Get details on Top Rank’s historic night of boxing from Lincoln, Nebraska, capped off by an all time amazing performance.
Terence Crawford ladies and gentlemen, Terence Crawford. That was simply an amazing performance. We knew it would be a tough, tough road for Indongo to win here, but I don’t think anyone knew just how dominant Crawford would be. He used perfect counters in the opening two rounds, then in round 3 when Indongo began pulling back and protecting the head more, Crawford charged inside, ripped a nasty hook to the body, and dropped Indongo for the KO. Terence Crawford is now the undisputed 140 pound champion – the first undisputed boxing champion in any division in over a decade. He did it by beating a legitimate world champion, by stopping that champion definitively in 3 rounds, and he did it in front of his hometown. This was the kind of performance you talk about years from now. Simply amazing.
Of course, the downside is that when you’re that dominant, there’s not much left for you. At 140, Mikey Garcia would be a terrific opponent, but no one else holds much interest for me as a Crawford opponent. The future seems to be at 147 where the options are plentiful – Pacquiao, Horn, Vargas, and if we can step across the Haymon/Arum divide, a huge world opens up. I don’t know what is next for Crawford but I can’t wait to find out.
Thoughts on the rest of the card…
- Big question at the end of the show – where is Crawford pound for pound? After tonight, I have him #2 behind Andre Ward, but ahead of Vasyl Lomachenko. I could feasibly see GGG vs. Canelo shaking up that top order a bit.
- We’re now 3 shows into the new ESPN/Top Rank deal. The events have been good so far, but what ESPN lacks is that “big fight” feel both HBO and Showtime deliver. The venue alone for Pacquiao/Horn provided that feel, but here, it just kind of felt like a night of fights at times. Would love to see them make these events BIG. And no, that does not mean bring in Stephen A. Smith, whose absence was most welcome tonight.
- That said, what ESPN missed in terms of big fight feel, the people of Lincoln, Nebraska made up for in spades. Crawford’s continued insistence on bringing his big fights home to Nebraska has been one of the best parts of his run. They love him there, and he loves them. In our era where we’ve moved away from local scenes in favor of a more homogenized national look to everything, this kind of local passion from both side is so great to see.
- This was an undercard of hyped up and comers, and the more impressive of the two was Oleksandr Gvozdyk. The Ukranian Light Heavyweight has looked terrific in his career so far – tonight Craig Baker stuck around for a bit, not allowing Gvozdyk to just roll right over him. But Gvozdyk used perfect angles and jabs to wear Baker down, then found a clean home for his hands in round 6. He put Baker down, allowed him up, then swarmed him and finished things off. It was a very good performance that should hopefully earn him a top 10 opponent soon.
- When you come into the pros as an Olympic silver medalist, you’re going to carry a certain degree of hype. Shakur Stevenson brought that hype into this, his 3rd pro fight, and he turned in a perfectly fine performance overall, though not one you are likely to remember all that well come Monday. Stevenson outworked David Paz easily, taking a 6 round decision here that included a round 5 knockdown. He definitely looked good, but this is also the stage in your career where you should be racking up the KOs, so for me, the jury remains out on just how far his pro career will go. Which is a perfectly reasonable place to be when you’re 3-0 – hype train or no hype train.
- Finally, if you missed it, check out the amazing Mike Alvarado KO from the prelims here. Brutal.