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Boxing Results: Terence Crawford TKOs Kavaliauskas; Teofimo Lopez destroys Commey

Terence Crawford, Boxing News 24 boxing photo and news image

By Mark Eisner:  WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) had a much harder than expected time on Saturday night in stopping mandatory Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) in the 9th round at Madison Square Garden in New York. For one of the rare times in Crawford’s career, he was taking shots tonight, and looked vulnerable at times.

Fortunately for Crawford, he wasn’t in there with Errol Spence Jr. or Shawn Porter. We might have had a different outcome if it had been either of those guys sharing the ring with Errol.

(Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/ Top Rank)

Crawford dropped Kavaliauskas in the 7th with a series of hard shots. Two rounds later, Crawford knocked Kavaliauskas down x 2. The fight was then halted. The time of the stoppage was at 0:44 of round 9.

Kavaliauska’s power gave Crawford problems

Crawford, 32, had problems with Kavaliauskas’s right hand power the entire fight. A lot of it was Crawford’s own doing with his stubborn decision to fight southpaw in an effort to showoff, and led to him getting nailed right hands. The right hand is the Kryptonite to a southpaw, and wouldn’t have been hit with those shots if he were fighting smart out of the orthoodox stance.

The referee Ricky Gonzalez blew the call in the third round when Kavaliauskas dropped Crawford. Fortunately, the missed call by the referee didn’t factor into the outcome of the fight.

With things getting out of hang, Crawford started rallying in the 5th round. He landed some nice shots againt the tiring Kavaliauskas. It looked like Crawford was getting angry each time he would get hit,  and this led to him fighting sloppy much of the time. Instead of keeping his cool like the talented welterweights like Errol Spence, Crawford wanted to retaliate immediately eacht ime he was hit.

Kavaliauskas took advantage of the hot-heated Crawford’s loss of composure again and again by nailing him with right hands. Kavaliauskas had the hand speed advantage surprisingly. Crawford had been compared to Floyd Mayweather Jr. going into the fight by his promoter Bob Arum, but he’s nothing like him. He doesn’t have his hand speed.

Crawford looks like he’s aged

His nose looks jacked up from the hard punches from the hard right hands he was eating from Kavaliauskas, and he wasn’t the young fighter that impressed earlier. Crawford has already been replaced from the #2 position that he held in Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound rarkings, and he now sits at the #4 spot.

Crawford’s not happy about being demoted, but he’s clearly lost something from his game. We saw that in his last fight against Amir Khan last April. In that fight, Crawford was getting hit a lot until he ended the fight with a low blow in the 6th. Some boxing fans feel that Crawford got angry about getting hit, so he resorted to fouling. We saw Crawford hurt Kavaliauskas with a rabbit punch in the 7th.

Teofimo Lopez stops Richard Commey

#1 IBF Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) blitzed IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) in stopping him in the 2nd round in a surprisingly fast victory on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. The victory for Lopez makes him the new IBF 135-lb champion, and sets up a unification match against WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in early 2020.

If Teofimo can do the same thing to Lomachenko that he did to Commey tonight, Top Rank will have a new superstar. Lomachenko, although talented, has failed to become a superstar. Lopez has the chance to become a star overnight due to his charisma, exciting fighting style, and his punching power. He’s not a pitty-pat puncher like Lomachenko.

Teofimo hurt Commey with a right hand in round 2

The 22-year-old Lopez tagged Commey with a big right hand that staggered, causing him to hit the deck in round 2. After Commey got back up, Lopez tore into him in nailing him with some hard combinations that led to referee stepping in to stop the fight. He could have let the fight go on for a little while longer, but he opted to halt the bout. The time of the stoppage was at 1:13 of round 2.

This was the first knockout loss for the 32-year-old Commey in his eight-year professional career. He’s been in there with plenty of other big punchers, but he couldn’t handle the right hand power from Lopez.

Teofimo’s performance tonight is world’s better than what we saw from him in his previous bout against Masayoshi Nakatani last July. Lopez struggled against Nakatani in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision in their IBF lightweight title eliminator.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum needs to think carefully before matching Lopez against Lomachenko. Arum has been so high on the 31-year-old Lomachenko, and has compared him often to Muhammad Ali. If Lopez destroys Lomachenko, then all the time that Arum spent hyping Loma will have been wasted.

Michael Conlan beats Vladimir Nikitin

In a rematch 2016 Olympians, undefeated featherweight prospect Michael Conlan (22-0-1, 17 KOs) defeated Vladimir Nikitin (3-1, 0 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 98-92, 99-91, 100-90. Boxing News 24 scored it 98-92 for Conlan.

He had too much size for the smaller Nikitin . Neither fighter looked like they’re heating towards superstardom at 126. There are arguably a lot of better fighters than Conlan and Nikitin at 126. When the two fought in the amateur ranks, Nikitin twice defeated Conlan.

Mick Conlan is a good fighter, but just not on the level of many of the other featherweights in the division.

Edger Berlanga stops Cesar Nunez

Undefeated super middleweight Edgar Berlanga (13-0, 13 KOs) kept his perfect record intact with a fast 1st round knockout of Cesar Nunez (16-2-1, 8 KOs). The huge punching Berlanga knocked Nunez down x 2 before the referee stepped in and stopped the contest.

The official time of the stoppage was at 2:45 of round 1.  What’s incredible about Berlanga is the fact that all of his knockouts have come in the 1st round. Of course, that also tells you that Top Rank needs to start stepping up the level of opposition, because Berlanga is having too easy of a time against them. He’s not going to learn anything blowing out hapless opposition in the 1st round each time he fights.

Josue Vargas decisions Noel Murphy

Light welterweight Josue Vargas (16-1, 9 KOs0 beat Noel Murphy (14-2-1, 2 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The judges’ scores were 98-92, 98-92, 98-92. Boxing News 24 scored it 98-92 as well.

Julian Rodriguez defeated Manuel Mendez

Undefeated lightweight power puncher Julian Rodriguez (19-0, 12 KOs) defeated Manuel Mendez (16-6-3, 11 KOs) by an eight round unanimous decision.  Mendez was down in the 1st round. The judges’ scores were 80-71, 80-71, 79-72.

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