Crawford: Voila In Omaha

By Joe Masterleo on November 30, 2014
Crawford: Voila In Omaha
Beltran had no answer for the elusive enigma that the champion posed. (Naoki Fukuda)

Crawford won’t match up well with Pacquiao, and will have a tougher time against the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov…

Following a so-so appetizer on the undercard, which included warmed-up leftovers of week-old Pacquiao-Algieri, the main course of Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs) vs. Ray Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KOs) was served up to us Saturday night on HBO from the swanky kitchen of the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Billed as the slick jab-centric boxer vs. the plodding, pressure fighter from the heart of the nation’s breadbasket, chef “Bud” Crawford put on a boxing clinic that whet the appetite of many inclined to sooner honor the WBO lightweight champion with a Fighter of the Year banquet of his own.

Omaha, named the “Best-Bang-For-The-Buck-City” in America (Forbes), gave all 11,000 patrons their money’s worth, with Crawford whipping-up an artful boxing clinic for his salivating clientele. In his second title defense in front of the hometown crowd, the number one ranked lightweight boxer in the world appeared to satisfy his subdued but ravenous fans, sating their boxing appetites with hearty, generous, fundamentally sound portions of excellent foot speed, lateral movement, athletic skills, ring cunning, chin and heart. Seldom has a feast of boxing skills been so savoring, replete and fulfilling to watch. Even Warren Buffet got in on the appetizing act, with his timely pre-fight tips for HBO’s Jim Lampley on the whereabouts of his favorite local dishes.

Switching to southpaw early in the fight, Crawford kept the pesky but overmatched Beltran at the end of his rapier-like jab for the entire 12-round bout, carving up the right side of the Mexican’s face like so much salsa and Chorizo, while slipping punches and scoring with occasional hooks. In so doing, the Pride of Omaha mixed wily lateral movement with timely clinches and shifty maneuvering to stay off the ropes and at ring center, while neutralizing his game challenger time and again with a bevy of jabs and effective clinching. Despite Beltran’s efforts to close the strategic distance maintained by Crawford throughout, the champion’s foot speed, savvy and overall ring generalship kept his opponent from getting his feet set to unleash his powerful left hook. The handful of power punches Beltran did manage to land were absorbed well by the more talented and crafty Crawford. The outclassed Beltran simply had no answer for the elusive enigma that the champion posed.

All in all, the famished crowd was satisfied by the delightful fare laid out by Crawford, departing with their pugilistic palettes pleased and boxing bellies bulging. For chasers, copious belts of Beltran, and plenty of them, were the beverage of choice in this bout. As pure boxing feasts go, between Buffet, Buffer and Beltran, it was a beautiful boxing buffet. No small feat in this voracious “Gateway to the West” city of gastronomical delights hard by the Missouri River, home of Ed Swanson (TV dinners), Duncan Hines (cake mix), Raisin Bran and the Reuben Sandwich. 

For dessert, the fans were treated to the no-surprise announcement that their hometown hero looks to get bigger fights with bigger names (and bigger $) at 140 and eventually 147 lbs. 140 on up proves to be a tougher division for Crawford, who won’t match up well with Pacquiao, and will have a tougher time against the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov, and perhaps Chris Algieri.

Did I say Algieri? Strike that from Crawford’s main dish menu, pronto.

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  1. Eric 02:25pm, 11/30/2014

    Irish…Seems like Putin is the latest boogeyman that is propped up for us good ole patriotic Americans to hate. Don’t really love the guy but anyone who is under attack by “our” media can’t be all bad. teehee. Seems like all the power freaks need is to assume control of Mother Russia, and then they will have practically all of Europe to do with as they see fit. Putin could very well be a “work” of the divide and conquer strategy, who knows? Mickey Rourke? Good guy, but a troubled guy. Fight was fixed. No shocker there. The opponent was allegedly some homeless guy who hung out at Starbucks and might be mentally ill. A charity bout for the homeless guy and a kind way to let him earn a few extra bucks. Rourke was probably treated to a couple of 6-foot tall, blue-eyed, blonde Russian women, caviar & primo Vodka, courtesy of Putin during his stay.

  2. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 12:23pm, 11/30/2014

    Eric- I say Vladimir Putin could kick Obama’s ass and Mickey Rourke’s into the bargain.

  3. Eric 10:28am, 11/30/2014

    Irish…Buffet, Soros, Strauss Kahn, Bill Gates, etc., who can’t help but love these billionaire “socialists.” They care so much.

  4. Eric 09:53am, 11/30/2014

    Another well written article. I always get hungry reading your articles though. First it was the ham & eggs in a previous article, and this article again had me thinking about raiding the fridge. Reminds me of the late sportswriter, Tom McEwen, of the Tampa Tribune. Loved reading McEwen’s articles back in the day, just to salivate over what he ate for breakfast. I guess Tom had to come up with something back then considering the hapless Bucs were the biggest ticket in town back then.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:38am, 11/30/2014

    He’s the poster child for day of the fight weigh-ins….. a welterweight if ever there was who should be fighting guys his size….which reminds me….Buffet and Soros are Aliens and Zuckerberg is their love child.

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