Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz – Results
By Chris Williams: Undefeated WBA/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) was in fine form in dominated and taunting his sadly over-matched opponent Felix Diaz (19-2, 9 KOs) in beating him by a 10th round stoppage on Saturday night in their fight on HBO Championship Boxing from Madison Square Garden in New York.
Diaz’s corner stopped the fight after round 10 for the good of their fighter. Diaz’ right eye was almost closed and his left eye was swollen as well. Diaz’s vision problems led to him spending rounds 9 and 10 against the ropes, attacking very seldom. Crawford, a counter puncher, often stood and waited for Diaz to attack him. When Crawford wasn’t going to happen, he reluctantly came forward and began to pepper Diaz with jabs, smiling and sticking his tongue out at him.
In rounds 1 and 2, Crawford mostly held, jabbed and moved around the ring. Diaz fought well enough to win the 2nd round with him landing big right hand that snapped Crawford’s head back violently near the end of the round.
In round 3, Diaz’s right eye began to swell up on him from the shots he was eating from Crawford. It wasn’t thrilling stuff to watch. Crawford began to taunt Diaz in this round by leaning forward and making faces at him. It wasn’t great to watch. As a boxing fan, I like to see action, not a fighter taunting a smaller, over-matched fighter that’s been dredged up by his promoter.
In the 4th, Crawford connected with a big uppercut to the head of Diaz that got his attention. Diaz went on the attack late in the round and landed some nice shots. Crawford then shut him with clinching. Yes, it was boring to watch. It’s always boring when a fighter chooses to clinch to keep another guy from throwing punches. The referee was standing and watching and doing nothing about Crawford’s holding.
The 5th round was dull with Crawford landing pot shots, holding, and moving for most of the round.
Crawford changed things around in the 6th by using a lot of holding instead of moving. It was still very boring.
Diaz had perhaps his best round of the fight in the 7th round after nailing Crawford with a number of hard head shots. Diaz furiously attacked Crawford and had some success using that fighting approach. However, Crawford shut Diaz down by holding him repeatedly to keep him from throwing punches. By the end of the round, Crawford was in fine form, sticking his tongue out at Diaz while moving away from him to keep from getting hit. The lack of action towards the end of the round was like watching paint dry. Crawford’s taunting made things even worse. The good news is the fight wasn’t on PPV, otherwise I think I would have been furious at watching this boring fight.
At the start of round 8, the boxing fans began to boo both fighters at the lack of action. Diaz had stopped attacking Crawford at this point due to his vision problems. Diaz instead was fighting his back against the ropes and no longer taking chances. Crawford began taunting Diaz at this point. The crowd wasn’t into watching Crawford do this so, they booed him. The booing worked, because Crawford started throwing punches and doing his job.
Diaz was a sitting duck through most of round 9 with him resting with his back against the ropes.
Near the end of the round, Diaz suddenly attacked Crawford and connected on some good shots. It wasn’t enough to win the round but it was still very impressive by Diaz given his vision problems.
At the start of round 10, the ringside doctor examined Diaz’s swollen right eye. They let the fight continue. However, Diaz was not interested in fighting at all. He instead fought with his back against the ropes the entire round. After the round ended, Diaz’s corner stopped the fight. The crowd booed at times because they wanted to see action, not Crawford standing and waiting on a guy with vision problems to attack him.
That’s the negative with Crawford’s counter punching fighting style. He prefers to have his opponents attack him. When they don’t do that, then Crawford slowly picks them apart at glacial pace. It’s not exciting to watch unfortunately because it’s slow. Crawford doesn’t possess Floyd Mayweather Jr’s hand speed or reflexes. Crawford is considerably slower. He’s just a guy with good boxing skills and decent punching power for someone with such a slim build.
To be honest, it wasn’t the most exciting fight to watch. Crawford did a lot holding, running and taunting Diaz. This was not like watching an exciting fighter like Gennady Golovkin take apart an opponent. Crawford is more into neutralizing an opponent rather than taking them apart quickly the way that Golovkin does.
Crawford was able to neutralize Diaz’s offense by jabbing him, clinching, and moving away quickly when Diaz would press the attack. They call it the sweet science. Sometimes the sweet science is boring to watch. That’s the way tonight’s Crawford vs. Diaz fight was. It wasn’t competitive enough for it to be an exciting fight. Unless you marvel at watching someone hold, run and stick their tongue out at their over-matched opponent, then tonight’s fight wasn’t for you because it had all those things.
