It was harder than expected, but in the end, Terence Crawford(36-0, 27 KOs) dropped Egidijus Kavaliauskas(21-1-1, 17 KOs) three times and stopped him in the ninth-round to retain his WBO welterweight title at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
Although Crawford was able to get the stoppage, it was not as easy as many expected. Earlier in the fight, things got a little interesting for Crawford. During an exchange with Kavaliauskas in the third round, it appeared that Crawford was knocked down, but it was ruled a slip. According to Crawford, he was not hurt at all in this fight.
“I thought I had to entertain ya’ll for a little bit. He’s a strong fighter, durable, and I thought I’d give the crowd something to cheer for,” Crawford said. “I wasn’t hurt at all. I got up and went straight to him. I wasn’t hurt by no means. I walked through everything he threw all night.”
But, according to ESPN boxing analyst Andre Ward, who called the fight, Crawford was hurt.
“Tonight, he got knocked down. He won’t admit that he got knocked down, but it was a knockdown,” Ward said about Crawford after the fight. “He got hurt a couple of times; he made the adjustment, and he showed you why he’s number one pound-for-pound in the sport.”
What’s next for Crawford? Well, with most of the top guys at 147 over on the PBC side, Crawford may have a hard time getting the big fights. With unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. possibly out for an extended period of time due to a car accident, the obvious name could be Shawn Porter, who has a close relationship with Crawford. Therefore, that might not happen either, but no matter the politics, Crawford desires to fight all the top guys at 147.
“I’m not ducking anyone on the PBC side or Top Rank platform,” Crawford said. “1 want to fight all the top guys.”
In reality, we won’t learn more about Crawford until he gets one or more of the top guys at 147 in the ring, but for now, he’s still one of the pound-for-pound best in the sport of boxing.
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank