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Crawford stops Dulorme, fails to impress

By Dan Ambrose: Former WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs) stayed unbeaten in stopping #5 WBO Thomas Dulorme (22-2, 14 KOs) in the 6th round in a three knockdown performance on Saturday night on HBO Championship Boxing from the University of Texas, in Arlington, Texas, USA.

While the HBO talking heads were pouring praise over the head of Crawford for the entire fight, he appeared to lose the first five rounds of the fight against the stronger punching and surprising faster Dulorme. That all changed in the 6th round when Crawford staggered Dulorme with a left-right combination to the head. Crawford then dropped a badly hurt Dulorme with a right to the head. Moments later, Crawford dropped Dulorme a second time. Dulorme got up and attempted to clinch to get out of the round, but Crawford finished him off with another two big shots.

All in all, it wasn’t great stuff from Crawford other than the 6th round. Given how poor he looked in the first five rounds, you have to wonder how Crawford will do against the likes of Ruslan Provodnikov or Lucas Matthysse. Those are much better fighters than Dulorme, who arguably didn’t deserve to be fighting for a world title. The World Boxing Organization really set Crawford up to win an easy title by sanctioning the fight between him and Dulorme rather than saying no to this mismatch and insisting that Top Rank match Crawford against either Provodnikov or Matthysse, who are ranked higher than Dulorme, have better power and better chins.

While some boxing fans are assuming that Crawford was in total control from the get go and just measuring Dulorme, I don’t think that was the case. Dulorme showed clearly that he was faster and stronger than Crawford. I had Dulorme winning the first five rounds based on his superior activity and his harder shots. Crawford was just throwing arm shots and looked afraid of getting hit.

“I had a hell of a performance,” Crawford said after the fight. “My coach told me to just touch, touch him for the first five rounds letting him feel it, but in the 6th, he told me to hit him. I felt like I could do anything. I felt stronger.”

When asked who he wants to fight next, Crawford turned around looking at his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank and said “I leave that up to these two men and Cameron Dunkin.”

Whether Crawford fights the winner of tonight’s Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Lucas Matthysse fight will largely be determined on who wins. If Provodnikov wins the fight, then there’s an excellent chance of the Crawford-Provodnikov fight taking place. But if Matthysse wins then it’s doubtful that he’ll fight Crawford because he’s with Golden Boy Promotions, and their president Oscar De La Hoya might not want to make that fight.

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