Crawford Stops Kavaliauskas In Nine

By Mark Elezaj(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

New York – Terence Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) showed the world why he is considered by many to be “the best fighter in the division”, when he stopped Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) by ninth round TKO.

But the fight was not as easy as many expected. Crawford has trouble early on trying to find the range on Kavaliauskas. In the third round, Crawford was hit with a right hook to the head, causing the champion to lose his footing and his knee touching the canvas.

(Photo Credit Mikey Williams)

The referee however ruled that it was not a knockdown but a slip. 

“He caught me with a good shot, but as you can see, I got up and stepped to him,” Crawford said. “I wasn’t hurt at all.”

As the fight continued on, Crawford came out working behind the jab, throwing combinations and pushing Kavaliauskas back.

(Photo Credit Mikey Williams)

Both men continued to trade punches when in close range. Kavaliauskas made it a close fight, not backing away from Crawford, but in the the seventh round, Crawford landed a hook that put the challenger down.

Crawford felt the momentum shifting and controlled the eight round, pushing the action while working off of his jab. Kavaliauskas was slowing down and unable to respond to the punches like he was doing prior.

(Photo credit Mikey Williams)

In the ninth round, Crawford unleashed a barrage of punches that knocked the challenger down for a second time. Kavaliauskas stood up after the knockdown but was quickly dropped for a third time and the referee waived off the fight 44 seconds into the round.

Crawford, a three-division champion, made the third defense of his WBO welterweight title. Crawford was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage (79-72, 79-72, 78-73).

The Fighting Voice has it 78-73 for Crawford.

(Photo Credit Mikey Williams)

“I thought I had to entertain y’all for a little bit,” Crawford told ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna.

“He’s a strong fighter, durable, and I thought I’d give the crowd something to cheer for.”

“I was loading up a lot because the first couple clean shots I landed, I knew I hurt him. I wanted to give the crowd a knockout. When I started letting my hands go, I started landing more fatal shots.” Crawford said.

When asked what was next, Crawford responded,

“I’ll fight anybody. I’ve been saying that for I don’t know how long,” Crawford said. “I’m not ducking anyone on the PBC side or Top Rank platform.”

“The Lithuanian is a courageous guy, a very good fighter,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said of Kavaliauskas.

“We always knew he was a very good fighter. He wasn’t an easy out. He wasn’t a walkover guy. He has tremendous heart and Crawford was able to get him out of there. You have to give Crawford credit for that.”

So what is next for the champion?

Arum feels that it might be former welterweight world titlist Shawn Porter.

“Shawn Porter said it’s not for the promoters to decide,” Arum said.

“He said if he and Crawford decide to fight each other they’ll tell us and then the promoters will follow the fighters’ wishes. That’s where I stand. Let Crawford and Porter, who are very good friends and great fighters, talk. If they want to fight, Al and I will make the fight.”

~ The Fighting Voice ~

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