Boxing Weekend Recap: Terence Crawford is good, Santa Cruz P4P?
Crawford, 3 division champ
In the big fight of the weekend, the best fighter in the world currently (in my opinion), Terence “Bud” Crawford became a three-division world champion as he picked up a WBO welterweight title after previously holding a world title in the lightweight division and unifying the junior welterweight division last year, his bout on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena against Jeff Horn saw him continue his trend of dominating world-level opposition. Sure, you can call Horn a paper champion to an extent, but he holds a win over an aging Manny Pacquiao, one that will forever have him remember to an extent, and Crawford battered and bruised the slugger until he was forced into surrender in the ninth round.
Domination is the theme of Crawford’s career as he beaten up every fighter he has faced, but beyond that, he has never really ever any type of dramatic trouble as he has beaten Victor Postol, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Felix Diaz and more, but without facing significant resistance. Crawford is not just a skilled fighter, he is a strong-minded one, with the intent to hurt his foe as brutally as possible and as often as possible.
Crawford is one of those special fighters, he goes in the ring and gives the fans an exciting bout, skillfully and typically knocks out his foes. The new question is; will he get a fight against say an Errol Spence Jr. to help him get the marquee attention that he so rightly deserves.
Puerto Rican lightweight Jose Pedraza fought in a bloody, confusing affair against Antonio Moron in the co-main event. The bout was delightful to some, but was somewhat slow-paced with blood trickling from Moron’s face from the second round on as well as Pedraza living up to his “sniper” ring name, only throwing occasional punches in certain windows. For Pedraza, this was a good win that sets him up for a potential Ray Beltran title fight for later this year, potentially in the L.A. area, maybe say, Inglewood at The Forum?
Maxim Dadashev stops Perez
Super lightweight Maxim Dadashev was pushed to the limit by former world champion Darleys Perez as Dadashev seemed frustrated and confused by Perez’s check left hook that stopped a lot of Dadashev’s forward momentum that he uses to overwhelm opponents. Dadashev though used an overhand right that landed over Perez’s high guard to finish the bout.
Dadashev with only a handful of fight is nearing a title shot with high expectations as he is coming out of the same camp that Vasyl Lomachenko trains out of.
Jose Benavidez dazzles with first-round KO
Welterweight Jose Benavidez made the statement he was looking for as he stopped Frank Rojas with a first-round KO. The sequence that stopped him was a series of body shots, but the truly damage punch was a straight right hand that landed on Rojas’ chin that seemingly made Rojas reconsider if continuing with the bout was a suitable option.
Benavidez- might get one more bout before he faces Terence Crawford, but the two decorated amateurs and world champions seem to be on a collision course for each other.
Shakur, Gabe Flores Jr
Featherweight Shakur Stevenson made mince meat out of his foe in the prelims, dropping his opponent innumerable times before fateful stopping his opponent in the second-round. Stevenson after the bout asked for a step-up in competition and considering he started in six-round fight as well as has never fought someone with a losing record. Stevenson to me, is one of the brightest stars in the sport of boxing moving forward.
Gabe Flores Jr., another extremely promising fighter and the youngest fighter ever signed to Top Rank Inc., looked very sharp, especially with his jab as he kept his foe off him for the duration of the bout with proper distance and crisp punches. Flores Jr returns in one-month to fight in his California debut on July 7th in Fresno, CA at the Save Mart Center.
Egis Klimas signed welterweight David Kaminsky stopped his opponent in the opening bout of the evening. Kaminsky is a heavy-handed fighter who has a decorated amateur background.
Steven Nelson picked-up a sixth-round TKO over undefeated as well. Nelson is a very close friend of Terence Crawford and teammate as well.
Leo Santa Cruz beats Abner Mares…again
Leo Santa Cruz fought Abner Mares once again at the same venue at the Staples Center years later with a similar fight and the same result. Santa Cruz is the bigger man, as well as the fighter closer to their prime. Mares fought valiantly, but was unable to defeat Santa Cruz as Santa Cruz now seems destined for big unification fights in the near future.
We underrated Austin Trout
Going into fight week it was all about Jermell Charlo, but afterwards it was all about Austin Trout. Trout carried himself like a professional before and after the fight and essentially made a very valid case for why he is one of the most underrated professionals in the sport today.
Trout nearly beat Charlo giving him fits with his angles and tactical strategy, but also was class after the fight as well not lambasting the decision. In a fight in which Trout was viewed by the media large as nothing more than an opponent, he put on a class performance, both in and out of the ring.
Karlos Balderas, Ivan Redkach
The Balderas brothers returned to action as 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas picked up a devastating first-round knockout as he looked to make a statement as the criminally underrated lightweight that a lot of media is not talking about.
His brother, Jose Balderas, a bantamweight picked up a four-round decision as well.
Ivan Redkach won a decision in a somewhat competitive bout against Brian Jones, Redkach was cut in the eighth round after a head clash.
Mighty Mo, the champ
Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker is now the WBO super lightweight champion as he defeated Terry Flanagan in a fairly entertaining bout in the U.K. Hooker, who was the promotional b-side, faced an unfavorable crowd and essentially every physical disadvantage, beat up the former lightweight champion, Flanagan to win his first world title.
On a side note, Flanagan looks too small for this weight class and moved up for comfort as opposed to optinmium performance
Diego De La Hoya
Super bantamweight Diego De La Hoya stopped veteran of local fight circuit Jose Salgado in seventh round after Salgado didn’t answer the bell for the eighth round. De La Hoya is one of the more interesting prospects Golden Boy has not just for his talent, but also because of his last name and relation to Golden Boy head honcho, Oscar De La Hoya.
In noteworthy undercard action, super welterweight Travell Mazion defeated Daquan Arnett in an eight-round co-main event.
Tyson Fury returns
The controversial heavyweight Tyson Fury returned this weekend as he carried his opponent like a baby at the weigh-in and then seemingly carried him in the ring as he took a break in the action during the fight to watch a fight in the stands. Fury is one of the best fighters in the world and dethroned Wladimir Klitschko
Mike Lee wins with broken rib
Light heavyweight Mike Lee fought through a broken rib as he faced Jose Hernandez, who is coming off the biggest win of his career against Ryan “The Rhino” Bourland at Cache Creek Casino and Resort in Brooks, CA.
Lee, a popular fighter, most known for his Subway endorsement deal, is nearing the moment
Danny Gonzalez in action
One of Star Boxing’s top fighters under contract, super lightweight Danny Gonzalez picked up a second-round knockout in Huntington, New York