Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs) put on a masterclass performance on Saturday night, dropping previously unbeaten IBF, WBA & WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (28-1, 22 KOs) three times en route to stopping him in the ninth round to become the undisputed champ at 147 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Spence, 33, was knocked down once in round two and twice in round seven. It appeared that Crawford eased up in the eighth but then turned it back up in the ninth to get the referee’s stoppage. The referee Harvey Dock pulled the badly beaten and tired Spence out in round nine when it was clear that he was defenseless and taking punishment from Crawford.
Spence looked weight drained from having taken off a massive amount of weight, which appeared to affect his performance.
– Lightweight Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz (25-2-1, 17 KOs) eeked out a narrow twelve-round split decision over previously unbeaten Giovanni Cabrera (21-1, 7 KOs) in a WBA & WBC title eliminator. The scores were 114-113 for Giovanni, 114-113, and 115-112 for Cruz.
This writer had Cabrera winning 114-113, but it’s not surprising that Pitbull Cruz was given the decision. He’s pretty popular, so Cabrera would have needed something special to beat him.
Cabrera, 5’9″, gave the slugger Pitbull Cruz fits all night with his in-and-out fighting style, jabs, and frequent holding. Pitbull faded badly in the championship rounds from 9 through 12 and was outboxed & outworked by Cabrera.
In the eighth round, the frustrated-looking Pitbull was penalized a point for head-butting Cabrera. He did it twice but only lost one point.
Off of this performance, it’s difficult to imagine Pitbull Cruz getting the rematch that he’s been campaigning for against Gervonta Davis. Cruz looked too poor tonight for Gervonta to bless him a second time.
Pitbull Cruz will eventually get a world title shot at the WBA or WBC belts, but it likely won’t be against Gervonta.
– Bantamweight Alejandro Santiago (28-3-5, 14 KOs) dominated former four-division world champion Nonito Donaire (42-8, 28 KOs), making him look old & slow en route to winning a twelve-round unanimous decision to capture the vacant WBC 118-lb title.
Donaire was competitive in the first half of the fight, landing his booming left hook frequently and hurting the 27-year-old Santiago. But after the sixth, Donaire gassed and had nothing left in the tank, allowing a very average-looking Santiago to run away with the fight.
The judges scored it 115-113, 116-112, and 116-112. After this performance, Donaire needs to consider retirement because he looked washed.
– Junior middleweight prospect Yones Tellez (6-0, 5 KOs) destroyed fringe contender Sergio Garcia (34-3, 14 KOs) by a third round knockout in the PPV portion of tonight’s Showtime broadcast.
The 23-year-old Cuban Tellez dropped the Spaniard Garcia in round three, and then unloaded with a barrage of punches, resulting in the referee waiving it off at 2:02 of the round.
- Alexandro Santiago W 12 Nonito Donaire
- Yoenis Tellez W TKO 3Sergio Garcia
- Steven Nelson W UD 10 Rowdy Montgomery
- Jose Salas Reyes W KO 4 Aston Palicte
- Jabin Chollet W TKO 2 Michael Portales
- Demler Zamora W 8 Nikolai Buzolin
- Kevin Ventura W 8 DeShawn Prather
Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford fight tonight in a mega-bout in a 12-round fight in the main event in what most fans view as a toss-up. IBF, WBA & WBC welterweight champion Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) has got to find a way to land his shots on the elusive Crawford. The start time of the Spence vs. Crawford fight should b after 11:00 p.m. ET.
Spence-Crawford is part of a four-fight card on Showtime PPV, with the entertaining lightweight Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz facing Giovanni Cabrera in a WBA & WBC 135-lb title eliminator in the co-feature bout on tonight’s card.
Crawford will attempt to make history tonight when he fights Spence Jr for the undisputed welterweight championship on Showtime PPV.
Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) has already captured one undisputed championship at 140, and now he’ll try and duplicate that feat at 147, which will make him the first male boxer to do that.
“Crawford has never been hit on the chin by Errol Spence in the welterweight division. I feel that Crawford hasn’t gotten hit with that real hit stick, and Spence has the capacity to make that happen,” said Keith Thurman to Fight Hub TV, reacting to Gervonta Davis saying Terence Crawford will fold against Errol Spence tonight.
“He [Crawford] fought Shawn [Porter] and had a great performance against Shawn, but Shawn was never notorious as a solid big puncher like a Spence. So this will be a test of the chin.
“I’m hoping to see a firefight. I’m hoping to see a little bit of a tug-of-war. Spence is looking like a lean, mean fighting machine right now. Spence is cutting down. You could see the lack of body fat on Spence.
“Crawford was at 132 in the amateurs, so this is technically 20 lbs that he’s gained in his career since his teenage years, and his body shows that a little bit. He’s always had a good height, a good frame. I think he can hold it well, and he’s capable of doing a lot of strength training because he needs to get bigger.
“Spence is cutting down, but Crawford is allowing himself to bulk up and fill out more, which I can clearly see a job well done from the weigh-ins,” said Thurman.