A man of few words who does his talking with his fists inside the ring, Crawford has been a slow burn in recent years in terms of his promoters' ability to make him famous to general sports fans outside of the general hardcore boxing audience.
Welterweight world titlist Terence Crawford, one of boxing's elite pound-for-pound fighters, struggled at times against mandatory challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, but eventually he did what he usually does - close the show in impressive fashion. I wanted to give the crowd a knockout. "When I started to let go of my hands, I ended up with more lethal shots".
Crawford, who improved to 36-0 with 27 knockouts, survived a scare in the third round before finding his rhythm in the fifth, knocking the Lithuanian down once in the seventh, and then twice in the final round. "He is a strong fighter, durable and I thought I would cheer the crowd a bit".
Kavaliauskas barely survived the end of the eighth round and Crawford wasted no time going to work in the ninth.More news: Met Office warning of snow and ice for parts of Scotland
But before Crawford got to hurt and ultimately stop him, Kavaliauskas was the one that hurt him with a right hand in the second round. However, referee Ricky Gonzalez ruled it a slip.
Crawford wants to take all comers but seems like no one wants to stand up to take the challenge. Kavaliauskas was landing way more clean punches on Crawford than anyone is used to seeing.
Egidijus Kavaliauskas shakes when the fight is called.
Kavaliauskas landed a terrific right-left combination down the middle that knocked Crawford off balance early in the seventh round in what was becoming a dogfight. He got up but Crawford then threw a right hook that returned the two-time Olympian to the canvas and the fight was immediately waved off.More news: The electric Porsche Taycan Turbo has an EPA range of 201 miles
"I think that Porter is the most competitive with Crawford right now (with Spence sidelined) and the reason I say that - and I didn't say that before the Spence fight - is Porter lost by a whisker". The victor of the bout would hold three of the four major world titles with the WBC title now vacant due to Devin Haney being injured and moved to WBC "Champion in Recess" and Javier Fortuna and Luke Campbell being ordered to fight for the vacant belt. Then Porter could be the next choice. "He worked well with Spence".
Crawford said he's ready for whichever fighter is next. "I said that because I don't know how long", said Crawford.
In addition, featherweights Michael Conlan (12-0, 7 KO) and Vladimir Nikitin (3-0, 0 KO) met in the rematch. He blasted the global boxing federation for being corrupt after the decision was announced and extended his middle finger to the judges at ringside.More news: Runner Who Slapped Reporter's Butt On-Air Charged With Sexual Battery