the WBO welterweight championship, but said he is willing to take on all comers.
Many boxing fans would prefer the Filipino icon to next face Crawford (29-0, with 20 KOs), considered as one of boxing’s biggest rising stars.
But for Crawford to stay in the hunt for a megabuck showdown with Pacquiao, he has to take care of Molina this week at the CenturyLink Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Crawford said he isn’t even thinking about Pacquiao, and that his focus is on defeating Molina – impressively or not.
“What’s important is winning, providing opportunities for my city and to put food on the table for my family. Knockouts come from being focused, capitalizing on your opponent’s mistakes, not by being careless and pleasing others,” he continued.
Crawford is one of two potential young Top Rank stars being groomed to fight Pacquiao soon, the other being WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
The Ukrainian star already boosted his case when he walloped Nicholas Walters in a one-sided bout late last month, forcing his opponent to quit on his stool.
He afterwards said that taking on Pacquiao is something he would be proud of.
This weekend, it is Crawford’s turn to make a strong statement.