Terence Crawford made history with his win over Errol Spence Jr on Sunday, becoming the first unified welterweight champion of the four major belt era. He was dominant throughout the fight, knocking Spence Jr down three times and ending the fight at 2:32 of the ninth round via technical knockout.
The knockout marks Crawford’s 11th consecutive finish, with nine of them now coming in the sixth round or later. He now holds a professional record of 40-0 to remain undefeated and has 31 knockouts.
With the victory, Crawford now cements his place as one of the greatest boxers ever. The 35-year-old has now won titles in super lightweight and lightweight in addition to welterweight. He is the first male boxer to become the undisputed champion in two divisions in the four-belt era. Crawford now holds the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation titles, added to his own World Boxing Organization crown.
Spence Jr suffered the first loss of his career, getting the first blemish on his record which is now 28-1. After the fight, he was quick to request a rematch which will be taken into consideration by Crawford when he decides his next opponent.
The big fight night brought out all the stars in Las Vegas, as celebs such as Cardi B, Andre 3000 Mark Walhberg and NBA star Damian Lillard packed the T-Mobile Arena. Also in attendance were former boxing champions Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.
Spence Jr was the early aggressor, pressuring in the first round while Crawford cautiously and cleverly sat back, picking his moments to counter. Crawford is known for starting slow and feeling out his opponents before opening up in the later rounds.
The laid-back approach didn’t last long however as Crawford knocked him down with 20 seconds left in the second round. This was an unfamiliar position for Spence Jr who had never been knocked down before in his entire professional career.
From there Crawford took control of the fight, landing a number of major blows, often on counters. He also took the offense to Spence on multiple occasions, his punching power taking a heavy toll over the course of the early rounds.
While Spence Jr continued to battle, it was clear that Crawford was in complete control of the fight. Then the seventh round came around which was the beginning of the end for Spence Jr. The champ was knocked down twice. First with a short right at 1:02 and later with another right with just a second left in the round.
From there the fight seemed like survival for Spence Jr until the bout was finally stopped in the ninth round via technical knockout.
What’s Next For Terence Crawford?
Crawford is on top of the boxing world at the moment. He will likely enjoy the moment for the time being. When he does decide to find his next opponent he will have many fighters looking to take on the undisputed champ. Spence Jr has already called for a rematch to which Crawford did seem open to in the post-fight interview.
Another possible opponent is Jarmell Charlo if Crawford would be willing to move up to 154 pounds to light middleweight. He would be the first boxer ever to win an undisputed world championship in three weight classes. This would be unprecedented.
Undercard Fight Results
There were two undercard fights which also took place at Spence Jr vs Crawford:
Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (25-2-1) beat Giovanni Cabrera (21-1) by split decision in a WBC and WBA lightweight match. The judges had the match scored at 114-113, 115-112 and 114-113. Cruz had a point deducted because of a head butt during the match.
In the other fight, Alexandro Santiago (28-3-5) from Mexico was able to win the vacant WBC bantamweight title with a 115-113, 116-112, 116-12 unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire (42-8).