Crawford defeats Jean; is Pacquiao next? – results
By Jim Dower: WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (27-0, 19 KOs) successfully defended his title on Saturday night in beating #6 WBO contender Dierry Jean (29-2, 2O KOs) by a 10th round knockout on HBO Championship Boxing at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The fight was halted after the bigger Crawford knocked the smaller 5’6″ Jean into the ropes. Referee Tony Weeks then stepped in and halted the contest at 2:30 of the 10th.
Crawford knocked Jean down three times in the fight in dropping him once in the 1st, 9th and 10th rounds. Jean moved up from the lightweight division to take the fight, and the size difference between them was pretty dramatic. To show you how much of a mismatch it was, Crawford fought out of the southpaw stance the entire fight.
This fight was just as much a mismatch as the undercard fights were. It’s unclear why Top Rank promoter Bob Arum didn’t match Crawford against a better fighter than the lightweight Jean. The entire card was nothing but mismatches with the A-side Top Rank fighters matched up against woeful opposition. With the way that Crawford was matched up with a really weak opponent from the lightweight division, he couldn’t help but look good tonight. Why didn’t the 83-year-old Bob Arum match Crawford against Ruslan Provodnikov, Viktor Postol, Lucas Matthysse or Amir Iman. At least those guys are actual light welterweights and not dragged up from the lightweight division like the 5’6″ Jean was tonight. They also can punch, unlike Jean.
Late in the 1st round, Crawford knocked Jean down with a left-right combination. Crawford was in the southpaw stance at the time.
In the 9th, Crawford dropped Jean with a left hand followed by a right behind the head.
Jean landed occasional big shots in every round. His best round by far was in the 8th, when he caught Crawford with a huge right hand that snapped his head sideways, causing sweat to fly into the audience. Jean would follow up with two more big shots before the end of the round.
Arum would like to match Crawford up with his biggest money star in his Top Rank stable Manny Pacquiao next. Arum has been pretty transparent about his desire to make the fight. It’s a win-win for Arum and his Top Rank company, but not necessarily a win-win for Pacquiao. It’s not a fight that will make him the kind of money he could get against a better known fighter like Amir Khan. It doesn’t look like Arum wants to match Pacquiao against Khan though. Based on how the counter punching Crawford fought tonight, I don’t think it was a good enough performance to make the casual boxing fans want to see a Pacquiao-Crawford fight. Hardcore fans, at least some of them, would like to see that fight, but I don’t think it would be the majority of the hardcore fans. Crawford doesn’t have an exciting fighting style like Khan. Crawford was boring to watch tonight except for short periods where he would put some pressure on Jean to land some big shots.
A more fitting fight for Crawford would be for him to fight WBO light welterweight champion Viktor Postol. Both have around the fan base, and it would be an interesting fight. Right now, Crawford isn’t popular enough for him to fight Pacquiao in my view. Of course, that’s probably not going to stop Arum from making that fight if he wants to ramrod it down Pacquiao’s throat. It’s just that it will likely cost Pacquiao a lot of money in terms of lost PPV buys if he fights Crawford rather than a popular fighter like Khan. If Arum is willing to make up the difference in the money that Pacquiao loses by fighting Crawford and winding up with only 400,000 PPV buys, then Pacquiao should face Crawford. I just don’t think Arum is going to do that. Pacquiao will get a guarantee like always, and then whatever the PPV buys resulting from the fight will be icing on the cake. It’s just that there probably won’t be much icing for Pacquiao to get from the PPV sales for a Crawford fight.
In an embarrassing mismatch, unbeaten #13 WBC heavyweight contender Andy Ruiz (26-0, 17 KOs) defeated 34-year-old journeyman Raphael Zumbano Love (37-12-1, 30 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision. The final judge’s scores were 80-72, 80-72 and 80-70.
Ruiz dished out nonstop punishment for the full eight rounds of the fight. Love showed the ability to absorb a great deal of punishment. It was incredible how many huge shots that he took from Ruiz. Love did land a big right hand to the head of Ruiz at the end of the 6th. Other than that, it was all one-sided with Ruiz dishing out nonstop punishment.
In comparison to other fighters that have beaten Love, Ruiz didn’t do nearly as good. Anthony Joshua stopped Love in the 2nd round last May. Love was also knocked out by Charles Martin and Eric Molina.
Ruiz came into tonight’s fight at 248¾, which is a good weight for him. He needs to keep his weight near this area. He can’t keep ballooning up in weight if he wants to be able to compete with the best heavyweights in the division.
Ruiz looked like he was tiring as the fight went on, and he didn’t show great mobility. It’s difficult to see him beating any of the good heavyweights in the division.
It was a really bad fight that Top Rank put together for the 26-year-old Ruiz to be fighting on national television on HBO. This was not a TV worthy fight to be televised on HBO, nor was the previous one between Mikael Zewski and Ayi Bruce. They were bad mismatches and not competitive at all and not interesting to watch.
Welterweight Mikael Zewski (27-1, 21 KOs) got back to his winning ways in beating the reluctant journeyman Ayi Bruce (23-12, 9 KOs) by a 5th round knockout. The fight was halted at 1:41 of the 5th. Zewski was soundly beaten in his last fight against Konstantin Ponomarev last May. Tonight’s opponent Ayu Bruce was more to Zewski’s liking though.
Former IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich (20-1-1, 9 KOs) ground out an unimpressive eight round split decision over Aldimir Silva (19-9, 10 KOs).
The final judges’ scores were 77-75 for Silva, 79-71 and 78-74 for Gradovich. It was a clear win for Gradovich. I’m not sure what the judge was looking at who scored the fight to Silva, but there’s no way that he deserved the win.
Gradovich put a lot of pressure on Silva the entire fight, and landed a lot of shots. Gradvich’s forehead and face was marked up from Silva’s shots, but it looked worse than it really was. Gradovich dominated the action.
This was the first fight for Gradovich since losing his IBF featherweight title to Britain’s Lee Selby in his last fight.
In the undercard of the Terence Crawford fight, undefeated super featherweight Alfredo Martinez (5-0, 2 KOs) defeated Darin Hampton (1-2) by a 4 round unanimous decision.
Hampton was put down twice in the fight in getting dropped in the 2nd and 4th round. The final judges’ scores were 40-33, 40-34 and 40-34.
Unbeaten junior middleweight Zolt Daranyi (5-0, 5 KOs) stopped Nebraskan journeyman Sean Rawley Wilson (5-16-1, 1 KOs) in the 2nd round of a scheduled 4 round fight. Daranyi flurried on Wilson until the fight was halted. The official time of the stoppage was 1:55 of the round.
Undefeated light welterweight Julian Rodriguez (11-0, 9 KOs) easily defeated Alvaro Ortiz (7-5-1, 5 KOs) by a 4 round unanimous decision. The scores were 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37.
Undefeated welterweight prospect Alex Saucedo (19-0, 13 KOs) defeated Angel Martinez (12-8-1, 8 KOs) by 6 round unanimous decision. The final scores were 60-52, 60-52 and 60-54.