Diaz had been toyed with by Crawford in the 10th round. Crawford spent the better part of the 10th round tapping the 2008 Olympic gold medalist Diaz with jabs, showboating and sticking his tongue out at him. It looked like Crawford didn’t want to hurt any more than he already had, so he took it easy on him. Diaz’s corner had no choice but to stop the fight. If they had let it continue, Crawford likely would have continued to try and make Diaz look bad by teasing him.
Crawford wants to be a star, but the way he treated Diaz wasn’t the classiest way to treat a defeated opponent. When you have a guy beat the way Crawford did, you don’t taunt him. It just made Crawford look cruel and classless with the way he did that. Crawford is trying to become a crossover star. The way he conducted himself tonight was probably not the ideal way. Crawford had Diaz beat the moment the contracts were signed for his mismatch. It was never going to be a fight, because Diaz. You can argue that the Crawford-Diaz fight itself was just a formality. Crawford way out of Diaz’s league, and the fight was like watching Crawford beat up on a poor punching bag for 10 rounds.
After the fight Crawford was asked if he’d like to fight Manny Pacquiao or a unification fight against IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Julius Indongo. Crawford said, “both.”
Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank was asked if he’s interested in matching him against Pacquiao, and he merely joked about it. However, Arum definitely wants to match Pacquiao against Crawford if possible. I don’t know if it’s a fight that is a good one for Pacquiao.
”The plan is he’s going to fight in the summer. We’re going to look to unify the titles,” said Bob Arum about Crawford.
The idea that Arum is he’ll look to match Crawford against IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Julius Indongo in a unification fight. Indongo was at the fight tonight all dressed up. It’ll be interesting if Arum can make that fight. I don’t know Indongo would want the Crawford fight. I think Indongo would be better off defending his titles against the contenders in the IBF and WBA’s top 15. Indongo can probably hang onto his titles long enough to get a big fight against Adrien Broner. My guess is the boxing public would have more interest in a fight between Broner and Indongo than they would in a fight between Crawford and Indongo.
Crawford has a really negative style as he showed tonight. If Pacquiao comes at him, Crawford will move away or tie him up in a clinch, which is what he was doing much of the time tonight with Diaz to keep him from landing his shots. That’s not a really good style for Pacquiao. If Arum wonders why Pacquiao isn’t eager to fight Crawford, it’s obvious. The fight won’t be exciting for the boxing fans. Crawford will run, hold and taunt Pacquiao all night much like he did tonight. I don’t think it would be a fight where Pacquiao would be treated with respect by Crawford.
If you watched Crawford taunt Diaz all night long and taunt Viktor Postol in their fight last year, you can predict how the Pacquiao-Crawford fight would go. It’s not an exciting fight or a good one for Pacquiao. It’s better for Pacquiao to fight guys that will stand and fight like Danny Garcia or Adrien Broner. Arum would have to work with an outside promoter to put a fight between Pacquiao and either those guys together. I doubt that Arum will do that.
I think Pacquiao is going to wind up facing Crawford either late this year or in early 2018, and it’ll be much like tonight’s fight with Crawford tying up Pacquiao, running away from him, pot shotting and sticking his tongue out at him. It would be a sad ending for Pacquiao is going to be his last fight of his career. I don’t think Crawford is going to gain much popularity in beating Pacquiao unless he stands in the pocket and fights without holding and running. Tonight’s fight between Crawford and Diaz was very boring to watch for me and kind of unsettling with the way that Crawford was taunting a beaten fighter with eye problems. It wasn’t a good look for Crawford.
In the co-feature bout, former Crawford victim Ray Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KOs) defeated an over-matched Jonathan Maicelo (25-3, 12 KOs) by a 2nd round knockout. Crawford knocked Maicelo out with a left to the head in round 2. The fight was stopped immediately, as Maicelo was badly hurt. He had to be taken out of the ring on a stretcher. The official time of the stoppage was at 1:25 of round 2.
Recent Top Rank signee, featherweight Shakur Stevenson (2-0, 1 KOs) stopped Carlos Suarez (6-4-2, 1 KOs) by a 1st round knockout. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, knocked Suarez down in the 1st. The fight was then stopped at 2:35 of round 1.
Unbeaten welterweight contender Konstantin Ponomarev (32-0, 13 KOs) defeated journeyman Ed Paredes (38-7-1, 24 KOs) by an 8 round unanimous decision. The final judges’ scores were 78-74, 78-74 and 78-74.
Other results on the card:
Tong Hui Li UD 6 Daniel Calzada
Teofimo Lopez KO 2 Ronald Rivas
Fazliddin Gaibnazarov UD 8 Agustine Mauras
Steven Nelson (7-0, 6 KOs) KO 2 Gilberto Rubio
Henry Lebron TKO 2 Johnny Estrada