For Terence Crawford, the crescendo of his boxing dreams are in sight.
And standing in the way, as perhaps the final hurdle to not only a monster payday and elevation to a perch as arguably the world’s greatest active fighter, is Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme.
Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs) said he’ll assess the dreams after his bout with the 6-1 underdog and one-loss Dulorme.
They face each other Saturday night at College Park Center on the UT Arlington campus for the vacant 140-pound WBO junior welterweight title.
“It’s all business this week,” Crawford said. “I haven’t thought too much about what lies ahead because there’s a man stepping into the ring with me that has dreams, too.”
Crawford, the International Boxing Writers’ Association Fighter of the Year in 2014, has 17 knockouts. Perhaps his most impressive win was capturing the WBO lightweight world title in Glasgow, Scotland, last year.
Crawford defeated hometown favorite Ricky Burns by unanimous decision at the Scottish Exhibition Center. In that fight, Crawford separated from Burns in the middle rounds, landing sharp punches and getting Burns on the defensive.
Crawford successfully defended his title twice more in 2014.
Stepping up in class, though, can bring new hurdles to a fighter.
Dulorme (22-1, 14 KOs) is riding a six-fight winning streak after dropping down in class to junior welterweight. His only loss was a seventh-round TKO in 2012, when he fought Luis Carlos Abregu for the WBC international welterweight title.
“At each level, the fights get harder, the competition is hard, so it stands to reason that the training camps will get harder as well,” Crawford said.
Considering Dulorme likes to start quickly, as evidenced by his first-round knockdown of Hank Lundy last December en route to a super lightweight title, Crawford’s camp has taken notice.
“I’ve got some new things you’ll see Saturday night,” Crawford said. “But as far as strategy, we’ve just tried to work more on the things that have held me back in the past and my strongest ability is being able to understand the flow of a fight quickly.”
Weatherford’s Skender Halili puts his eight-fight winning streak on the line against San Antonio’s Benjamin Whitaker.
It will be an eight-round welterweight bout in which Halili, unbeaten as a professional, gives up six years in age to Whitaker (8-1).
All eight of Halili’s wins have come by knockout.
“It’s a big opportunity for me and I’m excited to be here,” Halili said. “I’m just going to go into the ring and do what I do. The goal is world champion, but I’m looking to take it further.”
Fort Worth’s Martinez Porter (3-3-4, 1 KO) will take on Michigan’s Anthony Barnes (7-0, 6 KOs) in a six-round super middleweight fight.
Saturday’s fight card
WBO junior welterweight title (12 rounds): Thomas Dulorme, Carolina, Puerto Rico (22-1, 14 KOs) vs. Terence Crawford, Omaha, Neb. (25-0, 17 KOs)
Super featherweight (10 rounds): Luis Solis, Progreso, Mexico (14-6-4) vs. Diego Magdaleno, Las Vegas (27-1, 11 KOs
Welterweight (8 rounds): Benjamin Whitaker, San Antonio (8-1, 2 KOs) vs. Skender Halili, Fort Worth (8-0, 8 KOs)
Light heavyweight (8 rounds): Michael Gbenga, Baltimore (16-18, 16 KOs) vs. Medzhid Bektemirov, Houston (15-0, 12 KOs)
Lightweight (8 rounds): Rolando Chinea, Lancaster, Pa. (10-0-1, 6 KOs) vs. Ismail Muwendo, Minneapolis (16-0, 12 KOs)
Super bantamweight (6 rounds): Alejandro Moreno, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico (24-33-3, 11 KOs) vs. Johnny Determan, Red Oak (9-0-1, 8 KOs)
Super middleweight (6 rounds): Martinez Porter, Fort Worth (3-3-4, 1 KO) vs. Anthony Barnes, Huntington Wood, Mich. (7-0, 6 KOs)
Super middleweight (6 rounds): Eddie Tigs, Schertz (1-5-2, 0 KOs) vs. Mike Tufariello, Dallas (4-2-1, 4 KOs)
Note: Card subject to change.
Vacant WBO world junior welterweight title
Terence “Bud” Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs) vs. Thomas “Thunder” Dulorme (22-1, 14 KOs)
Saturday, UT Arlington’s College Park Center
TV: 9 p.m. as part of a doubleheader on HBO Boxing After Dark
Tickets: $25 to $200. College Park Center box office, online at www.utatickets.com and www.utacollegepark.com, or by phone at 817-272-9595.