On Saturday October 13th, Terence “Bud” Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title with an impressive performance against previously undefeated contender Jose Benavidez Jr.
There was a lot of bad blood going into this match-up as Benavidez Jr and Crawford exchanged not so pleasant words with each other throughout the build up to the fight.
Benavidez Jr went as far to go to Crawford’s home tome of Omaha, Nebraska and hold the last few weeks of his training camp there. It was an obvious attempt to get into Crawford’s head.
It was evident when the fight started that neither fighter let the pre-fight words get to them. Each fighter came out of their corners calm and collected, as the first round was a feeling out process for both combatants.
The match was even through the first few rounds as Crawford found success by going southpaw and Benavidez Jr found success with his jab and counter straight right hand.
As the fight continued, Crawford was able to make some adjustments and take control of the action. Crawford went to the body of Benavidez and started to mix up his punches by going up and downstairs. Benavidez Jr was not able to move out of the way of these punches as his foot movement was limited by the foot placement of Crawford.
Benavidez’s surgically repaired right knee may have also played a role in his lack of movement.
Crawford started to dominate in the middle and later rounds which led to fireworks in the 12th round.
Benavidez Jr who is a counter puncher just like Crawford tried to make him be the aggressor with his pre-fight antics and taunting him throughout the match. None of the mind games worked as Crawford controlled the fight and Benavidez was made to be the aggressor in the 12th round and this opened him up for a beautiful right uppercut from Crawford that knocked him down.
Benavidez Jr was able to get to his feet after the devastating uppercut but was not all there and quickly was down again from a right hook causing the referee to stop the bout.
Crawford is ranked in the top three on most experts’ pound-for-pound list but isn’t as big a star as the other boxers on the top of that list like, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, Vasilly Lomachenko and Anthony Joshua among others.
Crawford may be the best welterweight in the world but we cannot definitively say that until he “goes across the street” and fights the top welterweights from Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). PBC has a plethora of notable welterweights that would love the chance to fight against Crawford like, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman,and most notably Errol Spence Jr.
There are no big name welterweights on Crawford’s “side of the street” at Top Rank outside of himself.
Crawford’s win over Benavidez Jr was major but to really become a household name, Top Rank has to find a way to get some match-ups against the better welterweights of Premier Boxing Champions.