This is not some long post about Terence Crawford’s story.
It’s not about what got him into boxing
And it's not about why he continues to fight
This is purely focused on how he fights. It’s a study guide for you to know the main technique, tips, and tricks that are used by the 3-weight division world champion.
So that you can start implementing aspects of his strategy into your own fighting style and increase your overall boxing IQ.
So let's get into it…
Age - 35
Debut - February 14, 2008
Next Fight - July 29, 2023
Record - 39-0
KOs - 30 (76.9%)
Height - 173cm
Reach - 188cm
Stance - Switch Stance
Terence Crawford's guard technique is a unique and effective aspect of his boxing style.
Rather than opting for a traditional tight guard, Crawford keeps his guard loose and relaxed with wide elbows.
This seemingly unorthodox approach allows him to have better visibility and react quickly to his opponents' punches. This is because, by keeping his elbows wide, Crawford creates a wider field of vision,
making it easier for him to see incoming punches so that he is better able to slip or parry them.
Additionally, this guard style enables him to generate more power and leverage in his counterattacks.
As Crawford is able to smoothly transition from defense to offense, launching swift and devastating counterpunches with unforeseen precision.
So overall this unorthodox guard not only sets him apart from other fighters but also adds an element of unpredictability to his defensive and offensive strategies, making him a formidable force in the ring.
Switch Stance Mastery
Terence Crawford's switch stance style is a fundamental aspect of his boxing repertoire.
With the ability to seamlessly transition between orthodox and southpaw stances, Crawford confuses and frustrates his opponents, creating openings for his offense.
This is because when he switches stances, Crawford not only changes his lead foot but also adjusts the angle of his attack,
Making it incredibly challenging for his opponents to anticipate his movements.
This strategic use of switch-hitting allows Crawford to dictate the pace of the fight while keeping his opponents off balance and unable to establish a consistent defensive strategy.
So by constantly shifting stances, Crawford maintains a dynamic and elusive presence in the ring, allowing him to exploit vulnerabilities and deliver powerful, unexpected punches.
However, it is important to note that switch-hitting requires a high level of skill and experience.
So it is recommended that less experienced boxers focus on perfecting their original stance before attempting such advanced techniques.
Exceptional Boxing IQ
Terence Crawford's exceptional boxing IQ is a crucial asset that empowers him to outthink and outmanoeuvre his opponents in the ring.
His ability to analyse his adversaries' strengths and weaknesses plays a pivotal role in his strategic approach.
By carefully studying their patterns and tendencies, Crawford gains valuable insights to adjust his tactics accordingly.
This intelligence allows him to anticipate his opponents' moves and exploit any openings he discovers.
One of Crawford's key strategies
Is to create feints and bait his opponents into committing to an attack, only to counter with precision and power.
His ability to adapt on the fly and make split-second decisions based on his opponent's actions showcases his boxing IQ at its finest.
Crawford's strategic brilliance gives him a significant edge and makes him a formidable opponent in the ring, leaving aspiring boxers in awe of his ability to dissect and exploit his opponent's weaknesses.
Here are some examples of his strategic brilliance…
1. Fighting off the Back Foot and Angling Off
Crawford often fights off the back foot, drawing his opponents into attacking him. As they throw punches, he expertly angles off to create angles of attack while evading their strikes. This technique allows him to counter from advantageous positions and disrupt their rhythm.
2. Punching While the Opponent is Punching
Crawford has the remarkable ability to time his counters perfectly. He waits for his opponent to initiate an attack, and at that moment, he unleashes a counter-punch to catch them off, guard. This strategic timing allows him to exploit openings and effectively neutralize his opponents' offense.
3. Baiting with Fast 2-3 Punch Combos
To bait his opponents into committing to an attack, Crawford often throws lightning-fast 2-3 punch combinations. If his opponent counters in response, Crawford skilfully counters back with his own precise strikes. Alternatively, if his opponent shells up defensively, he unleashes a barrage of powerful punches to break through their guard.
4. Catch and Counter with the Same Hand
Crawford employs a technique where he catches his opponent's punches with one hand while simultaneously countering with the same hand. This maneuver not only nullifies their attack but also delivers a surprise counter-punch that catches them off guard and allows him to wind up the other hand for a second brutal counter.
5. Shifting Levels and Body Work
Crawford typically begins his counter-attacks with a punch to the head before shifting his focus to the body. As his opponents tire and their defenses weaken, so he capitalizes on the opportunity to work the body, wearing them down and setting up future openings for powerful punches.
6. Countering the Jab with a Straight Right Hand
When his opponents throw jabs, Crawford expertly counters with a straight right hand. By timing his counter with precision, he effectively exploits the brief opening created by their extended jab, delivering a powerful blow that disrupts their momentum.
7. Slowing Down First Punch, Catching them Off Guard with the Second
To catch his opponents off guard, Crawford employs a technique where he deliberately slows down his initial punch. By doing so, he entices his opponents to react by slipping or blocking the slowed punch. At that moment, Crawford quickly follows up with a second punch, unleashed with greater speed and power, catching his opponents off guard and landing a devastating blow.
8. Straight Left followed by Right Hook
Crawford strategically uses a straight left hand to draw his opponents into countering. As they come forward to counter the straight left, he skilfully follows up with a powerful right hook. This combination takes advantage of their anticipation and leaves them vulnerable to the unexpected follow-up hook.
9. Angling the Right Hook over the Left Hand
In situations where his opponents protect their left side, Crawford angles his right hook to come over their left hand, landing with precision and power. This technique allows him to exploit their defensive positioning and deliver a devastating blow.
Terence Crawford's extreme patience is a key characteristic of his boxing style. He demonstrates the ability to remain composed and wait for the opportune moment to strike.
While he waits, he also studies his opponents closely, analysing their movements, habits, and vulnerabilities, allowing him to exploit their mistakes effectively
And avoid rushing into exchanges that may carry unnecessary risks,
Instead, he chooses to bide his time and strike with precision which grants him greater control over the pace of the fight
And often frustrates his opponents
Forcing them to attack with aggression and take risks, at which point Crawford picks them off, then knocks them down.
Wrestling Skills and Recovery
Terence Crawford's exceptional wrestling ability distinguishes him as a multifaceted boxer,
When hurt or tired, Crawford uses his wrestling skills to close the distance and regain control of the fight.
By using his grappling expertise, he can nullify his opponents' offense and create opportunities for recovery.
This ability to engage in close-quarters combat also allows Crawford to smother his opponents, restrict their punching range, and disrupt their rhythm.
While sapping their energy, and frustrating their attack.
So by using his exceptional wrestling,
He not only provides a layer of defense but also serves as a valuable offensive tool, enabling him to dictate the pace and flow of the fight.
This fight breakdown focuses on the boxing style of Terence Crawford,
Providing insights into the techniques, strategies, and tricks he uses in his professional career.
While it doesn't delve into his personal background or motivations, I hope it gave you valuable information in a way that was easy to understand, so that you are able to incorporate his fighting style into your own repertoire.
Personally, I have found the examples of strategic brilliance the most useful but I still recommend at least trying everything to see what you do like, what you don’t like, and what works best with your style
Because, at the end of the day, everyone's style is different and what works for one won't always work for another.
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