Crawford: ‘You don’t hear ‘wrong side of the street’ with any other fighter but Terence Crawford’

Pound-for-pound king and WBO welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford returns to Madison Square Garden Saturday evening (9 p.m. ET, ESPN) as the headliner for the card of the year, a three-headed monster that will follow the Heisman Trophy ceremony.

Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) will make the third defense of his welterweight crown against No. 1 contender Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs), Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) will defend his IBF lightweight world title against unbeaten sensation Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) and Michael Conlan (12-0, 7 KOs) hopes to gain revenge on former 2016 Russian Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin (3-0, 0 KOs).

The ESPN+ undercard (5:45 p.m. ET) will feature Bronx-born super lightweight Josue Vargas (15-1, 9 KOs) against Noel Murphy (14-1-1, 2 KOs) and Brooklyn-born knockout artist Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga (12-0, 12 KOs), who has never seen the second round as a pro, against the durable Cesar Nunez (16-1-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight showdown.

At Tuesday’s media workout, this is what Crawford had to say:

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On the pressure of being a top pound-for-pound fighter

“It’s a blessing because it motivates me and adds fuel to the fire. I like proving people wrong. That’s more joy for me.”

“{New York} is one of the big stages. Vegas is a big stage. I do my thing in the ring, and every time I fight, I send a message to all the welterweights out there.”

“Everyone poses a threat. {Kavaliauskas} is a good fighter. He is a two-time Olympian for a reason. He’s undefeated, strong and hungry.”

On his popularity in Omaha now

“It’s the same. I’ve been the around the city since my amateur days. Some people want a picture, others shake my hand and say, ‘What’s up?’

“When I was at 140, everybody criticized me and said I was too big for 140. When I was at 140, everyone said I was too big for 135. If I was to go back down to 140, what would everybody say? I’m picking and bullying people. There you have it.”

On “sides of the street” in boxing

“Well, Deontay Wilder is about to fight Tyson Fury and you never hear about any ‘sides of the street.’ It’s just something people say when it comes to Terence Crawford. You don’t hear ‘wrong side of the street’ with any other fighter but Terence Crawford. Why do all these other fights get made, but when it’s Terence Crawford, it’s about the ‘wrong side of the street?'”

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing

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