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In 2011, undefeated boxer Timothy Bradley was getting ready to defend his WBO junior welterweight title against Devon Alexander in a unification bout, and needed a southpaw sparring partner. Brian “BoMac” McIntyre, longtime trainer of Terence Crawford, who was only a few years into his professional boxing career, answered the call and sent in his student.
Although a natural orthodox fighter, Crawford was well-known for his ability to switch stances and fight comfortably as a southpaw. According to Bradley, the young Omaha up-and-comer “beat my ass.”
Bradley recounted the sparring session during a 2019 ESPN profile on Crawford:
He got into the ring, and I tried to rush this kid — but he was boxing my ears off. I mean, he was beating me up, to the head, to the body, and it seemed the more I tried, the more I got hit. I think we were supposed to go six rounds that day, we went four rounds because it was that bad. I got out of the ring, I was like, “Whoa!” He was shadow-boxing after we were done, and I go up to him and go, “Who are you?” He said, “I’m Terence, I’m from Omaha.” I said, “Dude, you ain’t no sparring partner, man.” He said, “Why do you say that?” I said, “Man, you’re a world champion.The other side of Terence Crawford | ESPN
Bradley’s words would prove to be prophetic when Crawford captured his first world title in 2014, when he outpointed Ricky Burns to win the WBO lightweight title.
Over the seven years, Crawford would go on to wreak havoc on boxing’s lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight divisions. After making quick work of former IBF welterweight champion, Kell Brook, earlier this year, Crawford is currently on a collision course with the other 147-pound king, Errol Spence Jr.
I pretty much keep my same routine. Even with all the excitement leading up to the fight, you don’t want to be completely zoned out and worried only about the fight. When I need to, I’ll do something to take my mind off the fight. When I’m in the gym, I’m focused on the fight. At home, I just want to chill out and find something to take my mind off of it.WELTERWEIGHT CHAMP TERENCE CRAWFORD TALKS TRAINING, DIET, AND FIGHT PREP | MUSCLE & FITNESS
A vicious boxer in the ring, with a knack for punishing his opponents and going in for the kill when he senses weakness, Crawford exudes quiet intensity. He doesn’t have much to say, other than the occasional “train hard and don’t give up,” preferring to let his coaches and fists do most of the talking.
Born and raised in Omaha, Crawford starts his 12-week training camps in his hometown, but switches location when the fight gets closer. “We always start our camp here in Omaha about 12 weeks out,” revealed Jamie Belt, Crawford’s strength and conditioning coach, in an interview with Boxing News. “But when we get six weeks out, we’ll get away from distractions and go to the mountains in Colorado.”
Colorado has been a place where I’ve trained for a very long time. I like it, because it’s peaceful. I get a lot of downtime to relax and visualize the fight. I can take a walk and look at the mountains and take in the fresh air. Not only that, but the altitude there helps a lot. When you come down to sea level, everything is a breeze.Welterweight Champ Terence Crawford Talks Training, Diet, and Fight Prep | Muscle & Fitness
A typical week in the champ’s training routine includes circuit training with weights, strength & conditioning workouts to improve speed and agility, core work where McIntyre bounces a heavy medicine ball off Crawford’s stomach while he’s doing crunches, mountain runs, and swimming.
Belt is especially a fan of swimming for cardio training, “We’ll swim for 30 minutes-to-an hour every night. It’s non-impact, basically, easy on their joints. It helps with recovery, regeneration of muscle cells and fibres. It’s not natural for him so he has to work a little bit harder, it’s a different type of cardio from running. I think it helps tremendously on the cardio side.”
Then, of course, there’s sparring. A crucial element to any boxer’s training regimen. “We spar every other day and those days are very important,” Belt explained. “We do not like to lift weights on his sparring days. We want Terence to be as fresh as he can on those days. On his technical days, when he’s hitting pads, doing tactical and technical stuff, that’s when he’ll lift weights.”
When it comes to his training camp diet, Crawford keeps it simple, relying on a regular meal plan of baked chicken, fish, brown rice, pasta and veggies.
“During camp, I let my coach handle everything with the food. My nutritionist tells him what she wants me to eat, and she fixes it,” he told Muscle & Fitness. “The last time, she actually was with me the entire camp and she handled everything with the food. I really don’t worry about that. They cook it, and I eat it.”
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