By Mike Sloan at ringside: In the night’s co-feature in Las Vegas, Terence Crawford was expected to truly be tested for the first time in his career against Colombian bomber Breidis Prescott. Crawford was simply dazzling for ten rounds as he picked apart and baffled his opponent almost every step of the way. Crawford’s super defense and accurate counter punching allowed the Omaha, Nebraska fighter to win a lopsided unanimous decision.
From the start Crawford set traps for the slower, plodding Prescott to fall into. Telegraphing many of his punches and not giving the American many angles, Prescott was a near inanimate object the entire time and left himself open to be countered throughout the contest. Though the action inside the ring was sparse, Crawford peppered him with stiff jabs and the occasional counter hook on the inside.
“We fought a very smart fight,” Crawford said after he was awarded the nod via tallies of 99-91, 97-93 and 100-90. “He couldn’t deal with my speed, my defense, my power. He’s not a very smart fighter.”
Prescott couldn’t deal with the speed – or footwork – of his foe and had a terrible time in landing anything clean. He pressed the issue every round but whenever he let his hands go, Crawford was almost always well out of harm’s way. The crowd booed the contest throughout for the lack of fireworks, but that is a testament to how well Crawford’s defense worked against Prescott.
“We brought the action, we took the fight to him,” a bitter Prescott (26-5, 20 KOs) said following his loss. “We chased after him. All he did was run. He kept stepping on my feet and was never (warned). I thought I fought an unbelievable fight. Everybody knows what happened.”
Where Crawford, now 20-0 with 15 KOs, goes from here is anybody’s guess. But after acing the stiffest test of his still-blooming career, it’s onward and upward for one of the sport’s brightest super lightweights.
Super featherweight contender Miguel Berchelt kept his unblemished record intact with an easy first round stoppage of the passive Carlos Claudio. The Merida, Mexico fighter waited for an opening and when he found it, he struck. A sneaky right hand appeared to bother Claudio, who backed himself into a neutral corner. From there, Berchelt swarmed him with a dizzying flurry of punches. Though the overwhelming majority of the strikes were blocked by Claudio, the Kissimmee, Florida fighter was in a shell and not firing back, which prompting veteran referee Kenny Bayless to halt the action. The official time of the TKO came at 1:53 of the frame, allowing Berchelt to rise to 17-0 with his 14th professional KO. For his effort, Claudio dipped to 15-10-3 with 8 KOs.
2012 Olympian Jose Ramirez destroyed overmatched opponent Charlie Dubray en route to a devastating opening round knockout. Ramirez, from Avenal, California, dropped his super lightweight foe with a right hand to the head seconds into the contest. From there, it was a vicious body assault that finished things; a crippling left hook to the liver floored Dubray for good. Referee Robert Byrd halted his count halfway through, ending the mugging at 1:06 of the first. Ramirez climbed to 2-0 with his second knockout while Dubray (Hastings, Nebraska) fell to 1-1 with 1 KO.
“I got hit early, but I’m still learning and putting my punches together,” Ramirez said immediately after his triumph. “I have great sparring partners and it’s just a matter of me putting my game together.” He next fights April 27 in Austin, TX.
Unbeaten super welterweight prospect Michael Finney took his time with Osvaldo Rojas, but he still walked out of the ring with the result he was looking for. After a measured opening few rounds, the Las Vegas fighter tore into his opponent and put him away with a textbook left hook to the body in the fifth. Rojas never was able to climb back to his feet, effectively counted out by referee Vic Drakulich at the 1:49 mark. With the win, Finney rises to 11-0 with 9 KOs while Rojas, from Portland, Oregon, fell to 7-3-2 with 2 KOs.
Tramaine Williams remained unbeaten as a pro with a unanimous four round decision over John Herrera in a super bantamweight contest. Williams was the superior boxer and used much better movement to offset Herrera’s attacks. Coupled with more precise punching and quicker hands, Williams, from New Haven, CT, won every round on all three judges’ scorecards to coast to 6-0 (2). Herrera, from Roswell, New Mexico, dipped to 4-6-1 with 2 KOs.
Heavyweight prospect Brett Rather survived a first round knockdown to outpoint Juan Guajardo over four rounds. After Rather cleared his head, he utilized a better gameplan to pick apart his foe and wound up winning via tallies of 38-37 on all three judges’ scorecards to improve to 3-0. Guajardo, who hails from McAllen, Texas, dropped to 2-1 with 1 KO.
Juan Heraldez, an undefeated welterweight prospect from Las Vegas, won a lopsided four round unanimous decision over Roberto Lopez (4-5-2, 1 KO). Heraldez was too much for his opponent and scored a knockdown in the second, but couldn’t put him away. In the end, Heraldez (5-0, 4 KOs) won by scores of 40-35 on all three official cards.
Super lightweight prospect Manuel Lopez remained unbeaten as he scored a second round stoppage over Jason Tresvan. Lopez was all over the Las Vegas fighter from the start finally scored the TKO at 2:06 of the frame. Lopez, from Denver, improved to 2-0 with his second prof knockout. Tresvan dropped to 0-2.