Don’t Hold Your Breath on Crawford vs Spence
By Eric Lunger
Errol Spence, Jr. took care of business on Saturday night, dispatching Carlos Ocampo (22-1, 13 KOs) with a vicious body assault in round one. It was as clinical as it was ferocious. The fight marked a return to the Lone Star state for Spence (24-0, 21KOs), who had not fought in his home state since 2014. The fight, or more precisely, the choice of opponent, took some heat in the boxing media. Ocampo is a good fighter, a professional with an undefeated record, and certainly Spence is entitled to make some money by putting on a card for his home fans. Nothing wrong with that. And, to be fair, Ocampo was the IBF mandatory – whether he should have been is a more fraught question. Nonetheless, with a successful first defense under his belt, Spence (and his fans) have to be wondering who is next.
Photo Credit: Errol Spence Jr. Twitter Account
Let’s start with the WBA champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs). The rugged Argentine is scheduled to take on perennial champion and fan-favorite Manny Pacquiao (59-7, 38 KOs) in July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. While that fight may appeal to certain fans, it is hard to see Spence wanting to face the winner of that bout, and it is even harder to see it making much sense financially. No disrespect to the Matthysse and Pac Man, both of whom I have enjoyed watching over the years, but they are on the down slope of their careers.
With the WBC belt vacant, the only other unification possibility is against the newly minted WBO champ Terrence “Bud” Crawford (RECORD). For obvious reasons, this is the fight that fans want to see. Both guys are young, dynamic, extremely skilled with sound (almost perfect) fundamentals, and both can hit that mean switch in the ring. It would be an incredible fight, no question. But this is boxing, and, as a veteran of the promotional side of the game once explained to me, if the fans (rather than promoters) made the matchups, we would have a different slate of fights.
Simply put, it is difficult to imagine Top Rank (Crawford) and PBC (Spence) willing to risk their fighters’s value when there are so many other fights to make, and when there is so much more value down the road. I hate the term “marinating” when applied to boxing, but here waiting makes more sense. And it is not like there aren’t other big names in the division: Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Jessie Vargas, to name a few.
Asked whether unification with a big-name welterweight was realistic as his next fight, Spence had this to say in the press conference after the Ocampo bout: “I’ll probably fight again later this year. The unification fight with Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia is definitely going to happen [in August],” implying that Spence is weighing the possibility of facing the winner. So, while indicating he will fight once more before a taking on a top name, Spence went on to note that a fight with Keith Thurman was a distinct possibility: “We got Keith Thurman coming back this year – that’s a fight I can have, we can make that. Same manager, same network. It’s an easy fight to make.” Spence again re-iterated that he wants a serious challenge: “I want big names, Jessie Vargas would be [on the list].”
Will Spence and Crawford ever climb into the ring together? Fans want to see it, but it may be a long time coming.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Terence Crawford vs. Jeff Horn
By: Gary Todd
In boxing actions speak louder than words. Once again, this was the case on Saturday night in Las Vegas, when Terence Crawford [ 33 -0 ] out classed, out boxed, out muscled, and took the Australian school teacher, back to school, with a dazzling display of skill, speed, and power, and dominance , that made the WBO champion look like a boxing novice.
It was always going to be a real challenge for the Australian scrapper and this was apparent from the opening bell. Crawford was so dominant, from the 3rd round onwards, using his fast hands, and feet, ducking, weaving, switching , and exploding on to Horn, that left the champion with no answer, and it was clear from there, that we would have a new champion at welterweight.
Every trainer, and promoter talks up their fighter, but I have to say , the talk from Jeff Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton , and promoter, Dean Lonergan were nothing more than absolute nonsense. I’m all for supporting, and boosting, even inspiring your fighter, and push him to be the best fighter he can be , but there is a limit to what you can tell him, to what the fighter knows already. Jeff Horn knows what he can do . Every man has their limitations.
Comments from Rushton, like, “ I don’t want you to be a champion, I want you to be a legend “ Like I said, every man has their limitations. Horn’s promoter, Lonergan, a former rugby player for New Zealand, has said many things, before the fight, but his comments after the fight showed that this guy knows nothing about boxing, with his comments like, “ the fight was stopped too early, as Jeff would have come back , and who knows what would have happened in the 10th, 11th or 12th round” Lonergan is a fool. We all know what would have happened, had the referee , Robert Byrd, not stepped in to save Horn . There was still over 2 minutes to go in round 9 . Both Rushton and Lonergan talked way too much and are both delusional. Horn didn’t win a single round, never looked like troubling Crawford , and was out on his feet before the stoppage. Rushton is not too far behind Lonergan with comments like “ the stoppage was too quick. He got hurt more against Manny Pacquiao, and many of the rounds were very close” The guy knows nothing about boxing, or is delusional.
Jeff Horn had been elevated up the welterweight ladder , fighting hand picked guys in Australia, like Randall Bailey, Rico Mueller, and Ali Funeka, to win and get the chance of glory , and a crack at Manny Pacquiao’s WBO world title. Horn showed tremendous heart in a tough hard fight, and overcame the 9th round, to fight back , after the referee had told him that he thought he had taken enough punishment. Horn fought on, and won a very controversial result in his hometown of Brisbane. I have watched the fight 5 times, and Pacquiao was hard done by not to keep his belt.
As Jeff Horn sat there with ice packs to his eyes, and his ear, and his wife nursing, and consoling him, there was already talk of a rematch by Lonergan, and Rushton. For these two fools, I will explain, a rematch is when a fight is so good, and thrilling for the fans, or it’s so close, and there is merit for the 2 fighters to get another chance of a clear victory. Gatti v Ward, Corrales v Castillo, Ali v Frazier, Holyfield v Bowe, Leonard v Hearns, and Marquez v Vasquez.
Horn v Crawford should not be included . This fight was so one sided, that it put Horn back so far , that I hope he retires from the sport, or he will get damaged.
Where does he go from here? I will say Horn will come back, and his team of Lonergan and Rushton will try and find their fighter an opponent that will assure him a win , just to get him back in the mix. The only problem with that is, who does he fight after that? Any of the top contenders, or world champions, Errol Spence Jnr, Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter, will beat Jeff Horn.
This was Horn’s first fight outside Australia, and he will be remembered for two things, which is losing badly to Crawford, and getting a hometown gift against Pacquiao. Fighting in America, at a world championship level, would be a challenge for him and his team. If Pacquiao gets past Lucas Matthysse in a couple of weeks, maybe Manny wants the rematch ? Horn failed on first attempt to make the championship weight, and there was more talk from his camp that he struggles to make 147, and he might move up. At 30 years of age, and not the fastest boxer at welterweight, moving up would be a mistake . Horn would be facing a long list of good fighters, in a very strong division, with champions like, Jamie Munguia, Jarrett Hurd, and Jermell Charlo.
Actions do speak louder than words, but in this case, the writing is on the wall.
Gary Todd is the proud author of his books on world champions and their workouts, “Workouts From Boxings Greatest Champs, volumes 1 and 2. “ he has been involved in all aspects in the sport of boxing for over 30 years .
