Ahead of his bout with Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford is taking inspiration from the history books.
The 35-year-old looks to become undisputed for a second time in his career, this time at welterweight having previously collected all the titles a division down.
Spence stands in his way – also undefeated and supremely confident of victory when they face off on July 29 in Las Vegas.
It’s of little doubt that this has all the ingredients to be the best fight of 2023, even perhaps the decade so far, and fans believe the man who has his hand raised is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
On that topic, Crawford was recently asked by SHOWTIME who he believed to be the greatest fighter of all time. He answered the late, great Sugar Ray Robinson.
“The GOAT right now, well, it’s Floyd [Mayweather] but all time it’s gotta be Sugar Ray Robinson.”
In a career spanning 25 years, Sugar Ray fought 201 times – something almost unfathomable to the modern-day boxing fan.
He won the first 40 of those before being decisioned by ‘The Raging Bull’, Jake LaMotta. It was a loss that Robinson avenged just 21 days later.
Widely regarded as one of, if not the best of all time, the man born in Georgia held world titles in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions, and embarked on a 91-fight win streak in the middle of his career – something that is, quite incredibly, not a record.
A methodical jabber, Robinson only had a 55% knockout ratio, but that was still over 100 opponents he stopped inside the distance. He passed away at the age of 67 in 1989, and was posthumously honoured in the International Boxing Hall of Fame one year later.
Crawford has branded this fight with Spence a throwback, and is looking to cement a legacy of his own.
Despite no boxer in the 21st century being able to match the legends for activity, ‘Bud’ can become the first four-belt welterweight champion and the best of his generation.