Terence Crawford is facing easily his most difficult opponent of his 16-year career against Israil Madrimov on August 3rd at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

The unbeaten 29-year-old Madrimov (10-0-1, 7 KOs) is viewed as a younger, stronger, more powerful version of Canelo Alvarez, giving Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) a sample of what’s in store for him if he gets a chance to challenge the Mexican superstar for his 168-lb belts.

Madrimov’s Canelo-esque Skillset

Israil Madrimov’s game has more facets than the flat-footed Canelo’s and has the power to offset the experience that wise owl Crawford has gained during his career. He’s got the power and skills to expose Crawford’s chin, advanced age, and ring rust.

If Crawford is to fight for the undisputed super middleweight championship in 2025, Madrimov is the perfect man to prepare him for that fight. Madrimov is a test to determine whether Crawford deserves to meet with King Canelo, and if he can’t win this fight, he doesn’t rate the fight.

I just have my doubts about whether Crawford is going to get past this talent. He’s never fought anyone on his level, and he’s been on a victory lap celebrating his win against Errol Spence last year.

It’s unclear whether it was Crawford’s idea to face Madrimov or whether His Excellency Turki Alalshikh wanted this fight. Either way, Crawford is stumbling into what could be a massacre against this Canelo-esque Madrimov.

This isn’t someone you would expect Crawford to pick on his own because Madrimov is dangerous and can punch holes in his big plans of getting the golden parachute payday against Alvarez.

Crawford’s Misguided Confidence

Crawford believes this is going to be just another sure-thing win like his previous 40 victories. He’s heading into the match thinking he’s going to dazzle Madrimov with his skills, angles, and power.

Unfortunately for Crawford, Madrimov has skills that mirror that of Canelo, but he’s a lot younger and has less mileage on the odometer.

Madrimov has been busy with his career and has not celebrated wins for a year at a time, as Crawford has repeatedly done since 2020. He’s not one of those guys who eases off between fights like many fighters do.

If Crawford were younger and more active with his career, a fight against Madrimov would make sense, but even then, it would be a massive risk due to the power the Uzbek possesses.

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