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23 JUNE 2017

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Crawford Punishes Diaz,Beltran Ko's Maicelo


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By Marc Livitz: Terence "Bud" Crawford made ten rounds of a title defense against Felix Diaz look like a mere walk in the park on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The supreme masterclass by the still unbeaten champion was more of a sparring session which enabled him to use a southpaw stance for the duration of the contest. Round one was an indicator of things to come. Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KO’s) wasn’t going to be tested. He remained in the southpaw stance in the second and allowed Diaz to move into firing range so he could effectively counter. As his Dominican foe closed in to work the body, the Omaha native would tie up. Terence connected with a nice left to the jaw in the round, which saw the favor returned by 2008 Olympic gold medalist Diaz (19-2, 9 KO’s) before the bell in the form of an overhand right. Round three was much a showcase for Crawford. He masterfully timed Felix’s movements and landed well placed uppercuts to the chin much thanks to his unique footwork. By round’s end, Diaz displayed some swelling around his right eye. A pattern was forming. Felix Diaz seemed content to keep his guard high and remain a stationary target for the super lightweight champion. He walked directly into a left uppercut in the fourth. A peppering of right jabs served Crawford well and as long as he was able to keep his distance, the bout was his for the taking. As the contest reached its midway point, Diaz was clearly a battered man as he continuously beckoned Crawford to come closer, yet this was to no avail. He tried to turn the sixth into a brawl but his widely thrown punches allowed Terence to counter much to the delight of the crowd. Felix finally connected with an over the top left in the seventh which briefly shook "Bud" Crawford. His efforts awakened a giant, evident when his Nebraska foe once again threw an array of shots in his direction. Terence connected with heavy punches throughout the eighth and with superb precision. All of this was made possible because of the bad habits displayed by his adversary from Santo Domingo, who absorbed a hard body shot which clearly weakened his resolve. Felix’s pace was almost that of a crawl in round nine. He wasn’t going to give up and did occasionally try to return fire. Thanks to the use of his right jab, Crawford was lacing targets for his left hand to pound. With his eyes swollen shut, the ringside doctor had to take a look at Felix before the tenth could commence. His body language was that of a beaten competitor who would rather be somewhere else. The disparity in talent was so clear in the closing moments of the tenth that Crawford was able to communicate with ringside observers with a smile and nod. He spent the round simply pummeling his outmatched opponent. To no one’s surprise, trainer Joel Diaz waved the white towel once the round came to a close. Still undefeated and still WBC as well as WBO super lightweight champion, Terence Crawford looked quite unbeatable tonight. "I do what I want in here", said Crawford in regard to his southpaw approach. "This is my ring." As for his future, Terence stated that he’d love to fight Manny Pacquiao next, but also Keith Thurman or Julius Indongo. Co-Main Event - Beltran Crushes Maicelo in Less Than Two Raymundo "Sugar Ray" Beltran grabbed a handful of secondary lightweight belts in the evening’s co-main event with a brutal, frightening second round knockout win over Jonathan Maicelo. The first round saw Beltran hit the canvas due to an accidental head butt, but this was followed midway through the season round by a perfectly timed, perfectly placed left hook to the head of Maicelo. The Peruvian fighter didn’t get a count from referee David Fields and he was removed from the ring on a stretcher, then taken to a local hospital. The win was the fourth straight knockout for Beltran, who improved to (33-7-1, 21 KO’s) with the victory. Maicelo suffered the third defeat of his career and the second by knockout. His record now stands at (25-3, 12 KO’s).




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