ESPN+ Results: Crawford Wipes Out Horn
By: Sean Crose
The Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford card on ESPN+ began at 9:30 PM Eastern Standard Time live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night as the 23-1-0 Jose Pedraza faced the 23-2 Antonio Moran for the WBO Latino Lightweight Title. The first few rounds of the bout made for an exciting, see-saw affair, as both men fought energetically and with aggresion. Yet Moran got his nose busted, a war wound that got to look quite ugly as the fight wore on.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
There ended up being no stoppage. There wasn’t a knockdown to be found throughout the bout, either. It proved to be an entertaining match, though. Moran never gave up. Pedraza was simply stronger and was able to put his puches together better. Ultimately, Pedraza also proved to be the more energetic fighter as the bout wore on. The Puerto Rican ended up with the unanimous decision win and WBO Latino Lightweight Strap.
It was time for the main event. The 32-0 Crawford stepped into the ring favored to beat the 18-0-1 Horn, even though Horn was the WBO World Welterweight Champion and had won that title by besting the great Manny Pacquiao – albeit by a highly controversial decision. For Crawford entered the weekend widely regarded as one of the best practitioners in the entire sport. He might have been moving up in weight to face Horn, but it was Crawford who boxing’s writers and analysts expected to walk away with the victory.
Crawford tagged his man early in the first. Yet Horn tagged Crawford clean a moment later. Crawford, however, landed the cleaner, more effective punches throughout. Crawford landed a hard left to the body in the second and then started to pick up the pace. Horn, however, was tough and kept moving forward. Crawford began the third landing clean, though Horn was able to land clean himself. Crawford, however, was landing the better shots more frequently. The man from Nebraska was really starting to go to work.
Horn kept being a warrior in the fourth, but it appeared that he was being outclassed as the first third of the bout ended. The man did, however, have a good moment in the fifth, when he got Crawford against the ropes. Horn tried to play rough and got a warning from referee Robert Byrd. Crawford then physically rough housed Horn. It had become a one sided affair. By the midway point of the fight, Crawford was continuing to beat his man up.
One thing had to be said for Horn – the man was as rough and as brave as they came. At no point through the first seven rounds (which must have been gruelling for the man) did the champion give up or cease to fight with incredible heart. It simply didn’t matter, though. Crawford was simply far too skilled. And still, Horn kept fighting on, trying to land, trying to muscle his man around. It was to little avail. Crawford kept dominating.
Crawford exploded late in the eighth, causing his man to stumble. In fact, Horn came very close to hitting the canvas. The brutality continued through the ninth – where Horn finally went down. The champion got back up, but Crawford went right back to work and referee Robert Byrd steped in and stopped the fight.
Are We Underestimating Jeff Horn Again?
By: Ciaran O’Mahony
Few pundits are giving WBO Welterweight champion Jeff Horn a chance against the highly-rated Terence Crawford. There’s no doubt the gritty Aussie has a tough fight ahead of him, but should we really be counting him out?
His fighting style may not be easy on the eye, but Horn is no pushover. Just ask Manny Pacquaio.
Whether you agreed with the judges’ decision or not, no one can deny that the unheralded Aussie gave Pacquaio a much tougher fight than expected.
“The Hornet’s” unorthodox movement and his ability to throw punches from unusual angles made him an extremely awkward opponent.
It was widely predicted that the Filipino’s speed, power and relentless flurries would overwhelm Horn. In fact, several experts predicted that he’d be lucky to make it out of the first round.
“Pacman” landed plenty of punches, but it wasn’t the dominant performance we anticipated. We’ve seen him completely overpower some of the best fighters of his generation, but he landed surprisingly few power shots, often settling for glancing one-punch counters.
Against Horn, he looked slow and surprisingly reluctant to let his hands go. Many blamed father time, highlighting that Pacquaio is every bit of 38 years of age, sustaining a lot of damage throughout a lengthy career.
It’s hard to argue with that, but Horn also deserves a lot of credit for Pacquaio’s underwhelming performance.
It wasn’t just that Pacquaio has lost some speed, power and stamina. Horn made the legendary fighter look average at times by nullifying some of his biggest weapons.
Pacquaio found it difficult to deal with Horn’s size and reach advantage. The Aussie kept him at range extremely well, punishing the Filipino when he burst forward with some solid shots from unexpected angles.
Pacquaio looked confused, frustrated and genuinely surprised by Horn’s ability, speed and composure.
Horn isn’t renowned as a big puncher, but his power also helped him to keep Pacquaio at bay. How many times have we seen the Filipino stand toe to toe with his opponents, daring them to hit him because he knew that he would come out on top in most of the exchanges.
The final punch statistics certainly favoured Pacquaio, but Horn landed some telling blows that backed him up and gave him something to think about. His relatively cautious tactics throughout the fight show that he respected the Aussie’s strength and power.
Pacquaio’s hesitation also demonstrates Horn’s deceptive speed. He might not look particularly quick, but his reactions were impressive and he caught Pacquaio where other fighters have failed to in the past.
He roughed Pacquaio up too. Critics will tell you that Horn fought dirty and they may have a point. But the head clashes did not appear to be intentional. These things happen in fights and it’s unlikely that there would have been such an outcry if Pacquaio used similar tactics. Horn did what he had to.
When Pacquaio did manage to work his way inside, Horn used his physical advantages to great effect- smothering him, leaning on him and making him feel every bit of his weight.
Few fighters in the world can box their opponents effectively from range and close quarters. Most fighters favour one approach over the other. Horn managed to do both against an all-time great.
People have criticised his style, but any fighter that can pull this off is extremely skilled.
All of these things are well and good, but we have to acknowledge that Horn was almost stopped in the 9th round. If an older Pacquaio almost finished him, he surely has no chance against Crawford, right?
Maybe. But anyone who can absorb such a vicious attack from Pacquaio is clearly a tough nut to crack. How many people have taken that many shots from Pacquaio and stayed on their feet?
Sure, Pacman’s lost some of his legendary power, but he still had enough to floor two world class fighters in his previous fights- Jesse Vargas and Timothy Bradley.
Horn didn’t just take that punishment and survive. He won the last few rounds. It’s clearly going to take something special to put him away.
Let’s also not forget that Horn came to boxing late (aged 16). With just 19 fights under his belt, he is still relatively inexperienced and has shown improvement in every fight. He will only get better.
Look at the other world champions in Horn’s division. How many of them fought someone of Pacquiao’s calibre in just their 18th professional fight? None.
– Keith Thurman became interim WBA champion with a win over Diego Chaves in his 22nd fight.
– Errol Spence beat Kell Brook to become the IBF champion in his 22nd fight.
– Lucas Matthysse took a whopping 35 fights to become the WBC champion, defeating Mike Dallas Jr.
Even Crawford became the WBO Lightweight Champion in his 23rd fight, a unanimous decision against Ricky Burns.
Did Horn lose to Pacquaio? Possibly. But many experts felt it was a lot closer than Teddy Atlas’ scorecard. Plenty also felt that the Hornet did enough to get his hand raised.
Don’t let the robbery narrative fool you, the man can fight. Expect to see an even better version of Horn this weekend.
Many people feel Crawford is taking an easy path to a world title by facing Horn, but he may not have it all his own way.
