Terence Crawford, the Omaha, Nebraska, native is hailed as one of the best boxers in the world, but he's the type of individual who lets his actions do the talking. He's as introverted outside the ring as he is versatile inside of it.
But that's just his public-facing persona, and oftentimes those who know famous athletes best experience an entirely different version of that person. Take Andre Ward, for example, who learned about how far Crawford's competitive streak goes when he lost a game of pingpong to Crawford and had to do 50 pushups as a punishment.
With an eye toward learning a little bit more about him, we asked those who know Crawford to share some of their favorite stories and memories.
Timothy Bradley, multidivision world titlist, on the first time he met Crawford
So I'm getting ready for Devon Alexander, and I was sending everybody home. I was in tip-top shape, going through everybody. I went through like four sparring partners. I was breaking ribs, I was vicious.
I called my manager, Cameron Dunkin, and I was like, "Hey, I need a southpaw, a good one." He was like, "Well, I got a kid, Terence Crawford." I was like, "Where is he from?" He said, "Omaha. I'll fly him out to you." So I said, "OK, cool."
My brother-in-law picks him up, he comes to the gym and I see this kid, and I'm like, "Ahhhh, he don't look like much." He was slender, a little cut up. Let me see what this kid knows. I think he was 13, 14-0 at the time.
He got into the ring, and I tried to rush this kid -- but he was boxing my ears off. I mean, he was beating me up, to the head, to the body, and it seemed the more I tried, the more I got hit. I think we were supposed to go six rounds that day, we went four rounds because it was that bad. I got out of the ring, I was like, "Whoa!" He was shadow-boxing after we were done, and I go up to him and go, "Who are you?"
He said, "I'm Terence, I'm from Omaha." I said, "Dude, you ain't no sparring partner, man." He said, "Why do you say that?" I said, "Man, you're a world champion. I've never been in the ring with someone like you, someone so crafty, someone so polished with the ring IQ that you have. I've been a world champion for several years now and I've never been in the ring with your type of skill."