TERENCE CRAWFORD knows his mind. He has already unified one division and is now a WBO champion once again at welterweight. Even as he prepares to defend his crown against Jose Benavidez on Saturday (October 13), he wants more to add more titles to his collection. But that does not include the WBA’s regular belt, even though it is currently in the hands of global superstar Manny Pacquiao.

“He’s not a champion in my eyes,” Crawford said. “He don’t have the super belt. That’s the champion in my eyes. I look at the number one champion in the division. I don’t look at the WBC Silver and the interim belts and all that. I look at the super and the actual champion of the division.”

Crawford, already a three-weight world champion, is one of the most skilled boxers in the world today and is increasingly confident in himself. “I feel stronger. I feel like my body is growing into the weight division. This is only my second fight at the welterweight division, so I feel like I’ve got a little more growing to do, but as far as strength-wise and how I feel, I feel great and I feel strong,” he said.

But he continued, “My main focus is on Benavidez. As you can see, he’s been doing a lot of talking, but while he’s talking, I’m working. So, I’m not worried about nothing that he’s saying or that he’s trying to hype up. I’m focused and I’m ready to go.

“He’s confident in himself and his abilities, and on top of that, I feel as if he’s trying to boost his confidence up even more by telling himself these thoughts in his head that he’s one of the best. But come fight night, all that is going to be out the window and we’re going to have to fight. And then it’s going to be put up or shut up.”

Terence Crawford Jeff Horn

Crawford added, “It motivates me more because, as you know, I’m cool, calm, collected. I never said anything to the guy. He approached me, so now it makes the victory more enjoyable to go in there and hit him in his mouth and shut him up.