Crawford, Beltran ready to rumble


By Karl Freitag
Photos: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford and #1 contender and mandatory challenger Ray Beltran faced off Wednesday at their final news conference before they fight for Crawford’s world title on Saturday night at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Also on hand was undefeated International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich, who defends his belt against unbeaten contender Jayson Velez.

Terence Crawford: Come Saturday I’m gonna be ready. I know Team Beltran are ready. They trained hard. They’re gonna bring 110%, 120%, that night they’re gonna bring it all. But it’s my job to bring 200% to make sure I keep my title and get that Ring belt. But it’s not all about that Ring belt, it’s about me being the best I can be and continuing to be successful in this game that I love to do…come Saturday I’m going to lay it all on the line like I do every other time.

Ray Beltran: I’m fighting Terence Crawford, a very difficult fighter, a good champion. I’m dedicating this fight to the 43 students that got executed in Mexico…I’m ready, thank God, for this great opportunity. I’m in great shape, I feel good, I’m ready, so motivated. I hope I give Omaha, all the people a good show Saturday night. I’m ready, I can’t wait!

Evgeny Gradovich: I hope it’ll be a good fight. Thanks to my team for a good training camp at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy.

Jayson Velez: I don’t have too much to say. This is a great fight. The “Mexican-Russian is a great fighter, but I’m Boriqua. This is gonna be a war. I’ve been training very hard. I know what Gradovich is capable of. You have two young, undefeated fighters who throw many punches. This is gonna be a great, great fight.

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