Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs), from Omaha, NE, and Thomas Dulrome (22-1, 14 KOs), hosted a media conference call to discuss their upcoming rumble for the vacant WBO junior welterweight title. Take a look at the full transcript here.
BOB ARUM: We are very excited to bring this event to Arlington, Texas, We are familiar with the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and have put on shows at Cowboys Stadium and this facility at the University of Texas Arlington is beautiful which is fitting for Fighter of the Year Terence Crawford, who was the world champion of the lightweight division and is now moving up for a crack at a junior welterweight world title. He fights a difficult contender in Thomas Dulorme. But we at Top Rank are confident in the ability of Terrence Crawford.
TERRENCE CRAWFORD: Camp has been going great. You know it’s been a blessing to be where I’m at and at this point I am ready to just go in there and do what I’ve got to do on Saturday night.
Has your life changed much after the year you have had?
TERRENCE CRAWFORD: Not really. I’ve got a little more of the big time people noticing me but other than that everything has been the same.
We saw how hard of a time you had getting down to 135 for the Beltran fight – how difficult was it?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: For that fight I don’t know what it was but my weight wasn’t coming down like it normally does. Now for this fight my weight has been down for about a week. It would have been easier for me to make 135 for this fight than the Beltran fight.
So you could have stayed at 135?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I could in a sense, but I don’t think that would have been the best move being that my body is growing and I’m filling out a little more. This is the right time to move up before I start having serious problems because I struggled hard to make weight for that fight.
Your thoughts on now moving to 140 and fighting for a title?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I am pleased with it. I feel like I need to use my career momentum to my advantage and I feel like I’ve got the momentum right now. I don’t want to take any steps backward, I want to keep moving up.
What are your thoughts about what Dulorme brings to the ring.
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I think he is a good boxer. He’s got a sharp, nice jab, he’s got a nice right hand. He likes to throw the little right hook. He moves well. He switches like me. I don’t have anything bad to say about him. Come Saturday I feel like I’m going to make my adjustments in the ring and do what I’ve go to do to get the job done.
Do you make your adjustments during the rounds or discuss when you go back to the corner in between rounds?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I go the way I see it. One minute I may do something and the next minute I may feel the need to do something different. That’s why I switch back and forth so frequently because I may see something that I can capitalize on.
Going back to Gamboa – how did you know when to make the adjustments?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: Well I saw that he just kept coming short with the right hand coming over the top. So I figured instead of catching him pulling out, I was going to catch him coming in. I felt like my right hook was going to be the key to catching him coming in because he was coming in so fast he wouldn’t see it coming and that’s what happened.
Do you see a long stay at junior welterweight or do you see yourself moving up?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: Well right now my focus is 140. I have no thoughts about moving up to 147, I just moved up to 140. Right now I am focusing on being the number one guy at 140.
What do you think your biggest challenge will be at 140?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I don’t know. I really can’t say what my main challenge will be because even though I fought at this division before, I never fought for a title, but I feel like I’m ready for it. But I don’t know until I get in there.
Do you worry about the quality of the punch at 140?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I don’t worry about those kinds of things. I need to worry about neutralizing their strength and getting the job done.
You had some great fights in Omaha last year and now you are back on the road – do you plan to go back to light up Omaha again?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: My fighting outside of Omaha is nothing new to me. I’ve been doing it all my life. In tournaments when nobody knew me. I am kind of used to fighting away from him. I do see myself fighting in Omaha again, in a different weight class. Bringing another championship title to Omaha. But that’s in the future and right now I am more focused on the present.
Who does Terence remind you of historically?
BOB ARUM: The guy who comes most to mind from the standpoint from the fact that he is a boxer / puncher – there is a guy that we promoted for a number of years named Donald Curry. Curry had at a certain point in his career, for a number of years was really a top flight fighter and they said he was going to be the next Sugar Ray Leonard but it didn’t work out that way, for various reasons. Be Terence has people around him, like Brian McIntyre, and Cameron Dunkin behind him, to keep him on the right patch, so that he will ultimately be able to achieve what Curry didn’t. Terence is a great fighter and Terence reminds me of Donald Curry.
You seem to fly under the radar because you are so soft-spoken. Do you think sometimes maybe you should talk a little more smack?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I don’t feel like I need to do that. That’s not me. I don’t like to say anything about me around me. I like to feel like when I say something that’s what I mean. That’s what I’m about. I’m not about being a showman. I am a showman in the ring but those unnecessary things outside the ring that people do; I don’t feel like I need to do that because that’s not me.
You are fighting now in ’15 before you even get the award for Fighter of the Year for 2014. Do you feel you are beginning a new campaign for 2015?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I couldn’t even imagine thinking about that right now because it is so far away. But if that was to happen again, I would be too happy.
Were you surprised to get it and what does it mean to you as you look back?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: It means a lot to me. I feel like I had a great year. Going over there to Scotland, where nobody wanted to go, then coming back and fighting Gamboa – tough, tough fight, tough fighter – undefeated and a lot of experience and a lot of backing. Then taking on Ray Beltran – I felt great about my performance and my year. I been telling my manager, Cameron Dunkin, for years I wanted to be pushed. ‘Cameron throw me in there. Throw me in there.’ But managers are supposed to protect fighters from themselves, because sometimes fighters might say they want to fight, but don’t need to fight and it’s not a good fight for them. They thing they want it but really it’s not a good fight for them. That’s why I hired Cameron, because he, working with Brian McIntyre – that’s their job – to get the best fights for me, not for me, but for myself. That’s why they are the managers and I am the fighter. So I just bought my time, waited for the moment, and look at me now.
Are you looking forward to fighting then going to New York and having a good time and getting your accolades?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: Of course, of course – that is the ultimate goal. It’s taking care of business Saturday, then resting up and enjoying my weekend. Then go get my award, then after that go to the Mayweather fight. I am just looking forward to everything this weekend.
How do you feel about the 6:1 odds in your favor?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I don’t know. They may see one thing but I respect all fighters. I have never in my career underestimated any fighter. When I am in training camp I never think about going in there and knock this dude out or I’m going to do this. They can think something else but we are going to train as hard as we can for twelve rounds or even more. That way we don’t get any surprises.
How do you see yourself this year at 140?
TERENCE CRAWFORD: I see myself doing great things in this weight class. I feel like I am going to be stronger. I feel like I am going to be faster. I am getting the experience that I need to be smarter and wiser. I don’t go in the ring looking for any particular fighter, like ‘I want to fight him or I want to fight him.’ I just want to fight the best. My manager, my promoter, if they feel it is the best fight for me, then they will come to me and say this is the fight we want and I will believe in them like they believe in me and we will go forward with the fight.
Is this fight set up to take on the winner of Matthysse – Provodnikov?
BOB ARUM: Provodnikov and Matthysse are excellent fighters and certainly the winner of that fight would be considered against the winner, who we feel is going to be Crawford, would be a natural. But would there be a better fight to be made? Would the manager of the winner of Provodnikov-Matthysse want to fight the winner of this fight? Those things need to be decided. In other words, this is not a puppet show. You sit down with the management of the winner of the fight and then it will be decided. Let’s just enjoy what we are going to see on Saturday.
Team Crawford In closing
TERENCE CRAWFORD: Thanks for having me on.
BOB ARUM: For everyone that can get to Arlington, get there because it is going to be a great fight. You will see one of the great up and coming fighters of this era, Terence Crawford. I know a lot of people are focused on May 2, when Manny and Floyd go at it. But there are great fighters that will be fighting on Saturday, whether they are in Texas or elsewhere, I think Saturday is going to be a real good day for the junior welterweight division and hopefully a good day for Terence Crawford,
Thomas, Would it be a surprise for you to win the fight over Crawford?
THOMAS DULORME: It would not be a surprise for me. I know the way the boxing analysts feel but I am very comfortable with this fight and I will come out the winner of this fight.
What would winning this fight mean for your career?
THOMAS DULORME: This is another step forward in my career. It is a very important fight for me as I move along.
How do you feel about fighting the Fighter of the Year?
THOMAS DULORME: Those who make the decisions to choose who will be the fighter of the year are those involved in analyzing the fights. I am only concentrating on my career as a boxer in the gym and not outside of the ring.
The odds seem to be steeply in Crawford’s favor…
THOMAS DULORME: I am not surprised by the odds because everyone thinks this is a very comfortable fight for Crawford. I will say this – those who bet with me as the winner of the fight are going to take home a nice chunk of money.
There are some rumors making the rounds in social media – how do respond to them?
THOMAS DULORME: I have been concentrating for the past month and a half on my training and I have been away from the social media so I don’t really know what that has to do with. Everything in social media is being handled by my advisors’ office.
This is the biggest fight of your career and you have changed trainers…
THOMAS DULORME: Robert Garcia and I are great friends. I wanted to train in Puerto Rico where my boxing career began and Robert didn’t have the time to train me here in Puerto Rico.
Who is the head trainer for this fight?
THOMAS DULORME: I do not have a head trainer as such. What I have done is put together a great training team that brings to the table many years of training experience of old school in boxing. Jose “Kike” Rosa and Felix Pagan Pintor and Don Khan and Anthony Otero who have trained and been in title fights with other great boxers.
Who will be the person in charge that Thomas listens to between rounds?
THOMAS DULORME: It will be Kike Rosa
It seems that Terence is more of a boxer in this fight moving up in weight and since Thomas is coming down in weigh he will be the stronger fighter against the more slick Crawford. How do you feel about that?
THOMAS DULORME: As you know, I can switch from the guy who is a boxer in the ring and what I am going to do in this fight is switch from one side to the other but I am going to be constantly hurting Crawford with my power punches throughout the fight.
Did you know going into the fight with Lundy that your next fight would be for the title or did you think you just had to make a statement in that fight?
THOMAS DULORME: I never knew going into the Lundy fight, which was going to be my next fight. I never concentrate on, when I am going into a fight, who my next fight will be with. I concentrate on each fight individually.
How do you feel coming off two big wins against Karim Mayfield and Lundy?
THOMAS DULORME: My professional boxing career has been on a comfortable rise and I am very happy and very positive on this next step with a win over Crawford on the 18th.