The undefeated welterweight contender is closing in on his world title aspirations as he prepares to face the dangerous Abel Ramos Saturday night on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View.
On Saturday night, undefeated welterweight contender Cody Crowley opens the SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) against veteran Abel Ramos in a Premier Boxing Champions event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
For Crowley, it’s been a long journey to realizing his dreams of fighting at the famed boxing venue. Nearly 10 years ago, he moved from his home in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada to Las Vegas and made several promises to himself.
“When I first moved to Vegas at 21, I was living at the Hooters Hotel right across the street from the MGM,” Crowley recalled. “I remember waking up every day looking across at the MGM saying that I'd fight there one day. Almost a decade later, here we are.”
As part of that goal, he promised from age 21 to 31, he would give boxing everything he had.
“I promised myself that I’d become a world champion in those ten years,” Crowley said. “And if I didn’t, then I’d allow myself to do whatever else came up. But for those ten years, I promised I’d dedicate my whole life to boxing.”
He’s done just that. But the journey was a lot harder than he ever imagined. Thanks to three very different men – his late father, his trainer Ibn Caron, and Floyd Mayweather – Crowley is poised to reach his ultimate goal.
Honoring His Father
Growing up in Canada, it seemed like every kid was expected to play hockey. However, Crowley’s father put his chubby child into kickboxing to stay in shape. Thus began his boxing journey.
Crowley describes his father as a blue-collar type, a hard worker—and his biggest fan. But he was someone with demons.
“As I was growing older, most of our relationship was just through my boxing,” Crowley said. “I would win, and I would get his acceptance, but there wasn't much communication back and forth.”
Last summer, as Crowley was finally seeing success with his career, his father committed suicide. “A lot of his demons his from his childhood that he wasn't able to work through caught up to him. And I feel like a lot of those demons are what caused me and his relationship to go a little bit sour.”
While Crowley is still processing the huge loss, he decided to learn from what had happened. “It has allowed me to take the role as a man and a person a lot better. And it has shown and been an inspiration to me to open up more and share my feelings. One of the ways that I'm doing that is talking about my own demons, my own personal issues. I’ve battled with suicide a lot.”
To honor his father, for his upcoming fight, Crowley has partnered with 55 For 55: Let’s Tackle Suicide Awareness in his hometown of Peterborough, Canada. The organization is holding several fundraisers and has a goal of raising $55,000 before the fight.
“They offer help to people who are in a bad place and need assistance,” Crowley explained. “And if you can't afford therapy or other healing modalities, that's how they help. I’m using my dad's passing as a way to raise money and help others who were in the situation that he was in.”
A Trainer’s Influence
While his father pushed him toward boxing, Crowley knew he wasn’t going to excel training in Canada. So, when he graduated high school, he headed to Las Vegas to train. Crowley admits he was a diamond in the rough. He sought trainer Ibn Cason but was initially turned away.
“My boxing IQ was a lot lower than the fighters he was used to,” Crowley admitted. “My abilities were a lot lower than what he was used to. He didn't see anything there that he wanted to work with. But I kept showing up every single day. I was the first one there and the last to leave and months later I started to get the better out of these people who had greater skills and more experience than me.”
“ I promised myself that I’d become a world champion in those ten years. ” Undefeated Welterweight Contender - Cody Crowley
Impressed by his work ethic, Cason started working closely with Crowley, and has been in his corner for all 21 of his pro victories.
“We've molded a beautiful relationship, which has turned into family,” said Crowley. “It only makes our connection that much stronger in the ring.”
Like other things in Crowley’s life, the journey up the ranks wasn’t easy. “It’s been a lot of years of headaches, of obstacles, of fights getting canceled, of having to pay for fights, and of funding everything ourselves. We didn't take any handouts. We didn't have any favors. I've literally done everything the hard way to get to this point. I earned my spot.”
Learning From TBE
While Ibn helped craft Crowley into one of the top welterweights in boxing today, it was a chance sparring session with the TBE that showed Crowley he could compete at the elite level.
When Floyd Mayweather was training for his fight with Manny Pacquiao, Crowley was brought in to be one of his sparring partners.
“It was a life-changing event for me,” Crowley said. “I went into the deepest waters of my life. I asked myself, ‘Are you going to take a knee right now, go home, and shut the door on this dream? Or do you have what it takes inside to man up and become a world champion one day?’ And 12 rounds later, Floyd tapped my gloves, said good job, and I became one of his two sparring partners for that camp.”
Through the estimated 200 rounds sparring together, Crowley learned many valuable lessons from Mayweather.
“It showed me muscles and power don't mean anything,” Crowley said. “It's the operator behind all of that stuff. I would see Floyd set up things in rounds and come back later and catch them off guard. He would set traps for people nonstop. I learned boxing isn't one dimensional. It’s about really strategically breaking your opponent down physically, but also the human psyche at the same time.”
“I learned his brain was operating on another level. It showed me that most guys were playing around in elementary school and he's working from the university level. I couldn't be any more grateful after that sparring session happened.”
Since his experience with Mayweather, the 29-year-old Crowley has sparred some of the best in the business, including Timothy Bradley and Chris Algieri.
“That one opportunity opened up so many doors that just led to more and more experience working with the best fighters in the world. I got so many different looks, different personalities, different styles, that it taught me how to handle whatever is placed in front of me in any situation.”
In fact, Crowley said that doesn’t watch or prepare for a fighter specifically ahead of time, but instead adjusts after seeing the fighter in the ring for the first round.
“I come fully prepared and work with every style possible,” said Crowley. “But I like to go into every fight with no game plan. I have my basic plan, but I take the first round to let my opponent present as much information to me, then create my game plan on the fly.”
This, along with inspiration from his late father, the bond with his trainer, and the experience with Mayweather, have put Crowley in a position to realize his dreams—in the venue he always dreamed about.
For a closer look at Cody Crowley, check out his fighter page.