LAS VEGAS- On an electric night in Las Vegas, Terence Crawford emphatically demonstrated he’s the best welterweight in the world. This, as the WBO champion captured the other three world titles with a 9th round TKO stoppage over Errol Spence at the T-Mobile Arena. The Crawford massive win capped off the Showtime / PPC pay-per-view in front of a packed house of over 18,000 fans.
It was the first time ever that all four world titles were on the line at 147 lb. in a fight that was over three years in the making, while taking place in boxing’s “championship city.”
And, Crawford made the most of it,
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) July 30, 2023
After a slow start in round one, Crawford, now 40-0, 31 KOs, immediately established himself in the second frame by knocking Spence down with a hard right to the right side of his head. Spence got up at the count of five and Crawford wasn’t able to do much more damage, but clearly an early message was sent.
The Southpaw Texan Spence re-established himself with a good right jab and shots to the body in round three. However, from there it was mostly Crawford scoring repeatedly with hard right jabs and combinations.
Then in the fifth round, the pride of Nebraska, who had “Omaha” on his trunks, Crawford busted Spence’s nose with another hard right and that continued to bleed for the remainder of the fight.
With Spence’s eyes swelling and glassy Crawford stepped on the accelerator in the 7th round scoring another knockdown with a right hand that had the fight potentially on the verge of being over. Spence weathered the storm for over thirty seconds, but then, went down, again, from another Crawford strong right hand . Spence, now 28-1, was saved by the bell after getting up to end the seventh. But, the result looked all but over at that stage.
The end would come in the 9th round with Spence, who had owned the WBC/WBA/IBF titles, clearly looking the worse for wear- glossy-eyed and bleeding from the nose. Crawford caught him with a series of rights and lefts along the ropes and referee Harvey Dock finally waved things off for the TKO.
“Man, I’m blessed,” Crawford told Showtime in the ring. “I only dreamed of being a world champion. Nobody believed in me, when I was coming up, but I made everybody a believer. I want to thank Spence and his team, because like I told him- none of this would be possible.”
With the win Crawford joins female Claressa Shields as the only multi-division, four-belt undisputed champions in boxing history. Crawford previously held all four world titles at 140 lb. and won Saturday night for the 8th straight time by knockout in a title fight.
When asked about making male, four belt undisputed boxing history, Crawford said in the ring.
“It means everything. They tried to “blackball me.” They tried to keep me out. Keep me out. They talked bad about me.. They said I wasn’t good enough…. I kept praying I’d get the opportunity to show the world how great Terence Crawford is. And, tonight I believe I showed how great I am.”
Fro his part Spence had no excuses after the whipping he took. He said in the ring, “He was the better man tonight. He was using his jab. My timing was a little bit off. And, he would catch me in between shots. I make no excuses. He was the better man tonight.”
There is a rematch clause for Spence in defeat, but there will be some debate as to whether or not Spence would want to activate it, unless the fight is at 154 lb. That’s what Spence told the media on Thursday at the final press conference that he intended for Saturday night’s fight to be his last at welterweight because of the trouble he’s had making the limit.
And by the lackluster punching performance, especially from the third round on, Spence looked like a spent Fighter fighting at 147 lb. However, more credit should go to Crawford, who was composed and the bigger puncher while blitzing Spence on his way to the biggest victory of his career.
Crawford will now rightfully draw comparisons to legendary undisputed welterweight champion and hall of famer Sugar Ray Leonard, as well as other greats at 147 lbs. like hall of famers Thomas “Hit Man” Hearns, Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and, soon to be, Floyd Mayweather.