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  Crawford Drops Spence Three Times,
Stops Him In Ninth To Unify Welter Titles


By William Trillo
Photos: German Villasenor

 

The boxing world was clamoring for a battle between Welterweight Champions Errol Spence Jr (28-1, 22 KOs) and Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) to determine who is the best 147-pound fighter in the world. Most observers saw this as a 50-50 fight. No one was expecting the one-sided beatdown we saw in Las Vegas. But that is exactly what happened and now Terence Bud Crawford owns the IBF, WBA, WBC, and WBO World Welterweight title belts.

To put it bluntly, this fight wasnt even close. Spence may have won the first three minutes which was your basic feeling out process round. But once he hit the deck in round two thanks to a Crawford left-right combination it was pretty evident Spence didnt want any more of that smoke. His game plan changed dramatically and from that point on it was the Terence Crawford show.
 

Working behind a Jackhammer jab, Crawford nullified the much-ballyhooed Spence jab, making it all but useless. The fact is, everything Crawford was doing was making Spence look pedestrian at best, and the third round wasnt even over.

By round four Crawford was just beating Spence up, for lack of a better term. Crawford had busted up Spence pretty good by now with that jab. Bleeding from the nose and with an eye that was swelling it was clear Spence was in big trouble.
 

Rounds five and six saw Crawford landing with pinpoint accuracy. Whether it be to the body or head, Spence was getting beaten like a drum. Outside of a few wild and winging arm punches he had nothing to stop Crawford.

A right uppercut put Spence down again early in round seven. After getting to his feet Spence took another hammering until he was dropped late again in the round. Being down three times now, this was more than an uphill battle for Spence to climb. Things were looking very bleak in his corner in between rounds.
 

Spence was out of answers and Crawford knew it. Known as a great finisher, Crawford waited patiently before he moved in for the KO. Spence made it through round eight, but it would not be long before this fight was over.

Coming out strong in round nine, Crawford jumped on Spence and did not relent. After almost two solid minutes of getting hit from pillar to post the referee had no choice but to jump in save Spence from further damage at the 2:32 mark
 

Crawford had a lot to prove tonight, and he knew it. He was bound and determined to prove all the Naysayers wrong, and there were plenty of them. Crawford took this fight out of the judges hands and did what was necessary to come out victorious. It was an impressive victory, and no one can ever take that away from him.

It means everything because of who I took the belts from, said Crawford. They talked bad about me. They said I wasnt good enough and I couldnt beat these welterweights. I just kept my head to the sky and kept praying to God that I would get the opportunity to show the world how great Terence Crawford is. Tonight, I believe I showed how great I am.
 

He was just better tonight, said Spence. He was using the jab. My timing was a little bit off. He was just the better man tonight.

Like I said before, I only dreamed of being a world champion, said Crawford. Im an overachiever. Nobody believed in me when I was coming up, but I made everybody a believer. I want to thank Spence and his team because without him none of this would have been possible.
 

Lightweight Giovanni Cabrera (21-1, 7 KOs) is blessed with a granite chin but cursed with pillows for fists. Thats a bad combination when going up against a guy like Isaac Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs). Fighting for the vacant WBC Silver Light WBO Latino Lightweight belt Cruz and Cabrera went the distance in a fight that seemed easy to score.
 

Cruz was dominant and coming forward while Cabrera fought most of the fight in reverse. Had it not been for an impressive set of whiskers, Cabrera would have spent the night on the canvas. But, Cruz could not take him out so it went to a very questionable split decision. One judge scored the fight 114-113 for Cabrera which seemed a tad absurd. Thankfully the other two judges saw it 114-113 and 115-112 in favor of Cruz.

I was superior tonight, but I do respect all of my opponents, and he was very good today, said Cruz. I was frustrated a little. He thought it was my birthday because he was hugging me all night.
 

With the WBC World Bantamweight title up for grabs Nonito Donaire (42-8, 28 KOs) and Alexandro Santiago (28-3-5, 14 KOs) waged war in a battle that left both men bloodied and swollen in this rugged twelve round scrap.

Santiago was rocked by a big left hook in round two and it looked like maybe Nonito was going to be too big and strong for the fighter from Tijuana. But Santiago put on a gutty performance, no amount of blood dripping into his eyes was going to deter him from his goal.

By the middle rounds Santiago was taking over the show. Try as he might the 40 year old Donaire just could not pull the trigger and was unable to turn the tide. After twelve hard fought rounds Santiago was awarded the unanimous decision with scores all in his favor reading, 115-113 and 116-112 twice.
 

It is so hard to explain this moment right now, said Santiago, who became the 90th fighter to compete on SHOBOX: The New Generation and later become champion. All the work we put in for just this moment. Its amazing just to win this title.

Im disappointed, said Donaire. This is a blessing to do this for a very long time. I feel good still. Congratulations to Alexandro. He deserves it. He is a tough guy.

Super Bantamweight Jose Salas Reyes (13-0, 10 KOs) stopped Aston Palicte (28-6-1, 23 KOs) at the 1:30 mark of round 4.
 

Super Middleweight Steven Nelson (19-0, 15 KOs) defeated Rowdy Legend Montgomery (10-5-1, 7 KOs) via unanimous decision over 10.
 

Super Welterweight Yoenis Tellez (6-0, 5 KOs) overcame some rough housing from Sergio Garcia (34-2, 14 KOs) on his way to a third round KO.

Lightweight Demler Zamora (12-0, 9 KOs) took a ten round unanimous decision over Nikolai Buzolin (9-5-1, 9 KOs).

Welterweight Kevin Ceja Ventura (11-1, 8 KOs) was upset by Deshawn Prather (16-1, 2 KOs) who took a razor close unanimous decision.

Lightweight Jabin Chollet (8-0, 7 KOs) made quick work of Michael Portales (3-2-1, 1 KO) stopping him in round two at the 1:58 mark.

Super Featherweight Justin Viloria (3-0, 3 KOs) opened the show by stopping Pedro Penunuri Borgaro (5-1, 3 KOs) just 41 seconds into the fourth round.



 

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