If you think Horn’s an easy fight, you haven’t been paying attention. Crawford will need to be at his best to put him away.
Regardless of the result, Horn deserves far more respect than he has received thus far.
ESPN Media Conference Recap with Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel and Tim Bradley
This afternoon, ESPN boxing commentators and analysts Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel and Tim Bradley discussed the June 9 super fight between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn.
Crawford vs. Horn and José Pedraza vs. Antonio Moran will stream live exclusively on ESPN+ (in the United States) this Saturday, June 9 beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT.
The entire undercard, including Shakur Stevenson, Steve Nelson, Jose Benavidez, and Gabe Flores Jr. will stream on ESPN+ beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 pm. PT.
For more details on ESPN+’s coverage for the Crawdford vs. Horn fight, click here.
Below is the transcript from the call.
THE MODERATOR: Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining our conference call with ESPN boxing commentators and analysts Joe Tessitore, Mark Kriegel, and Tim Bradley to discuss this Saturday’s super fight between Terence Crawford and Jeff Horn.
Crawford and Horn will battle for the WBO Welterweight World Title streamed live on ESPN+ in the United States along with the entire undercard, which includes Jose Pedraza, Antonio Moran beginning at 9:30 p.m. Eastern. Following will be Shakur Stevenson, Aelio Mesquita, Jose Benavidez, Frank Rojas, and other undercard bouts beginning at — on ESPN starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPN+. With that, I’ll go ahead and open it up for questions.
Q. Tim, (indiscernible) how do you think it will pan out?
TIM BRADLEY: How do I think the fight will pan out?
TIM BRADLEY: What’s that the question? How I think the main event’s going to pan out?
Q. The main event, yeah.
TIM BRADLEY: Yeah, how do I see the fight. Yeah, I’m trying to understand. I’m waiting on a response. But anyway, how do I see the fight going? Well, I see the fight starting off kind of rough, honestly. I think Horn, being a bigger guy, likes to move in quick, likes to get inside early, likes to work the pace and dictate the pace.
I think he’s going to try to close the gap on Terence really early and show him that, hey, this is a different weight class, this isn’t 140 pounds now, this is a different weight class and different type of weight. I think he’s going to try to push Terence back. Honestly, I think he is.
I think Terence is going to struggle in the beginning only until he finds his rhythm. Once Terence finds his rhythm, meaning Horn’s rhythm, then I think things will open up and Terence can control the distance from the outside and time Horn as he comes in.
At the end of the match, I think it’s going to be Terence Crawford with his hands raised. I think that Horn will put up a good fight, but I think Terence Crawford has too much precision, too much boxing IQ. He’s a great counterpuncher. He can punch in between shots. There are just so many dimensions to him as opposed to a guy like Jeff Horn.
Q. (Indiscernible) were you impressed with him?
JOE TESSITORE: I was. I’ll tell you, Timmy and I were down there ringside in Australia. My big takeaway with Jeff Horn — and then Mark and I had the pleasure of calling his title defense in December as well, but my big takeaway of being with him in person in Australia, covering his title fight in December is that this is a very sturdy, rugged, mauling kind of guy who is going to put forth a physical presence.
He is going to always try to do things on his terms. I completely agree with the champ’s assessment as to what this fight is going to look like early.
I will add on that although I think it’s easy to fall in line with the camp of saying Terence Crawford, too much skill, too much boxing IQ, too much raw athleticism, and elite status; that this is a guy in Jeff Horn who is very, very tricky and makes a fight out of a fight.
When we were there ringside, and I know for those who watched back in the States, they felt a certain way about the outcome of that fight last summer, we didn’t have the same feeling sitting there ringside. We saw a mauling, physically imposing, very big welterweight who I almost questioned how he possibly gets to 147 pounds. And because of that, I think this is a fascinating fight, first and foremost. Because when I look at the records next to the two names, I see two zeros in the loss column.
MARK KRIEGEL: We said much the same a year ago about Horn versus Pacquiao. I think that in terms of the disparity of size, experience, skill level — experience and skill level, that at the end of the day I think that it was Horn who made us aware that Manny was coming up against the limits of his size and his age.
All that being said, in regard to Tim’s point, and I’ve watched Crawford now spar with big guys, 178-pounders, I think that once he does find his rhythm and the timing, the punch that will cause the great damage to Horn will be the right hook. Almost like a check hook when he’s on his way in. But that’s the one shot that I’ve seen him sparring bigger guys with.
Q. In regards to Jeff Horn, do you think that Terence Crawford fight is going to be a tougher fight than the Pacquiao fight?
JOE TESSITORE: Yes, is this fight going to be tougher than Pacquiao is the question?
TIM BRADLEY: For Horn? I agree. I believe that this fight will be a tougher fight than Manny Pacquiao because there is so much more dimensions to Terence Crawford than to Manny Pacquiao. You know what you’re going to get when you fight a guy like Manny Pacquiao. He’s coming to get you. Terence, on the other hand, is multi-dimensional. So he can make adjustments on the fly without his corner even telling him to make adjustments.
I’ve had the opportunity to have two training camps with Terence Crawford before Terence Crawford became — before anybody knew who he was. One of the things that I took from him during that training camp was that this is a kid that flew down here by himself to my hometown, came (indiscernible) without a coach, without a trainer, getting fed a little bit of information about myself, gets in the ring, basically puts on a show. Beats me up in front of my own people — beats me up, comes back the next day.
I come back with a plan. He comes back and completely — he comes back and he’s a completely different fighter than he was the day before. And he kept making adjustments, and he kept making adjustments on the fly.
So this guy, Terence Crawford, is going to be tough, a tougher fight, in my opinion, than Manny Pacquiao.
MARK KRIEGEL: Another thing to bear in mind is that Pacquiao has seen better days. He’s not — he’s at the far end of his prime, and Crawford is just entering his. I don’t think we’ve seen close to what the best Terence Crawford we can get.
JOE TESSITORE: I don’t think it’s even close. I think Pacquiao in so many ways was the perfect storm for Jeff Horn with everything timing up just right, and that is not the case here in coming to the Vegas fight with Crawford. It doesn’t mean in any way I’m dismissing Jeff Horn as a live dog here, as much as I understand that this is the biggest mountain that he could possibly be asked to climb compared to what he just did last July.
TIM BRADLEY: I mean, completely two different styles. I’ll give Horn the benefit of the doubt, because what he was able to do Against Manny Pacquiao, I haven’t seen anybody be able to dominate him and bully him the way he did. And when I say dominate, I just mean in the physical form. You know, he pushed him back. He was grinding there, and he was very dirty at times. He had Pacquiao’s back against the ropes and he was working him.
I haven’t seen that — a guy do that Against Manny Pacquiao at all, and he was able to do that. With that being said, this is a completely different guy. Styles make fights. Terence can fight from the forward and backing up. Terence can switch left-handed and he can go right-handed. He can knock you out with his left hand and his right hand. This is a kid that can make adjustments on the fly. He has a high IQ. If you watch the replay with him and Indongo, you will see Terence punch in between punches.
If Horn comes rushing in with wide shots, I’ve sparred him, it’s dangerous. It’s dangerous for Horn. It’s danger. That’s all I’m going to say.
