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Crawford Dominates Spence Stops Him in 7 to Become Undisputed Welterweight Champion

Photos by Esther Lin/Showtime

WBO welterweight champ Terence "Bud" Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) out of Omaha, NE blasted out WBC, IBF and WBA titleholder Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (28-1, 22 KOs) out of Dallas, TX to become the undisputed welterweight king on Saturday night in front of 19,990 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Crawford dropped Spence three times, once in the second and twice in round seven before referee Harvey Dock waived it off in round nine after Crawford landed a barrage of power shots. The time of stoppage was 2:32 of round nine.

This was a fight for the ages, two undefeated, top five pound-for-pound fighters fighting for legacy.

Spence and Crawford used one round as a feel out round, but by round two there was no turning back and the fight was on. Spence worked the jab and did nice work to the body, but after missing on a shot inside, Crawford countered with a left and straight right that dropped Spence for the first time in the fight. Spence continued to work the body in round three, but Crawford was just waiting for his moment to counter and show off his blazing speed and power shots with both hands.

By round four, Crawford displayed his full arsenal and took control of the fight as he was firing on all cylinders and Spence seemed to have no answer.

Crawford had stated before the fight exactly what was to be expected.

““He’s gonna find out the same thing that everyone else finds out. He’s gonna say that on TV I look one way. In the ring he’s gonna be seeing three of me.”

In round seven, Crawford landed a counter right that put Spence on the canvas for the second time and Crawford smelled blood in the water. And right before the end of the round, Crawford fired a short, right uppercut and right hook to put Spence down again. By this point, Spence would need a miracle knockout as Crawford was in complete control and was looking to kill the self-proclaimed “Big Fish.”

In round nine, Crawford wobbled Spence, but the warrior in Spence kept fighting back, but could not hurt Crawford or slow him down.

After another barrage of punches by Crawford, referee Harvey Dock stopped the carnage and Crawford was now the undisputed welterweight champion of the world and #1 pound-for-pound king.

Isaac Cruz Edges Out Giovanni Cabrera

Mexico City’s hard hitting lightweight Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KO’s) won a hard fought split decision over previously unbeaten Giovanni Cabrera (21-1, 7 KO’s) of Seattle in the co-main event. It was a slow start for Cruz but he swung wildly attempting his way inside as Cabrera stood straight up and boxed. Pressuring in round two, Cruz went right after Cabrera as he continued to box and keep his distance. Attacking the body in round three, Cruz closed the distance as he ripped Cabrera who kept sticking and moving. Continue to box and stick the jab in the fourth, Cabrera kept his distance as Cruz continued to apply the pressure.

Cruz roughed up Cabrera in the fifth connecting with wild power shots and butting him in the process as referee Thomas Taylor issued a warning. The roughhouse tactics continued from Cruz in the fifth as he hit Cabrera with a low blow as the ref warned him for a low blow. In the sixth, Pitbull continued to make it a dog fight as applied the pressure and connected with wild shots. Cabrera appeared to have a decent round in the seventh as he was busy and kept Cruz off rhythm chasing away. The referee deducted a point from Cruz for once again headbutting Cabrera, shortly after Pitbull let a burst of wild punches to finish the round strong.

Holding his own through the course of nine rounds, Cabrera stood busy outworking Cruz who continued to be the hunter. Pitbull attacked with wild shots in the tenth as he connected Cabrera, who refused to go down and continued to fight. Late in the fight in the championship rounds, Cabrera kept busy but Cruz made it rough by throwing wild haymakers. The twelfth and final round saw Cabrera staying busy and confident with Cruz pressing and swinging wildly

In the end the judges scored the bout, 114-113 for Cabrera, 114-113 for Cruz, and the difference in the cards was 115-112 for Cruz

Santiago Captures WBC Bantamweight Title Farewell Nonito

Bantamweight Alexandro Santiago (28-3-5, 14 KOs) out of Tijuana, Mexico, scored an impressive unanimous decision against the legendary Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (42-8, 28 KOs) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas under the Spence-Crawford Super Fight.

In round one, Santiago threw punches while Donaire pressed, showing feints, patiently waiting for the big punch. Santiago established the jab in round two, as Donaire continue to come forward. The action picked up as Santiago landed a body shot to close the round.

In round three, Santiago got Donaire to the ropes and landed a few wild shots, before Donaire countered with a huge left hook that sent Santiago backwards. Both fighters exchanged shots in round four and five as Santiago landed an impressive three shot flurry in round six. From round seven to the final bell, Santiago stepped on the gas and landed three straight combinations to the head and body. Santiago also suffered a cut in the corner of his left eye after the two collided. After a quick check from the doctor, the fight continued. In round eight and nine, Santiago went for the knockout but could not put Donaire away. Santiago teed off again in round eleven with fast combos as Donaire just could not let his hands go enough. He tried valiantly to land his patented left hook he learned from Nicaraguan legend Alexis Arguello, but Santiago was able to take his best shot tonight.

The scores read 115 – 113, 116-112 twice as Santiago earned the WBC bantamweight title in his second attempt at a world championship. He earned a draw in his first attempt in 2018 versus Jerwin Ancajas.

The question is where does Donaire go from here. He would have become the oldest world champion today at 40 and is no doubt a first ballot hall of famer when he decides to hang up the gloves. He lost to “The Monster” Inoue twice with two wins in between versus Gaballo and Oubaali, so he could still compete at the highest level. He told Jim Gray in the ring post-fight that things were not clicking, but he gave no indication he was retiring.

