Just five days after winning a world title fight that left him, for the moment at least, in contention for Fighter of the Year, Terence “Bud” Crawford is sitting in an Omaha, Neb., jail following a conviction on misdemeanors related to a disturbance at a body shop.
In September, Crawford was convicted of misdemeanor property damage and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He was acquitted of misdemeanor trespass.
Though he faced six months in jail and a fine of up to $500 on each count, Judge Marcena Hendrix sentenced him to 90 days in jail. He is expected under Nebraska’s sentencing guidelines to serve 53 days.
He was also ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution to the body shop, was placed on two years of probation and ordered to do 120 hours of community service. In addition, he was ordered to undergo random drug and alcohol tests.
According to KETV in Omaha, prosecutors found Crawford 90 percent untruthful during his pre-sentence investigation.
The judge in the case had harsh words for Crawford, the WBC/WBO super lightweight champion and 2014 Fighter of the Year, as she sentenced him.
“You’ve continued to act as if you’re above the law and you are not,” she said.
The incident Crawford is in jail for occurred in April. He had previously brought a 1984 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to Extreme Custom Fleet & Auto to have a $2,500 paint job done. He wanted to give the car to his nephew, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
On April 14, the newspaper reported he was upset about the quality of the paint job and over how long it had taken. While trying to remove the car from a hydraulic lift, Crawford was alleged to have done $3,300 in damage to the lift.
It is a stunning fall for Crawford, who has been known for his gentle nature and charitable acts.
The jail sentence is not likely to have a long-term impact upon him, assuming he avoids future trouble with the law, but it likely removes him from Fighter of the Year consideration and damages his reputation as one of boxing’s good guys.
He’s been extraordinarily popular in Omaha, and it remains to be seen if this incident will impact that.
He was also in the running for a lucrative April fight with Manny Pacquiao. If he does serve 53 days, he’ll be released in late January and would still theoretically have time to make the fight.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum mounted a defense of Crawford, saying he was a good person and had never found him to be anything less than honest.
“I’m not an expert on the Nebraska judicial system, but I would hope that on appeal, that sentence is reduced because I have always found Terence to be a nice, respectable young man,” Arum said. “He speaks well. He doesn’t use bad language. He behaves himself. It’s unfortunate what happened. I don’t know all the facts in the case, but the Terence Crawford I know is definitely a nice, respectful young man who doesn’t deserve this.”
Asked about the prosecutor’s contention that Crawford was 90 percent untruthful, Arum said that didn’t mean the prosecutor was correct. Before he became a boxing promoter more than 50 years ago, Arum was an attorney in the Kennedy Administration’s Justice Department.
“I have never, ever, known him to lie and to the best of my knowledge, he’s always been completely honest and truthful in his dealings with me,” Arum said. “Everybody I know who has dealt with him considers him a straight shooter. He’s not a kid who looks you in the face and lies. He’s just not that kind of guy.
“Based upon my experience in law enforcement, which obviously was a long time ago, I know that prosecutors sometimes say things which are not correct. My experience with Terence is that he is as an honest person and you can believe what he tells you.”