By: Hans Themistode
Terence Crawford begged and pleaded with the best fighters in the welterweight division to take him on. Yet, despite having a world title tucked underneath his arm, and recognition as a pound-for-pound star, he continued to face lesser competition.
With the rest of the world waiting to see how he would fare against one of the elites, Crawford proved his worth.
At the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Crawford answered every single question thrown in his direction. On the night, Crawford found himself standing across the ring from easily the best fighter he’s faced in Shawn Porter.
Though Porter admitted that he needed this victory to stamp his case as a future Hall of Famer, Crawford simply wanted it more.
As the opening bell tipped off, Porter aggressively came forward. Crawford, on the other hand, waited patiently and refused to engage in the sort of fight that the former two-time belt holder wanted. While Crawford did his best to stay on the outside and box, he was given no choice but to step into Porter’s wheelhouse and fight fire with fire.
In the following round, Porter continued his nonstop aggression and relentless attack. Although Crawford attempted to hold his ground more firmly this time around, he continued to fight off his back foot.
Throughout the course of his career, Crawford had grown accustomed to having things his way. However, on this night, Porter would hear none of it.
As the third period rolled by, Crawford began finding his rhythm. He bobbed back and forth and began tagging Porter with hard shots. Proving that his chin was made from pure granite, Porter absorbed the shots well.
As the action continued, both men seemed to exchange winning rounds. Porter’s volume attack seemed to overwhelm Crawford at times, while the WBO belt holder, in other instances, fought a disciplined fight to nab several close rounds.
As the eighth period was announced, Porter appeared to be fresh out of ideas. His swarming attack and punch selection from every angle had no effect on the pound-for-pound star as he was picked off on his way in.
With the momentum firmly in his corner, Porter attempted to wrestle it away. Nevertheless, that proved to be a faulty mistake.
In an exchange in the middle of the ring in the 10th, Porter connect with a huge leaping right hand that rocked the head back of Crawford. Though he was physically forced back, Crawford landed a one-two combination of his own, the latter represented the first knockdown of the night.
Though he was placed on the canvas for the first time in the fight, Porter bounced back and appeared just fine. In the immediate aftermath, Porter landed several hard straight right hands. Even with the former titlist fighting back valiantly, Crawford had him just where he wanted. He connected with a huge right hand on Porter and followed it up with several unanswered blows.
Once Porter hit the deck, he was irate. He violently punched the canvas three times before rising back to his feet. Although he appeared more than willing to continue, head trainer and father, Kenny Porter, stood on the apron and waved off their contest.
While it might be considered the biggest win in Crawford’s career, he quickly took a moment to embrace his long-time friend before celebrating with his family in the ring.
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