Q. Tim, if he does pull the upset, what’s that mean for Jeff Horn? Does he go down as one of the greatest fighters in the world right now?
TIM BRADLEY: If he beats Terence Crawford would he go down as the greatest fighter in the world? I don’t know. He’ll be a top guy, yeah, absolutely. He’d be top three. Top three or four, top five. I know he’d be pound-for-pound then, absolutely. Because in order to be pound-for-pound, you’ve got to beat a great fighter.
Terence Crawford, however you put him, number one, number three, he’s in the top five pound-for-pound in the world. If you beat a top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, guess what? You’re top pound-for-pound now.
JOE TESSITORE: I didn’t get the name of the journeyman writer who just asked that question there, and we appreciate that question, because I think it exposes one of the deep veins that runs through this fight. That is that the Jeff Horn side still looking for and demanding respect, especially stateside. This is an undefeated, welterweight champion at the end of the day who conquered a living legend, defended his title, and now has a willingness to come to America and take on our best pound-for-pound fighter.
That’s what Terence Crawford is. He is American-born, best pound-for-pound fighter, where you have Vasyl Lomachenko number one, as our network does, or whether you go with a guy that’s now a three-time Fighter of the Year between ESPN and the Boxing Writers of America in Terence Crawford.
If Jeff Horn wins this fight, you know the thing that matters most in this sport? Results. He would have had two signature wins, including a victory over arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. So, yes, he would be — he would have that respect, and he would be thought of in that way. Even though there will be critics that look at him and see commonplace, ordinary, straightforward, thudding, bullying, not prettiest, not the most athletic, he would be that because the results deem him that.
So, yes, he wins this weekend, that’s what we will say of him and that’s what he will be.
Q. Bradley, I followed your career for a very long time. Thought you had a very wonderful career as a boxer and now commentator. In terms of for Jeff Horn, you know, you’ve kind of been in a similar situation with Manny Pacquiao how you had to prove that you belonged in the ring with him. Obviously you got that win in the first one and obviously had to prove that again with the next fight. Do you feel that Jeff Horn is going to be in a similar position even though he’s the champ, he’s going to have to show that he deserves respect? Because a lot of people thought that first Manny Pacquiao fight was controversial. Do you feel that he is in the same situation as you?
TIM BRADLEY: Absolutely. He’s in the same situation as I was similar. A lot of people felt that I didn’t win the first fight against Pacquiao, but I felt I did win the fight and everyone around me thought I won the fight.
But at the same time, Jeff Horn, he’s pretty new to me, in my opinion, to America. You know what I mean? Very known in Australia and everything and what he’s done by beating Manny Pacquiao, but he still has a lot to prove. He’s taken his step up fighting against like Tess said, the best American, number one, pound-for-pound in the game.
Now, he beats a guy like Terence Crawford, I mean, you know, this is a guy that needs to be respected. So, yes, he still needs to gain everyone’s respect by him coming to America to defend his title in Las Vegas, it shows you that he wants to be great. It shows you that he’s willing to take that challenge and that step up and wanting to be great.
So, absolutely. He needs to continue to prove himself. Just one fight doesn’t justify your career. It’s all the other fights in between as well. It’s the fight after he won the championship Against Manny Pacquiao, you know? It’s the next fight after this one, you know what I mean? That’s what defines your career. Not one fight.
MARK KRIEGEL: If Horn takes it as personally as Tim did, the lack of respect he got from beating Pacquiao, we’re in for a hell of a fight. If you look at how Tim reacts and how personal and the desperation with which he came out, not from winning but from not getting his respect, if Horn brings something like that, we’re in for a hell of a night.
JOE TESSITORE: I think there’s something also interesting with this fight in that we keep talking about how Jeff Horn wants to get the respect here stateside because of how the outcome was viewed by American fight fans. But let me tell you something about Jeff Horn, and we’re seeing it true already early on this week with now the promotion of this fight here in the U.S., as, Mark, I’m thrilled to see your feature piece, excellent feature pieces, leading off ESPN.com, and I’m sure will be read by so many mainstream sports fans, not just the endemic boxing fan. It’s an excellent piece I would recommend, especially our Australian friends, to get your hands on on ESPN.com, Mark Kriegel’s feature piece on Bud Crawford. But Jeff Horn, as much as he has not earned the respect of American fight fans, they are very aware of him. He’s notable. In fact, you could make a strong argument that more mainstream sports fans, non-boxing fans know exactly who Jeff Horn is than know many of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world, including American fighters like Errol Spence or Keith Thurman.
Because last year when he fought on Saturday night and the shift in the business of boxing, the paradigm shift happened, and that fight was on ESPN pre-TV compared to being stuck in the corner of Pay-Per-View the way it normally would be for a decade and a half of Manny Pacquiao, so many mainstream sports fans experienced Jeff Horn’s Rocky Balboa moment.
So there was buzz. All you have to say to somebody now is, hey, Jeff Horn, the guy who beat Pacquiao last summer is fighting Bud Crawford, they know instantly who Jeff Horn is. Respect, different story. Awareness, very high.
Terence Crawford: “I’m Going To Beat The Man Who Beat Pacquiao”
By: Sean Crose
“I’m just sitting back,” Terence Crawford said during a Tuesday conference call, “waiting for my moment come Saturday.” This weekend, of course, is when Crawford will face Jeff Horn in Las Vegas for Horn’s WBO welterweight title. “I’m more relaxed and focused than anything,” Crawford said. That doesn’t mean Crawford doesn’t have a point to prove. Horn’s camp has done its part to poke a stick in a hornets’ nest in the leadup to the match. “I’m just tired,” Crawford claimed, “of hearing their little excuses on gloves, on the referee…I’m just ready to go out there and shut them up.”
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Horn’s team has made it clear that they want their man to be able to engage in a rough type of fighting many would consider dirty. “I just laugh at it,” Crawford said of team Horn’s statements. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the type of tactics he uses in the ring.” Did this mean Crawford was willing to fight fire with fire? “He’ll find out,” said Crawford, in reference to Horn. Part of Crawford’s confidence clearly stems from the fact that he’s been willing to learn from his mistakes. For instance, the man made it clear Tuesday that he could have been better mentally prepared for former opponent Yuriorkis Gamboa. “I was a little arrogant in that fight,” Crawford said, “and he made me respect it.”
For this fight, however, Crawford isn’t going to let himself underestimate his foe. “Preparation’s been A1,” Crawford said on the call. “We had a tough training camp. We didn’t take any shortcuts.” I asked the fighter if his camps have been easier now that he’s been steadily moving up in weight. “It’s always the same,” he replied. “Camp ain’t always easy …if camp is easy, your trainer’s doing something wrong…camp should never be easy.” Crawford also made it clear that Saturday’s bout is particularly important to him. Horn, after all, won his title (albeit controversially) against the great Manny Pacquiao.
“It means a lot,” Crawford said of Saturday. “I’m going to beat the man who beat Pacquiao.”
Horn, of course, has other ideas. “I’ve been working very hard in the preparation for this fight,” the Australian said during his portion of the call, adding that he was now “starting to taper down for the fight” itself. Saturday will be Horn’s first fight in America, something that some may consider a surprise, considering Horn’s level of competition this weekend. “The money was right,” Horn said simply of the decision to fight stateside. “We were always thinking we were going to America anyway.” I asked the WBO champion if he was prepared for the famed adjustments Crawford is known to make in the ring. Horn replied that he was planning on spending the match staying one step ahead of his foe. “I’m hoping he can’t figure me out throughout this whole fight,” he added. “That’s the plan, to keep changing things up.” Horn’s trainer, Glenn Rushton, expressed his wish that team Horn be allowed to engage in the kind of fight they want to. “We’d like to see the fight flow freely,” the corner man said.
Promoter Bob Arum made it clear early on in the call that Horn was coming to win. “He’s not coming to just make an appearance,” he said to reporters.
Crawford Hand Injury Postpones Horn Fight
by: Sean Crose
While training for his upcoming bout with WBO world welterweight champion Jeff Horn, Terence Crawford has injured his hand, causing the April 14th bout between the two men to be postponed. Horn defeated Manny Pacquiao by a wildly controversial decision last summer in his homeland of Australia while Crawford is hoping to conquer the welterweight division after unifying the junior welterweight realm – a rare feat in today’s splintered boxing world.
Top Ranks’ Bob Arum, who promotes both fighters, has indicated that the fight is still on, but will be postponed. The bout was originally supposed to go down at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Arum indicated that the fight, when it does go down, will remain in town.
“The doctor prescribed two weeks of rest,” Arum said of Crawford to ESPN, “and then he should be ready to go. We’ll put the fight sometime in late May or early June, but that depends on how Terence’s hand is feeling.”
Boxing Insider will keep readers updated as events develop.
How Will Crawford Effect the Welterweight Division Champions?
By: Ken Hissner
Former WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO Super lightweight champion Terrence “Hunter/Bud” Crawford, 32-0 (23), announced he is moving up to the welterweight division. This is a division packed with talent. How will he effect this division?
Keith “One Time” Thurman, 28-0 (22), of Clearwater, FL, holds both the WBA & the WBC titles and is recognized as the best welterweight in the world. Newly crowned IBF champion Errol Spence, Jr., 22-0 (19), is touted as “the boxer of the future!” WBO champion Jeff Horn, 17-0-1 (11), of Australia, got a “gift decision” over now No. 1 WBO ranked Manny Pacquiao, 59-7-2 (38), of the Philippines and shouldn’t even have a title.
Crawford is still listed as champion by the WBC at Super lightweight. He is also ranked No. 4 in the WBA welterweight rankings. He needs to take a welterweight fight and I think I have just the opponent in Philadelphia’s “The New” Ray Robinson, 25-2 (12) who is ranked in two of the organizations and looking to fight anyone including Garcia who he has been chasing for years.
Thurman upped his record in taking two divisional belts defeating Philadelphia’s Danny “Swift” Garcia, 33-1 (19), by split decision. Both boxers defeated Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero to become welterweight champions. Between Guerrero and Andre Berto they seem to be the “safe fights” to take since they have seen their better days gone by them.
Former IBF Super World Lightweight and WBA Super World Lightweight champion Lamont Peterson, 35-3-1 (17), now out of TN, gets first shot at Spence, Jr.
Peterson gave Garcia all he could handle in their fight. Garcia wouldn’t fight Amir Kahn, 31-4 (19), again who was the No. 1 contender in the WBC so “they allowed” No. 2 Garcia fight No. 6 Guerrero. Go figure! Garcia is No. 2 in both the WBC and WBA.
The WBA has Tewa Kiram, 38-0 (28), of Thailand, their No. 1 contender. Who has he beaten lately? Two fights ago he pulled a Floyd “Money” Mayweather defeating an opponent making his debut.
He’s scheduled to fight Lucas Matthysee, 38-4 (35), in January for the vacant WBA title? I thought Thurman holds that title.
The WBC No. 1 is former champion Shawn Porter, 28-2-1 (17), of Las Vegas, NV, who won the WBC Silver Title in November. He lost to Thurman eighteen months ago and lost his IBF title to Kell Brook. Brook will never be the same after getting brutalized by Gennady “GGG” Golovkin at middleweight.
Who knows maybe Mayweather will come back and fight a “professional” for a change. He feels he has to “protect” his 50-0 record since the WBC light fly champion Chayaphon Moonsri of Thailand just got to 49-0 to equal Rocky Marciano’s record!
Crawford and Garcia Continue to Move Up in Weight
By: Ken Hissner
The latest is that Terrence “Bud” Crawford, 32-0 (23) who defended his WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO super lightweight titles in August knocking out Julius Indongo, 22-0, in Lincoln, NEB, in his 6th defense and as the WBO lightweight champion had two defenses will be moving up to welterweight.
The WBO is placing him as their No. 1 contender ahead of former champion Manny Pacquiao who lost a bad decision to WBO champion Jeff Horn in July. “He will relinquish his title and he wants the WBO to classify him at No. 1 at welterweight,” said President Valcarcel. This was voted on and passed.
Horn will be allowed to make a December 13th defense against the No. 10 contender Gary “Hellraiser” Corcoran, 23-1, of the UK, which radically shakes up the welterweight division and appears to shut out former champion Pacquiao of a Horn rematch. The December title fight winner will have 90 days to defend against Crawford.
As the WBO lightweight champion Crawford won the title from Ricky Burns in Glasgow in March of 2014. In June of that year he defeated Yuri Gamboa, 23-0 in June and Ray Beltran 29-6-1 in November. He then moved up to super lightweight winning the vacant WBO World title over Thomas Dulorme 22-1 in April of 2015. In October he defeated Dierry Jean 29-1, in February of 2016 Hank Lundy, in July defeated WBC champion Viktor Postol 28-0, in December John Molina Jr, 29-6, in May of 2017 Felix Diaz 19-1 and in August Indongo.
What will be interesting is that the other welterweight champions are Keith “One Time” Thurman, 28-0, the WBA & WBC champion, and Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr., 22-0, the IBF champion. There has been talk of the two of them unifying their titles.
While Crawford is moving up so is Mikey Garcia, 37-0 (30), the new WBC lightweight champion who defeated Dejan Zlaticanin, 22-0, for that title in Las Vegas in January. In July he won a non-title fight over the former WBA super lightweight champion Adrien Broner, 33-2, in Brooklyn who is now No. 8 in the WBC super lightweight rankings for Crawford’s title.
Garcia won the WBO World featherweight title in January of 2013 over Orlando Salido, 40-11-2, and in June made a defense over Juan Manuel Lopez, 33-2. He then moved up to take the WBO World super featherweight title in November defeating Roman Martinez, 27-1-2, and in January of 2014 over Juan Carlos Burgos, 30-1-2. He then took off over two years coming back in July of 2016 in order to get out of a managerial contract defeating Elio Rojas, 24-2, before winning the WBC lightweight title. His camp has talked about moving up to super lightweight and with Crawford vacating it wouldn’t take much for Garcia to fight for a title at that weight class.
