Terence Crawford ; Unifies Another Title; Destroys Errol Spence


By David A. Avila

LAS VEGAS-After chasing greatness for years looking for anyone to step up, Terence Crawford finally got his wish against Errol Spence and delivered a dominant performance to become undisputed welterweight world champion on Saturday.

It was gangster, like Crawford had quarters in his gloves.

“They talked bad about me,” said Crawford about his critics. “They tried to blacklist me.”

Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) used battering right jabs and hooks to bounce Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) around the ring in front of a shocked audience of more than 19,000 fans at the T-Mobile Arena.

By the end of the fight Crawford deposited Spence on the floor three times in their battle between southpaw welterweights. But it was the ramrod right of Crawford that did all the heavy damage.

It was an unexpected performance considering how even the fighters looked on paper.

Spence arrived in the arena escorted by a hip hop artist and thunderous bass. Crawford arrived with superstar rapper Eminem and brought the house down with his song.

It was almost all Crawford from that point on.

The opening round saw both fighters carefully measure each other’s range and speed. Very few punches connected and Spence landed the final blow. After that, it was like Crawford was racing downhill.

In the second round, after the Texas welterweight connected with a combination to the body. Crawford countered with a left, then a stiff right that sent Spence to the floor for the first time in his pro career.

“It was a flash knockdown,” admitted Crawford about the knockdown of Spence.

After that, Spence was fully aware of Crawford’s power. It didn’t matter. The Nebraska fighter was now aware of the impact his blows.

Though Spence bravely tried to regain control, he just couldn’t avoid those ramrod Crawford rights. They moved the Texan every time they connected.

Spence tried attacking the body and moved to the head. But Crawford seemed immune to Spence’s power. He stopped moving backward and fought in the pocket and commanded complete control of the match.

In the seventh round Spence opened up with a spirited attack and pinned the Nebraskan on the ropes. Suddenly Crawford delivered a right uppercut that connected and sent Spence down for the second time.

“I caught him with an uppercut that he didn’t see, I followed up with a hook to the ear,” said Crawford.

Spence beat the count and found Crawford moving in for the finish and while trying to evade the attack was caught by a double right hook from Crawford and down he went again. Spence got up and survived the round.

It was apparent to the large crowd that Crawford was in total control of the fight. As determined as Spence was to continue, he seemed stunned every time hit with that penetrating right.

“It was an off night,” said Spence. “He was the better man.”

Crawford was in total stalking mode and Spence still seemed determined to turn things around. But it was only an illusion as Crawford unloaded with eight punches that drove Spence across the ring and into the ropes. Referee Harvey Dock wisely stopped the assault at 2:32 of the ninth round.

No doubt about it, Crawford is the undisputed welterweight champion of the world and maybe the best pound for pound. That’s another debate.

“Like I said before nobody is better than me, like I told him none of this is possible without him,” said Crawford about Spence accepting the fight. “It means everything because of who I took the belts from.”

After the fight Crawford was subdued but slightly emotional.

“Tonight, I think I showed how great I am,” he said. “So many emotions. I can cry right now. I just want to thank God.”


Isaac Cruz pounded away at the taller Giovanni Cabrera but never could crack or drop the gritty fighter from Chicago. But he did convince two out of three judges he was the better fighter in winning by split decision in the lightweight elimination bout.

Cruz whacked Cabrera relentlessly like hacking away at tall lumber but Cabrera absorbed all the shots and kept punching back. In the eighth round during another Cabrera clinch, Cruz got frustrated and butted intentionally. He was deducted a point for the infraction by referee Tom Taylor. It proved somewhat pivotal to the judges.

Though Cruz landed the harder blows, the constant punching by Cabrera kept him in the fight. After 12 rounds with no knockdowns one judge saw it 114-113 for Cabrera but the other two judges gave it to Cruz 114-113, 115-112 for Cruz who wins by split decision.

“I do respect all of my opponents,” said Cruz. “The judges make their own decisions. He was frustrating a little. He thought it was my birthday he was hugging so much.”

Santiago - Donaire

Mexico’s Alexandro Santiago (28-3-5, 14 KOs) managed to out-fight legendary fighter Nonito Donaire (42-8, 28 KOs) to win the vacant WBC bantamweight world title by unanimous decision. In tears the new champion thanked his parents and new baby boy for inspiring and supporting his career that finally led to a world title.

“It was such an honor to fight such a legendary champion like Nonito Donaire,” said Tijuana’s Santiago.

Trained by Romulo Quirarte and son, Santiago rallied in the middle part of the fight despite suffering cuts on side of both eyes. He found success by attacking with quick combinations as Donaire tried his old dependable left hook counter.

It didn’t work after the third round when he shook Santiago.

From that point on it was Santiago attacking with combinations and Donaire trying to land that big left hook that had left so many victims on the floor in defeat.

Not this time.

“I didn’t pull the trigger,” said Donaire.

Cuba’s Yoenis Tellez (6-0, 5 KOs) overcame a slow start and knocked out Spain’s Sergio Garcia (34-3, 14 KOs) with an all-out assault. Tellez floored Garcia with two bludgeoning rights and that pretty much sent Garcia into a tailspin he could not escape. The end came at 2:02 of the third round as referee Robert Hoyle stopped the fight.

“We worked on this in the training camp,” said Tellez. “It was that assassin’s mode we Cubans have.”

Photo credit: Al Applerose