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Magnificent Crawford Ko's Indongo In 3

Pic mikey Williams top rank
Pic mikey Williams top rank

By Jason Pribila: Terence Crawford headlined Top Rank’s ESPN Card on Saturday Night. He used his biggest stage to date to put on an electric, history-making performance by stopping the over-matched Julius Indongo with a wicked body shot. In the process, Crawford has now accomplished his goal of unifying all four major belts in the junior welterweight division.


Crawford filled the Pinnacle Bank Arena in his home state of Lincoln, Nebraska with 12,121 raucous fans. Crawford has fought in front of his hometown before, and unlike some fighters he thrives rather than become distracted.


Prior to playing in Yankee Stadium, musician Billy Joel said that it was always special to see an artist in a stadium show because everyone in the building is a fan of that particular audience. It is no different in boxing, and on this night hometown maestro Crawford put on a virtuoso performance.


With the victory Crawford (32-0, 23 KO) added Indongo’s IBF and WBA belts to his WBC and WBO straps.


“Belts matter. I’m the only one that can be labeled as a champion at 140,” Crawford said after the fight. “And that’s a big deal to me.”


Cleaning out the 140 lb. division will also mean big business to Crawford. He is now in line to move up to the sport’s money division, and he would match-up well with any of the top fighters at 147. There is talk that his first fight could be a title fight against the winner of the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn tentatively scheduled for November.


I would also like to see Crawford against any of the fighters who are currently inactive under the PBC Banner. While those fights may be difficult to make, there will hopefully be someone who steps up and is willing to fight more than once a year.


Indongo (22-1, 11 KO) was never in his first fight in the US. Crawford was able to confuse and counter him from the southpaw stance. He went down courtesy of taking a shot behind the ear in the 2nd round, and he was then counted out after taking a body shot in the third.


Crawford stated that his next move was to go fishing, and he would then meet with his team to discuss whether he would move up to 147 or remain in the division where he is the first unified titlist since Jermain Taylor beat Bernard Hopkin via split decision.


In other bouts:


Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12KO) dropped Craig Baker (17-2, 13KO) with a short right hand and then finished him at 2:04 of the sixth round.


Gvozdyk was winning rounds in a workman-like manner, but failing to capture the capacity crowd’s imagination before landing a right between Baker’s gloves midway through the 6th. Once he hurt Baker, he needed little time to finish him.


Gvozdyk is in good hands with Top Rank, who remain the best in the business at meticulously matching prospects before turning them loose on the division’s elite.


2016 Olympic silver medalist, Shakur Stevenson improved to 3-0, 1 KO, as he dropped Argentina’s David Michel Paz en route to a shut-out victory. Stevenson won by a 60-53 score on all three cards.


The untelevised portion of the card featured a pair of Top Rank reclamation projects.


Former junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado won his fourth straight fight. On this evening Alvarado (38-4, 26KO) scored a highlight reel knockout that was the lead highlight on ESPN’s SportsCenter. The victim of this brutality was Brazil’s Sidney Siqueira who fell to (26-13-1), who at age 40 may be thinking about a new vocation on his journey home.


Alvarado has knocked out three of his last four opponents. At age 37, he displayed the power that may be enough to earn him another big money fight. Many thought Alvarado’s career was over when he failed to show up physically or mentally when he lost the rubber-match to Branden Rios.


Bryant Jennings (20-2, 11 KO) returned to his winning ways after suffering two straight losses. The Philadelphia native came up short in his title shot against Wladimir Klitschko and was stopped by Luis Ortiz. Jennings is a great athlete and gym rat, and he may be eventually matched with New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in the Spring of 2018, assuming Parker is successful in his match-up against Hughie Fury.


Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached for questions or comments at and followed on @PribsBoxing.

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