The only dual champions at this time are Gennady “GGG” Golovkin who holds three of the middleweight titles, Thurman two of the welterweight titles, “A.J.” Anthony Joshua two of the heavyweight titles and Ryan Burnett two of the bantamweight titles.
Where’s the Love for Bud?
By: Kirk Jackson
Terence Crawford 32-0 (23 KO’s) became the first male fighter since Bernard Hopkins to become the unified, undisputed champion of a weight division, capturing the WBA and IBF junior welterweight titles as he knocked out the undefeated Julius Indongo in three rounds.
Photo Credit: Terence Crawford Facebook Account
Crawford joined an exclusive list of undefeated, undisputed champions, a list featuring the likes of Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano, George Foreman, Jermain Taylor, Joe Frazier, Michael Spinks, Evander Holyfield and Cecelia Braekus.
It should be noted Cecelia Braekus holds all four belts at 147 lbs. and defended her titles numerous times since 2014.
— Women's Boxing (@WomensBoxing1) August 20, 2017
Crawford already owned the WBO, WBC and Ring Magazine titles at 140 lbs., and his victory over Indongo further establishes Crawford as one of the best fighters in the sport; second only to the current unified, undefeated, light heavyweight champion Andre Ward 32-0 (16 KO’s).
Speaking of pound-for-pound fighters, Crawford and Ward were disrespected by ESPN’s Teddy Atlas.
During the post-fight interviews, Atlas discussed his top five pound-for-pound fighters and placed Vasyl Lomachenko 9-1 (7 KO’s) as his No.1 pound-for-pound fighter.
— Preemo Dicaprio (@SupremeSKF) August 20, 2017
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but how did Errol Spence rise to No. 5? I also didn’t know Spence was Cuban.
More importantly, no matter how spectacularly skilled one fighter is, how does so-called skilled fighter propel to the top position with only ten fights?
With one of those fights (against Orlando Salido) resulting in defeat.
Pound-for-pound rankings are supposed to be based on skills, performance, resume and accomplishments. It’s a collection of all four traits.
How one interprets skill based on the eye test can be subjective. Performance, resume and accomplishments are based on the level of opposition one faces and Crawford and Ward have Lomachenko beat in those categories.
Ward defeated Carl Froch, Arthur Abraham, Chad Dawson, Mikkel Kessler and Sergey Kovalev. At the time Ward defeated the aforementioned fighters, they were on the pound-for-pound lists and constants on the list.
Crawford virtually defeated every top fighter/champion at lightweight and super lightweight.
There is an argument from the Lomachenko contingent, stating it’s difficult to lure elite level fighters in the ring to face the Ukrainian star.
It’s difficult to argue elite fighters lacking the desire to face Lomachenko when we do not know the particulars of the negotiation process.
Even still his resume pales in comparison to Crawford or Ward. It’s not like there’s a pile of fighters, lining up to face Crawford or Ward either.
It’s important to note the risk vs. reward factor.
And of course we actually have a few guys taking aim at Lomachenko with Guillermo Rigondeaux and Mikey Garcia; two pound-for-pound level opponents who would certainly boost Lomachenko’s resume if he were to defeat them.
There is a contingent of observers, fans, writers, reporters, claiming to want toe-to-toe action inside the ring and watching the best fighters fight the best opposition available.
Crawford just bested the only other super lightweight in contention and displayed how large the gap is between him and everyone else at 140 lbs.
“Bud” also stopped the guy in three rounds. Prior to Indongo, Crawford mercilessly pummeled Felix Diaz across eleven rounds.
Five of his last seven fights have not gone the distance. This is what we want and expect from our elite guys right?
ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna threw a shot at Crawford immediately after his fight during the post-bout interview, suggesting the lack of importance of the sanctioning belts.
Since when did the sanctioning bodies and titles not important?
It can be argued the significance of the belts may have watered down a tad in this era of boxing, due to the politics of the sanctioning bodies, corrupt rankings, bribes, ridiculous sanctioning fees and the ability to label four or more champions per division because of the multiple and varying sanctioning bodies.
However, championships still matter. Ask any competitor across any sport. How many undisputed champions are there in history? How many undefeated, undisputed champions are there in history?
Is it a problem when unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin states he wants to chase and unify all of the belts?
Crawford jumped up to junior welterweight in April of 2015 and in two years’ time already unified the division as the undisputed champ.
In comparison, Golovkin held at least one version of the middleweight championship since 2010, but has yet to accomplish his goal of capturing all of the middleweight titles.
Another glaring issue is the lack of promotion for Crawford.
In a tweet since deleted from Crawford, he mentioned the lack of promotion for his fights and brand.
“Glad everyone seen and notice the difference between how ESPN promoted my fight compared to the other two fights before me,” tweeted from Crawford Aug 22.
He has a point. His stable mates Manny Pacquiao, Lomachenko, a few others appear to get promoted differently.
For Pacquiao at this point his name precedes him, as he is already a well-established, if not a dwindling star.
Recently retired Timothy Bradley dealt with the same issues as Crawford regarding the lack of promotion. The question is why?
Crawford did what most so-called boxing fans want him to do, faced the best opponent available, knocked out his opponent in impressive fashion and called out the big names afterwards.
He draws bigger crowds and has better viewership than some of his contemporaries on Top Rank as well.
ESPN reported the Top Rank Boxing telecast of Terence Crawford-Julius Indongo drew the second-highest boxing match on cable television in 2017.
Progressing forward, the goal for any fighter is to attain the biggest fights, earn greater pay days, collect more belts and potentially more fanfare.
There are fans claiming to like a fighter because he is “down to earth” or “humble” right? It’s why many fans are attracted to fighters like Golovkin, Roman Gonzalez and others. Fans also enjoy the aspect of Golovkin and Gonzalez are action-friendly, knock-out seeking fighters.
Gonzalez lost again and was knocked out in four rounds. Imagine the treatment Crawford would endure if the same happened to him.
But why aren’t fighters like Crawford, or Bradley rewarded with the same fanfare and promotion? They are humble and in the case of Crawford, he aims for the knock-out while skillfully dissecting his opponents.
The question to ask is, where is the promotion, where is the love?
Terence Crawford Vacates IBF Title; Lipinets-Kondo Ordered To Fill Void
By Jake Donovan
With his win over Julius Indongo in their 140-pound unification clash two weeks ago, Terence Crawford became just the third boxer in history to simultaneously own all four titles in one weight division.
The unbeaten two-division world champion from Omaha, Neb. made history just 12 days later, though for all of the wrong reasons.
The International Boxing Federation (IBF) was notified by Crawford’s camp on August 31 that the reigning super lightweight king was relinquishing their portion of the crown. The vacancy now makes his four-belt reign the shortest ever, although he still remains in possession of the World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) titles—though it remains to be seen for how long.
Whatever his decision, the IBF has already begun the process of taking the next step toward filling the super lightweight void.
“Jr. Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford officially vacated the IBF Title (on Thursday),” IBF spokesperson Jeanette Salazar confirmed in a statement released through the New Jersey-based sanctioning body’s press office. “The leading available contenders according to the current list of IBF Jr. Welterweight rankings are #1, Sergei Lipinets and #3, Akihiro Kondo. Both boxers have indicated in writing they are willing to participate in the fight for the vacant IBF Jr. Welterweight title.”
Lipinets (12-0, 10KOs) was the mandatory challenger waiting in the wings, although the unbeaten Kazakhstani boxer was forced to wait out two unification bouts. He sat by as Indongo was granted what was supposed to be a one-time exception to bypass his mandatory title defense in favor of a unification bout with Ricky Burns, whom he outpointed in April to add the WBA title to his collection.
The IBF ordered a showdown between Indongo and Lipinets soon thereafter, but negotiations were non-existent as they were compromised by a vocal interest from the Crawford camp in unifying all four titles. Indongo and his co-promoter Eddie Hearn attempted to file a medical exemption, claiming a hand injury suffered in the Burns fight, but lacked sufficient proof of injury causing delay in ordered talks with Lipinets
From public demand – and a violation of its own rules – the IBF granted a final exemption to allow Crawford-Indongo, on the condition that the winner next face Lipinets by no later than November. Crawford emphatically collected all the belts on the heels of a 3rd round body shot knockout of Indongo on August 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska, but his victory tour lasted all of two days before receiving notification to immediately negotiate terms for his mandatory title defense.
Lipinets, however, decided he’d waited long enough for a title shot and—through promoter Tom Brown’s TGB Promotions—informed the IBF that his team opted to bypass the 30-day negotiation period and immediately enter a purse bid hearing which was due to take place on August 31.
Crawford and promoter Top Rank initially entertained the idea of winning a purse bid and perhaps showcasing the fight on ESPN. Instead, the purse bid hearing was called off as Crawford informed the IBF that he no longer desired to represent the organization at that weight, with the possibility of vacating all of his 140-pound titles in exchange for an expected move up the scale to welterweight.
Now a three-belt titlist for the moment, Crawford’s stay as a fully unified world champion lasted a grand total of 12 days.
Bernard Hopkins managed to hold all four middleweight titles for the final 10 months of a historic reign that saw 20 title defenses of at least one belt over the span of 10 years and three months. He obtained his fourth and final belt with a Sept. ’04 knockout of Oscar de la Hoya, and–with a 12-round win over Howard Eastman—remains the only boxer in history to make a single defense of all four belts at one time.
His reign ended in controversy, dropping a highly questionable 12-round decision to then-unbeaten Jermain Taylor in July ’05. Taylor’s stay as a four-belt king lasted four months, also eventually vacating his IBF title though in favor of a rematch with Hopkins.
Meanwhile, a new set of negotiations are underway to crown the next IBF 140-pound titlist.
“The IBF has ordered Lipinets and Kondo to fight for the vacant title and their respective teams should start negotiating immediately,” Salazar stated. “They have until September 30, 2017, to come to an agreement.
“If an agreement isn’t reached by then, the IBF will order a purse bid.”
Terence Crawford Enters The Stratosphere
By: Sean Crose
There was little doubt after Terence Crawford’s monstrously good performance Saturday night in Lincoln, Nebraska that the man had entered contemporary boxing’s stratosphere. Many, including this writer, had given Crawford’s opponent this past weekend, fellow junior welterweight titlist Julius Indongo, a solid chance of besting the Omaha native. Yet an Indongo upset simply wasn’t meant to be – in large part because Carwford was clearly determined to finish his man as quickly as possible. Deciding not to engage in his usual habit of gathering momentum throughout the fight, Crawford came out hard on Saturday, making it perfectly obvious to all watching – either in person or via ESPN – that Nambia’a Indongo was in way over his head.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Promotions
It was a body shot in the third that finally put a period to the proceedings. Indongo was done the moment he hit the canvas. It was some blow to the guts – one which may well be remembered along with Bernard Hopkins’ gut check of Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Junior’s winder tossed against the torso of Virgil Hill and Bob Fitzimmon’s famous shot to “the slats” of Jim Corbett. No doubt, it was impressive stuff. While Indongo wasn’t a household name, he was a notable fighter, one of a line of notable fighters the undefeated Crawford has taken to the figurative woodshed over these past few years.
While it’s true Crawford hasn’t had a mega bout yet, there is now no denying he’s currently residing among the sport’s elites. His ring skills are too obvious, his opposition too consistently of good quality, for the man to somehow be denied the credit he deserves. The question now, of course, is where to from here for the man they call Bud. Mikey Garcia might make his way back up to junior welterweight, where Crawford now reigns supreme as undisputed champion. Or perhaps Crawford himself might want to step up to welterweight to threaten and challenge fellow new breed headliners Errol Spence Junior and Keith Thurman.
Of course it might not be easy for Crawford to face Spence or Thurman, since they both fight under boxing guru Al Haymon’s banner and Crawford is with competitor Bob Arum. Still, it’s not like Haymon or Arum are beyond working with each other, so perhaps there’s hope for a superfight or two in the future. No one could fault Crawford for staying right where he is at junior welterweight, though. Who says there’s always new worlds to conquer when the one you’ve just taken over may somehow offer a few rewards of its own?
Terence Crawford Crumples Indongo, Undisputed Champion, Gvozdyk and Stevenson Win
By: William Holmes
Top Rank Promotions returned to pound for pound star Terence Crawford’s home state of Nebraska to promote his attempt to unify the WBA/WBC/IBF and WBA Junior Welterweight Titles.
The Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska was the host site for tonight’s ESPN telecast. The undercard featured stars such as Bryant Jennings, Mike Alvarado and Mike Reed fought on the undercard and emerged victorious.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Promotions
The first bout of the night was between former Olympian and prized prospect Shakur Stevenson (2-0) and David Paz (4-3-1) in the super featherweight division.
Stevenson, a southpaw, opened up the fight with quick, accurate combinations while staying outside of the range of Paz. His counter right hand and right uppercut was finding it’s home in the second round, and Stevenson was finding success going to the body in the third round.
Paz was clearly outmatched and lost his mouthpiece in the third round, had his knees buckled from a straight left hand in the fourth round, and was knocked down from a straight left hand in the fifth round.
Stevenson probably had some opportunities to finish the fight but wasn’t able to capitalize it. He won with scores of 60-53 on all three scorecards.
The next bout of the night was in the light heavyweight division between Oleksandr Gvozdyk (13-0) and Craig Baker (17-1) in the light heavyweight division.
Gvozdyk’s nickname is the “Nail” and he had a lot of hype coming into this fight. Baker kept a high guard early and Gvozdyk seemed content to stay behind his jab. Gvozdyk wasn’t very impressive in the first three rounds of the fight but was doing enough to win the rounds.
Baker was able to land some punches in the fourth round but wasn’t able to match the work rate of Gvozdyk. Gvozdyk landed some heavy shots at the end of the fifth round and he started to move away from using his jab.
The end came in the sixth round when Gvozdyk landed a short right hand that sent Baker down. Baker was able to get back to his feet and told the referee he wanted to continue, but Gvozdyk immediately jumped on Baker with unanswered combinations and forced the referee to stop the bout.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk wins by TKO at 2:04 of the sixth round.
The main event of the evening was between Terence Crawford (31-0) and Julius Indongo (22-0) for the WBA, WBO, WBC, and IBF Junior Welterweight Titles.
Indongo entered the ring first and was greeted by the chorus of boos from the Nebraskan crowd. Terence Crawford decided to walk in through the crowd instead of the usual ring walk on the ground and was greeted warmly by his fans.
Indongo looked like he was several inches taller and longer than Crawford. Crawford, despite traditionally fighting in an orthodox position, came out fighting as a southpaw.
Crawford opened up the fight by landing a counter left hook and Indongo answered with a looping and wide lead right hook. Crawfrod was able to stay out of the range of his taller opponent and was accurate with his counter hooks.
Indongo kept his jab in the face of Crawford at the start of the second round but Crawford was able to time Indongo and land a hard left hook followed by a right uppercut. Crawford was able to roll with Indongo’s punches and land a left hand that sent Indongo down to the mat. Indongo looked like he was still buzzed when he got to his feet but survived the round.
Indongo, to his credit, started off the third round aggressively. Crawford however was able to stay calm and counter a combination by Indongo and land a hard left hand to the body that sent Indongo crashing to the mat writing in pain.
The referee counted to ten and Indongo was unable to get up. Terence Crawford wins by knockout at 1:38 of the third round.
Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Crawford vs. Indongo, Gvozdyk vs. Baker
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Top Rank Promotions will continue their relationship with ESPN by broadcasting a junior welterweight unification bout between one of their top stars, Terence Crawford, taking on fellow junior welterweight title holder Julius Indongo. This bout will take place at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Another bout to be televised will be in the light heavyweight division and will be between Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Craig Baker. The undercard will feature many familiar names, including Mike Alvarado, Bryant Jennings, Dillian Whyte, Shakur Stevenson, and Nicholas Walters. Don’t be surprised if some of these names make their way to the main broadcast.
The following is a preview of both televised bouts.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk (13-0) vs. Craig Baker (17-1); Light Heavyweights
Oleksandr Gvozdyk is another Ukranian prospect with a high ceiling and a deep amateur background, though he doesn’t have the amateur accolades of fellow Ukranian Vasyl Lomachenko.
Gvozdyk won the bronze medal for the Ukraine in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He also competed in the World Series of Boxing before turning pro and was undefeated there. He’s thirty years old and three years younger than his opponent, Craig baker. Gvozdyk also stands at 6’2” and has a long reach of 76”.
Baker competed in the 2008 US National Amateur Championships and the 2008 National Golden Gloves but did not place. His amateur background pales in comparison to Gvozdyk.
Gvozdyk turned pro in 2014 and already has an impressive list of defeated opponents. He has defeated the likes of Nadjib Mohammedi, Tommy Karpency, Isaac Chilemba, and Yunieski Gonzalez. He’s currently riding a seven fight stoppage streak.
Baker’s only notable victory was against Umberto Savigne. The one time he took a step up in competition he got knocked out by Edwin Rodriguez. Fourteen of his seventeen wins have come against opponents with records of .500 or worse.
Gvozdyk has the edge in speed, defense, amateur background, and even power. Baker has thirteen knockouts in comparison to Gvozdyk’s eleven stoppages, but Baker’s stoppage victories have come against subpar competition.
It’s doubtful this fight will be competitive. Gvozdyk should won handedly.
Terence Crawford (31-0) vs. Julius Indongo (22-0); WBO/WBC/IBF and WBA Junior Welterweight Titles
It’s rare to see all four major world titles up for grabs in one unification bout, but this anomaly will occur on Saturday night and should be applauded.
Both boxers are undefeated but Crawford is the heavy favorite.
Crawford will be giving up about two and a half inches in height and one and a half inches in reach. However, Crawford is five years younger than Indongo and appears to be the quicker boxer with the harder punch.
Crawford has twenty two stoppages on his resume and five of his past six fights resulted in a stoppage victory. Indongo only has eleven stoppage wins, but three of his past four fights resulted in a KO/TKO.
Crawford has been fairly busy recently. He fought once in 2017 and three times in 2016. Indongo has matched his activity and also fought three times in 2016 and once in 2017.
Crawford’s list of defeated opponents shows he is deserving of his pound for pound ranking. He has defeated the likes of Felix Diaz, John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Dierry Jean, Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Andrey Klimov.
Indongo fought mainly in Africa early on in his career and has not faced the level of opposition that Crawford has faced. He has recently defeated the likes of Ricky Burns and Eduard Troyanovsky, but has not defeated any notable opponents before those wins.
The one edge that Indongo might arguably have is amateur experience. He competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics and Crawford failed to make the Olympic team of the United States. However, Crawford is a former National PAL Champion.
Indongo’s height and reach may give Crawford some issues early on. He was able to surprise many when he defeated Eduard Troyanovsky and he had little problems defeating Ricky Burns. However, Terence Crawford is an elite level boxer and he has enough experience to solve the height and reach of Indongo.
Crawford should win by a comfortable decision.
Why Julius Indongo Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly
By: Sean Crose
Terence “Bud” Crawford is a serious force to be reckoned with. The 31-0 junior welterweight titlist can fight orthodox or southpaw, can hit like a mace, and can seemingly adapt to any situation. Those sleeping on Crawford’s opponent this weekend, however, might want to pay attention. For although Julius Indongo is little known here in North America, he too holds a junior welterweight strap (the fight with Crawford will be for divisional supremacy). Indongo can also put people to sleep – quickly. Sure enough, the straight punching 22-0 Nambian has taken out half of his opponents – some in highlight reel fashion.
Why is this important? Because Indongo isn’t simply some hard hitter looking for a puncher’s chance. He’s a man who can box. Just ask Ricky Burns, who Indongo defeated in his home country of Scotland. Look at it this way – fighters like Yuriorkis Gamboa and Viktor Postol had a good few rounds apiece against Crawford. Yet if the enigmatic Nebraskan decides to take his usual tact this Saturday night of warming up as time goes on, it may well be too little, too late. Indongo is too skilled and powerful not to make the most of every available opportunity, just like he isn’t afraid to go into enemy territory to get what’s his.
That’s right, this weekend’s fight is in Crawford’s native Nebraska, just like the Burns fight was in Burn’s Scottish homeland and Indongo’s fight before that was in Russia – against a Russian, the undefeated Eduard Troyanovsky. Indongo won that one by first round knockout, by the way. While it’s true Nambia isn’t known as being a boxing hotbed, it says something that a man like Indongo is so willing to travel. For here’s a fighter with enough confidence to actually go for it. Really go for it. In the age of Mayweather-McGregor, that’s pretty impressive.
Still, this is Crawford we’re talking about here, a man who has beaten everyone in his path impressively. And, make no mistake about it, Crawford’s had some solid competition. Gamboa was a serious adversary when the two men met a few years back. So was Viktor Postol, a man who some assumed had been well avoided by Danny Garcia and who had mopped the figurative floor with Lucas Matthysse. Oh, and Ray Beltran was anything but a soft touch. So yes, the man called Bud is so good, it’s worth wondering aloud if he’s an elite level talent. That’s something Indongo might want to think about in the lead up to this weekend’s ESPN broadcast bout.
Not that he hasn’t thought about it already. Good fighters tend to know what they’re getting themselves into.