WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Monday to discuss his upcoming title fight with Viktor Postol, but first, he talked about Muhammad Ali. Crawford watched Ali’s funeral last week and saw people throwing bouquets of flowers onto the hearse and kissing it.
It was something he’ll never forget.
“He paved the way for each and every boxer after him to have somebody to look at and be like, ‘Man, that guy was an icon,’” Crawford said on Ferrall on the Bench. “He fought for what he believed in. He gives you the courage to go in there and be yourself.”
Crawford, 28, has done that throughout his career. He will defend his title against Postol, 32, on July 23 at the MGM Grand. Both fighters are 28-0. Crawford has 20 KOs; Postol, who is from Ukraine, has 12. The fight will be available on Pay Per View.
“I feel great about the situation,” Crawford said. “A lot of people believe that it shouldn’t be on Pay Per View right now because of the publicity that me and Postol both get. They don’t feel like we both are household names, but like I say, why not pay for the best versus the best in the division?”
Crawford is coming off a fifth-round TKO of Hank Lundy at Madison Square Garden in February.
“The Lundy fight was very fun,” Crawford said. “I loved (fighting at the Garden). It was great, everybody showed me love and we got the victory.”
If you don’t know much about Crawford or Postol, you should – and if this were 20 or 30 or 40 years ago, you would – but boxing’s presence has diminished in the American sports landscape.
“Back in the day, they fought everybody,” said Crawford, an Omaha native. “Muhammad Ali was a guy that wasn’t just a boxer. He was an icon. He was a public figure. He was teaching people things outside the ring. Stand up for what you believe in. Telling people how great he was. When they didn’t believe him, he would go in there and show them and tell them to their face, ‘I told you what I was going to do.’ Everything he did was (genuine). He meant what he meant when he believed in something.”