Statement Made: Crawford Dominates Khan
The pound-for-pound king, Terence “Bud” Crawford, will not need to relinquish his throne. Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) scored an unusual sixth-round TKO over Amir “King” Khan in front of 14,091 fans at Madison Square Garden to defend his WBO welterweight title for the second time.
Crawford landed an accidental low blow and was ruled the victor after Khan said he was unable to continue.
Khan, a 2004 Olympic silver medalist and former unified super lightweight world champion, suffered his first defeat as a welterweight.
On the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN Pay-Per-View broadcast, Crawford proved, once again, to be without peer. Now that Khan is out of the way, Crawford is set to prove himself against the world’s best.
“The fight I want next is Errol Spence,” Crawford said. “Whenever he is ready he can come and get it.”
Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum: “We want to fight Errol Spence. Everyone wants the fight. There is one guy stopping it, and that is Al Haymon.”
Crawford nearly knocked out Khan (33-5, 20 KOs) out in the opening, knocking him down with a crisp overhand right that was followed by a left hook.
Khan regained his composure but was never in the fight, as Crawford switched from orthodox to southpaw.
Then, the low blow happened, and it was over.
“I now know why Terence is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” Khan said.
Teofimo Lopez KOs Tatli
Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) did what nobody else has come close to doing, knocking out former two-time European champion Edis Tatli (31-3, 10 KOs) with a right hand to the body in the fifth round to defend his NABF lightweight belt.
Lopez, the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year, is a contender now and is angling for a world title opportunity.
“I didn’t have the best camp, but I did what I needed to do and came out victorious,” Lopez said. “I knew I was going to get him with a body shot. I softened him up and finished him.
“I want a world title shot next. That’s what I want. We promised to take over the show, and once again, I took it over.”
Stevenson Cruises Past Diaz
Featherweight Shakur Stevenson put forth the best performance of his young career, befuddling and outboxing former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz over 10 one-sided rounds (100-90, 99-91 and 98-92).
Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, saw his two-fight knockout streak come to an end, but Diaz (24-2, 16 KOs) represented the toughest test of his career.
At no point did Diaz threaten Stevenson (11-0, 6 KOs), whose southpaw movement was too much for the Puerto Rican pressure fighter.
“I take nothing away from Christopher Diaz,” Stevenson said. “He’s a great fighter, but I came in there to outbox him, and that’s exactly what I did.”
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank