Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) removed all doubt who the better man was tonight in destroying Kell Brook (39-3, 27 KOs) by a fourth-round knockout to hold onto his WBO welterweight title on Saturday night on ESPN in ‘The Bubble’ at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In early undercard action:
Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney ruled no-decision
In a controversial ruling, WBA World super flyweight champion Joshua Franco (17-1-2, 8 KOs) and Andrew Moloney (21-1, 14 KOs) fought to a second-round decision.
The fight was halted because Francisco suffered an injured eye from what was ruled as the result of an accidental head-butt. Franco, who was losing after two rounds, keeps his title.
Joshua Greer Jr. vs. Edwin Rodriguez ends in a draw
Bantamweight Joshua Greer Jr. (22-2-2, 12 KOs) and Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-2, 5 KOs) fought to a disappointing eight-round majority draw. The judges’ scores were 77-75 for Rodriquez, 76-76, 76-76.
Tyler Howard defeats KeAndrae Leatherwood
Undefeated middleweight prospect Tyler Howard (20-0, 11 KOs) defeated journeyman KeAndrae Leatherwood (22-8-1, 13 KOs) by an eight-round unanimous decision. The judges’ scores were 77-74, 76-74, and 77-73.
Duke Ragan decisions Sebastian Gutierrez
Unbeaten featherweight prospect Duke Ragan (3-0, 1 KOs) defeated Sebastian Gutierrez (1-1, 1 KO) by a four-round unanimous decision. The scores were 40-35, 40-35, and 40-35.
Vegas Larfield stops Juan Alberto Flores
Unbeaten bantamweight prospect Vegas Larfield (2-0, 2 KOs) did quick work of previously unbeaten Juan Alberto Flores (2-1-1, 0 KOs) in stopping him in the third round. The time of the stoppage was at 1:07. Flores hit the deck 2 times in the third round before the contest was halted.
Raymond Muratalla TKO 3 Luis Porozo
Lightweight Raymond Muratalla (11-0, 9 KOs) blasted out Luis Porozo (15-5, 8 KOs) in a third-round knockout. The fight was stopped at 2:40 of the third round after Muratalla twice knocked Porozo down.
In the main event later on tonight, Terence Crawford will be taking on the always tough former IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook in an important fight that will shape the future of the 147-lb division.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) needs a victory to keep his hopes alive for a mega-fight against WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao or IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence Jr in 2021. Those are two fights that are possible for the Nebraska native if he wins.
Earlier this week, Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum surprised boxing fans by saying that he’ll look to match Brook, 34, against Pacquiao if Kell is victorious tonight against Terence.
What this means is Arum likely has an option on Brook, who he doesn’t promote. Interestingly, Arum would go public with that comment, suggesting things might not be good between him and Crawford.
For Arum to air his views on wanting to match Brook against Pacquiao is gives you an idea of how the popular promoter is thinking. Either way, Arum will come out the winner tonight with the Crawford vs. Brook fight.
If Crawford wins, Arum will look to match him against Spence or Pacquiao. And if Brook wins, Arum will try and put together a fight between him and Manny. You can argue that Brook has a better chance of getting a fight against Pacquiao than Crawford.
Pacquiao would likely be more interested in facing Brook than he could the counter-punching, switch-hitting Crawford.