By Keith Idec
Terence Crawford clearly took exception to something Mikey Garcia said Saturday while promoting his pay-per-view showdown with Errol Spence Jr.
The unbeaten WBO welterweight champion took to Twitter on Sunday seemingly to address Garcia’s comments regarding his own level of competition. After mentioning Garcia’s self-assessment of the four-division champion’s resume, Crawford criticized Garcia for not continuing during his January 2013 fight against Orlando Salido.
The Tweet Crawford sent out reads: Lol. @mikeygarcia stop it [don’t] do that to yourself. [We] know about all the great fighters you fought, ima just let you focus on yo fight. Just [don’t] quit like you did with Salido. I’ll be watching.
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), who wants to fight the Spence-Garcia winner, referred to the undefeated Garcia’s technical-decision victory over Orlando Salido six years ago in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Garcia, then 26, knocked down Mexico’s Salido twice in the first round and once apiece in the third and fourth rounds. He was ahead of Salido by big margins on each scorecard – 79-69, 79-69 and 79-70 – when an accidental clash of heads broke Garcia’s nose during the eighth round.
Garcia said he couldn’t continue thereafter and, in accordance with Association of Boxing Commission rules, they went to the scorecards. Skeptics have suggested Garcia didn’t want to continue because the rugged Salido was coming on as they moved toward the championship rounds that night.
Like Crawford, Garcia was promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. when Garcia defeated Salido (then 40-11-2).
It wasn’t until later in 2013, however, that Crawford’s career changed when he boxed Breidis Prescott on short notice. Crawford, then 19-0, soundly defeated the Colombian knockout artist by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder HBO broadcast from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
The Omaha, Nebraska, native since has established himself as perhaps the best boxer in the sport, pound-for-pound.
Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs), of Moreno Valley, California, also is among boxing’s top 10 fighters, pound-for-pound. His career has taken off since Garcia ended a 2½-year layoff in July 2016, mostly the consequence of a contractual conflict with Top Rank.
Arum’s company and Garcia eventually reached a settlement agreement. Garcia since has fought for adviser Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions organization, which also represents Spence.
Garcia, 31, deservedly has received an enormous amount of credit for moving up two weight classes to challenge the 29-year-old Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) for his IBF welterweight title March 16. Their 12-round, 147-pound title fight will be distributed by FOX Pay-Per-View from the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Garcia and Spence spent most of Saturday promoting their fight before a “Premier Boxing Champions On FOX” card at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Crawford, meanwhile, is preparing for his own pay-per-view fight. The three-division champion is scheduled to defend his 147-pound title against England’s Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) in a 12-round main event ESPN will distribute from Madison Square Garden in New York.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.