Terence Crawford is set to defend his junior welterweight world titles this weekend when he takes on John Molina Jr. Crawford is rightfully favored to beat Molina, and with a win Crawford tells ESPN that he deserves the nod for 2016 Fighter of the Year.
Crawford began his 2016 campaign by putting a hurtin’ on Hank Lundy in late February. Crawford forced a fifth round stoppage in the outing before then turning his attention towards a big title unification fight against Viktor Postol in July. That fight too would end up one-way traffic as Crawford washed Postol over 12 rounds, dropping him twice in the fifth.
"I did a number on Hank Lundy, the kind that nobody else was able to do," Crawford said, continuing to make his case. "I unified the title against Postol, a guy everybody said was almost as good as I was. I am an undefeated champion and was fighting a guy [Postol] coming off a knockout win against [Lucas] Matthysse and I totally dominated him.
"Now I'm fighting another guy coming off an impressive win, a No. 1 contender, and a win over him should convince people that I am fighter of the year."
That other guy would be John Molina Jr., who upset Ruslan Provodnikov back in June. Molina surprised some, myself included, with his ability to box effectively enough to keep the one-dimensional puncher off-balance and to keep the fight from turning into a slugfest.
But Terence Crawford ain’t no Ruslan Provodnikov. Crawford is arguably the most versatile fighter in the sport today. So it’s no wonder why Crawford is heavily favored going into this fight, but do you think with a win this weekend he should take Fighter of the Year honors? And who are your other candidates?