By: Hans Themistode
Terence Crawford was a bit stunned as he watched his stablemate Maurice Hooker succumb to a seventh-round stoppage defeat at the hands of Vergil Ortiz Jr. last night.
The WBO welterweight belt holder was even more surprised by what took place soon after.
Immediately following Ortiz Jr.’s win, he grabbed the microphone and proceeded to call out Crawford for a showdown later on this year.
While most of the boxing world began wondering how a contest between those two would play out, Crawford simply brushed off Ortiz Jr.’s comments. According to the pound-for-pound star, Ortiz Jr. was merely following the same script that many fighters do.
“He really don’t want me,” said Crawford following Ortiz Jr.’s win. “That’s just the thing to do, call for the fighters that’s at the top.”
Despite Crawford believing that Ortiz Jr. won’t knock on his door for a possible showdown, the 22-year-old has reiterated on numerous occasions that he will in fact pursue the Nebraska native. Currently, Ortiz Jr. ranks number two in the WBO sanctioning body.
Although most are under the impression that he is a bit too inexperienced to make the leap, the Dallas native is firmly under the belief that the fashion in which he handled Hooker should prove to the world that in actuality, he is ready.
Coming into his showdown against Hooker, many pegged the young contender to stop his man at some point during their match. Hooker, on the other hand, would hear none of it.
Early on, the former 140-pound champion used his height and movement to somewhat befuddle his younger opponent. Though he found moments of success, they were few and far between as Ortiz Jr. began breaking him down.
A sixth-round knockdown was the beginning of the end and the following round sealed it.
In what appeared to be a bit of a whacky play, Hooker landed a shot on the top of the head of Ortiz Jr. and immediately grabbed his hand in pain and took a knee. Referee Laurence Cole waved off their contest soon after.
Officially, Hooker was down considerably on all three judge’s scorecards. Yet in the mind of Crawford, their matchup was a close call.
“It was a good fight, Mo (Maurice Hooker) broke his hand but both of them did good. Vergil was slowing down but Mo got caught with a couple of good body shots that slowed him down too.”
Unlike some of his counterparts who choose to insult their possible future opponents in an effort to drum up interest for a feasible showdown, Crawford refused to bash the young star. The former three-division world champion simply tipped his cap and praised his efforts.
“He’s doing his thing and he’s doing what he’s supposed to do. I got nothing negative to say about the dude.”