Tellez Makes Statement

Cuba’s Yones Tellez got things started by scoring a spectacular third-round knockout over a seasoned veteran Sergio Garcia of Spain in opening up the Showtime Pay per View telecast with a statement victory.

The veteran Garcia (34-4, 14 KO’s) began to get rough in the opening round as he hit Tellez (6-0, 5 KO’s) behind the head, drawing a warning from referee Robert Hoyle. Garcia had a good round as he imposed his veteran tactics in the second, shoving his forearm on the face of Tellez and drawing another warning from the referee. The Cuban fighter did not let any of the roughhouse tactics bother him as a left hook, right hand combination by Tellez floored Garcia. Rising to his feet, Garcia continued but Tellez did not let him off the hook as he went for the finish forcing the referee to stop the fight at 2:02 of the third.

“First of all, my trainer Ronnie Shields and my whole team behind me – we worked on this during training camp, especially the right hand and it came out just the way it was supposed to come out.

“[The finish] was the assassin instinct that us Cubans have. As soon as I saw him [hurt] I knew it was time that he was done so I went for it.

“Right now my goal is not defined yet. But I want to face the best 154-pounders that are out there.”

Stone Cold Steve Nelson Wins

Terence Crawford’s stablemate piled up a victory for Nebraska as undefeated super middleweight Steven Nelson of Omaha dominated by battering Rowdy Montgomery of Victorville, California for ten rounds in winning a unanimous decision.

Nelson (18-0, 15 KOs) displayed his dominance from the opening bell. In the second, Nelson began to tag Montgomery (10-4-1, 7 KOs) with solid punches. Nelson was the hunter as he stalked and much of the fight. Late in the fight Montgomery had suffered a nasty cut on his right eye as he kept bleeding, Nelson smelled the blood and attacked. It was a one-sided fight throughout the course of the match with Nelson displaying offense and staying busy as Montgomery was in survival mode. Finishing strong, Nelson kept up the pace as worked his way to the decision win.

The judges scored the bout 100-90, 99-91, and 99-91.

Reyes Impresses

Mexican super bantamweight prospect Jose Salas Reyes (13-0, 10 KOs) of Tijuana disposed Aston Palicte (28-6-1, 23 KOs) in four rounds. Reyes began at a fast pace as he chased Palicte in the opening round. The pace continued in early on as Palicte began to let his hands go, Reyes adjusted as he boxed. Fighting from the southpaw stance in round three, Reyes showed more offense and backed the Filipino, drawing his attention with a straight left. Reyes let his hands go in the fourth as Palicte could just smile, shortly after a hard left hook from Reyes dropped Palicte as he was up but did not want to continue as referee Allen Huggins stopped the fight at 1:30.

Other Bouts

San Diego lightweight Jabin Chollet scored a second-round stoppage over Michael Portales of Hayward, California. The height difference was evident from the opening bell as Chollet (8-0, 7 KO’s) the much taller fighter measured with the jab and kept Portales (3-2-1, 1 KO) away. Chollet began to chop down Portales early in the second as he connected with big punches, backing him to the ropes forcing referee Robert Hoyle to step in to stop the fight at 1:58 of the second.

Las Vegas lightweight prospect Demler Zamora (12-0, 9 KO's) won an eight round unanimous decision over Nokolai Buzolin (9-5-1, 5 KO's) of Brooklyn. Zamora boxed well in the early rounds, sticking the stiff jab from the southpaw stance as he Buzolin worked his way in, attempting to figure out Zamora. It was all Zamora through four rounds as he kept neutralizing Buzolin with his jab and hand speed.

Fighting composed, Zamora kept sticking the jab and followed up with the straight left as Buzolin circled and kept his distance. Zamora connected with snapping punches late in fight in the seventh, backing Buzolin who was limited in his offense. Buzolin picked it up in the final round as Zamora pressed, giving the Brooklyn fighter more opportunity to mix it up however it was Zamora the fought the cleaner and better fight in route to a decision win.

After eight rounds, all three judges scored the bout 80-72

Mid-West welterweights Kevin Ventura of Nebraska and DeShawn Porter of Kansas City squared off. The taller Porter (15-1, 2 KO’s) bounced around and kept his distance to start the bout as Ventura (11-0, 8 KO’s) stalked, searching for an opening. In the second, Ventura pressed the fight as Porter continued to stay away and keep his distance boxing away. It appeared that Porter wanted no part of Ventura in round three as he continued to stay away and complained of a low blow. However, in the third round, a looping left hook by Porter dropped Ventura.

Following the knockdown, momentum appeared to be going Porter’s way in the fifth, but Ventura connected solidly as the Kansas City fighter retreated. Late in the fight, it was Ventura that applied the pressure as Porter fought conservatively.

After six rounds, all three judges scored the bout 57-56 as the knockdown made the difference.

In the opening bout from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas as super featherweight Justin Viloria (3-0, 3 KO’s) from Whittier, California stopped Sonora, Mexico’s Pedro Barragan (4-1, 2 KO’s) in four rounds. A short right by Viloria sat Barragan down in the second as he was up and continued to fight. Viloria kept up the pace, attacking Barragan as the referee Robert Hoyle stepped in stop the fight at 41 seconds of the fourth.


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