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As the boxing world awaits his highly anticipated welterweight unification bout against Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford’s first thoughts are on the second defense of his belt against Amir Khan on April 20 at Madison Square Garden. “We know he’s fast and he can really box,” Crawford said of Khan. ”As far as me knowing all the challenges that he poses, I don’t know yet, because I haven’t been in the ring with him. I have to wait and see.“
For Crawford (34-0, 25 KO’s), training camp is ritually held in Colorado Springs, CO. Whether he’s working on strength and conditioning throughout the week or scaling the Manitou Springs Incline on his rest days, preparing in the high altitude makes things that much easier for Crawford on fight night. Entering his bout against Khan as a three-weight world champion with just a few weeks of training camp left, Crawford was more than relaxed as he spoke with us about the mindset he has during camp and how he prepares his body for fight night.
M&F: Do you tailor training camp to what you might see from your opponent or is it all about what you need to work on?
Terence Crawford: I just look to tighten up everything that I need to and to make sure all the kinks are worked out. I also make sure that come fight night I’m ready for whatever challenge there is.
While in training camp, is there anything you try and scale back on, whether it be something simple like watching TV or limiting your social media?
Not at all. I don’t cut anything back. 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.
Why do you head out to Colorado for training camp?
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.
I know each day is something different, but can you walk me through what a day of training camp is like—from the time you wake up, what you’re eating, and your activities?
It’s all different and every day is different. Like today, we woke up and did strength and conditioning. Later, we will go to the gym and spar and we might do something after the gym. My days constantly change up as we go.
Training on all aspects is essential during camp, but when you’re not preparing for a fight, do you maintain a pretty scheduled workout routine?
I’m not a naturally big guy, so I don’t have that much to worry about. I’m always active, whether I’m playing with my kids or playing basketball, I’m always running around and moving. I’m never just sitting around the house and doing nothing. That keeps me in good shape. I also don’t drink, smoke, or put anything bad in my body and that’s a plus.
You have a team around during training camp to help prepare meals. Is that something you maintain at home, or do you allow yourself to enjoy some home cooking?
Not at all. My diet at home is completely different from my diet when I’m fighting. When I’m not preparing for a fight, I’m just relaxing, and it’s good to not have so many things on my mind at one time. Believe it or not, this boxing game is a little stressful, because you’re thinking about all the possibilities that can go wrong or right during a fight and you’re replaying them in your head time after time. It’s a lot that goes into training for this guy for eight weeks, and it’s all that you’re thinking about each of those days.
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. 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.
From the outside looking in, it would seem that trying to maintain weight could be one of the more stressful tasks of what you do. Is that something you’re very conscious about outside of training camp?
Everyone focuses on making the weight. That’s not something that I’m focused on right now because it’s not close to the time to make the weight. Right now, it’s just focusing on the things that I need to and that’s the fight. The weight is good because I moved up in weight, so I don’t have to worry about any issues.