WBO 147 lb belt holder Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford defeated challenger Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-1, 18 KOs) by a knockout in the 12th round on Saturday night. Fighting in front of a large crowd of friendly boxing fans, the unbeaten 31-year-old Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) knocked fellow Top Rank promoted Benavidez Jr. down with a right uppercut in the 12th.
It was a great fight for Benavidez before he gassed out. He gave a great account for himself against one of the better fighters in the welterweight division.
Benavidez got back up, but the referee Celestino Ruiz opted to halt the fight. The bout was stopped at 2:42 of round 12. Crawford’s win keeps him unbeaten. There were some moments in the first half of the fight where the outcome wasn’t assured, as the taller, younger 6’2” Benavidez was catching Crawford repeatedly with nice shots Crawford worked Benavidez’s body early in order to wear him down for the later rounds. This strategy worked well for Crawford, because by the second half of the fight, Benavidez was clearly tired and not showing the same type of energy that he’d displayed in the early going.
The early rounds of the fight were closer than anyone anticipated, because the 26-year-old Benavidez came to fight. He was landing some shots on Crawford, and he made him defensive. Crawford decided to wait until Benavidez started to gas by the time he went after him.
”We knew he wanted to get in my head and make it a firefight,” Crawford said about Benavidez. ”I saw him in the corner taking deep breaths and I knew he was done.”
Once Crawford knew Benavidez was done, he went after him in the 12th round and took him out. Surprisingly, Crawford didn’t call out Errol Spence Jr. or Shawn Porter after the fight. It was a no-brainer for Crawford to take advantage of his moment in the spotlight to mention Spence and Porter immediately after the fight, and yet he failed to do so. But after the way Crawford fought tonight, perhaps he wants to get some more fights under his belt at 147 before he steps it up against the big league guys like Spence, Keith Thurman and Porter.
In the chief support. 2016 Olympian Shakur Stevenson (9-0, 5 KOs) quickly took out Viorel Simion in round one after knocking him down three times. The fight wa stopped at 3:00 of round one. Stevenson never let the 36-year-old Simion get untracked in the fight before jumping on him and finishing him off right away. Simion wasn’t ready for the ferocity of Stevenson’s attack. Simion might have been assuming that Stevenson would start slow and not look to slug with him, but he came storming out at the start of the fight and he made it clear that he wasn’t going to let it to to the scorecards.
Former welterweight world champion Mike ‘Mile High’ Alvarado (40-4, 28 KOs) stopped Robbie Cannon (16-14-3, 7 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout. It wasn’t much of a fight, as Alvarado tore into the defenseless Cannon in hitting him with some monstrous punches. In round two, Alvarado connected with a big right hand that put Cannon down on the canvas. The fight was stopped at 0:41 of the 2nd.
Undefeated 154 lb contender Carlos Adames (15-0, 12 KOs) defeated the capable Joshua Conley (14-3-1, 9 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout.