Sunday Sermon: The Hometown Hero

‘He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high’ 
Hebrews 1:3

Terence Crawford is the closest thing Nebraska will ever come to having a professional sports franchise.  And when Top Rank brings Omaha’s son home, Crawford shows out and so do his adoring fans.

Rarely in boxing do you see this in smaller markets.  It’s even more unattainable in larger markets where the NFL/NBA/MLB/NHL stretch the consumers dollar with rising ticket prices. It’s the simple reason why Las Vegas was always the home for professional boxing, even though it’s a tourist attraction loaded with other activities.  

Anyone remember Joe Mesi?  Mesi could pack 18,000 screaming fans into the Buffalo Convention Center.  

New York and Los Angeles have always played second fiddle to Vegas as far as attractions for the big boxing events. Although they are both stacked with major sports franchises, they provide a huge radius for boxing fans to travel from. Plus, in all reality, boxing has always been a poor man’s sport, the urban communities of these big cities love a fight, legal or not.  

It’s the reason that cities like Phoenix and Chicago have a thriving local boxing scene.

Omaha is no different.  And the 13,323 fans that packed the CHI Health Center proved it.

Terence Crawford isn’t just your local story on the local news every 5 years like most small market fighters.  Crawford is a success story, a hero to the Omaha community. He’s walking evidence that your surroundings and upbringing shouldn’t limit your opportunities in life.   

And boy can he fight!

The actual build up to the fight and fight, was awesome.  Look, whether you like it or not, altercations and trash talk are needed in combat sports.  We as humans are wired with the ‘fight or flight’ neurons and these fighters aren’t flying. Whether it’s fake or overboard, we don’t have to like it but it’s just better to accept it.  As long the fighters are backing it up, which they did, enjoy it all, soak it all in.

Don’t be the ‘get off my lawn’ guy.

Not only did the fans show up, like they always do in Omaha, the fight did a 1.8 on the Nielsen rating, second only to Conor McGregor-Khabib Nurmagomedov (Thank you Chris Bone Henderson).  It was a great night for ESPN and their relationship with Top Rank and Crawford. Crawford as always, put on a hell of a performance in stopping Jose Benavidez in the final moments of the fight.  It was a complete and dominating performance from one of boxing’s best as Crawford punished his opponent for every insult he hurled during the weeks leading up to the fight.

Terence Crawford

Terence Crawford is a special kind of talent.  Once in a generational type fighter? Maybe.

His only problem is of course, the politics of boxing.  Don’t get me wrong, Jose Benavidez is a terrific fighter but he’s not close to the best in the division.  And the fighters aren’t to blame, promoters have been holding back big fights for decades. However, in the time of age we live, nothing should stand in the way of Crawford fighting the likes of Spence, Thurman, Garcia or Porter.  There is enough money in the pot for everybody involved to pull from and leave with smiles on their faces. Plus, isn’t the ultimate prize in sports to prove you have the best fighter/athletes?

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