SAN DIEGO, Calif., November 14, 2020 – WBO Welterweight World Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford of Omaha, Nebraska (36-0, 27 KOs) maintained his pound for pound status in boxing with ease, dispatching a game Kell “Special K” Brook of Great Britain (39-3, 27 KOs) in four rounds.
Crawford started the fight in an orthodox stance, and credit to Brook for keeping Crawford at jab’s length for the first three rounds. Crawford remained patient, switching to a southpaw stance when he couldn’t close the distance the way he wanted to by the end of the second round.
Through the third round, Crawford adjusted and remained patient while Brook worked him. But a coiled Crawford is a man ready to strike with deadly force.
Boom, just like that. Crawford blasted Brook with a hard right hook. Brook staggered over to the ropes, and referee Tony Weeks waved away Crawford to administer a knockdown count. Crawford moved right back in and delivered a right hook, followed by a left, and then began clubbing Brook. Weeks moved in and didn’t allow Brook to take any unnecessary punishment to his reconstructed face before ending the fight. Crawford glared at Brook, admiring his work before walking back to his corner.
Golovkin took five rounds to stop Brook; Errol Spence Jr. took 11 rounds in 2017. Crawford sent a message loud and clear to Spence Jr., and the rest of boxing who would criticize the resume of his opponents.
After the bout, Crawford said he was trying to gauge distance with Brook, working on finding his rhythm and in no hurry early. “That’s why it was so competitive at first. I couldn’t get my shots off,” said Crawford.
“Kell’s a tremendous talent. I can’t take nothing away from him. He tried to take my title. He was in shape, he made the weight. There were no excuses to put on the table. He lost to the better man tonight.”
Thank u, next?
When asked about his next opponent, Crawford turned to promoter Bob Arum on his right. “Spence and Garcia are fighting December 5th. If they really want to make money on a pay per view, they can both fight Crawford the same night,” joked Arum.” Speaking more seriously, Arum declared Crawford the best welterweight in the world, the equal of Sugar Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns.
“Errol Spence will try to avoid Terence Crawford as long as he can because he knows he can’t beat Terence Crawford,” said Arum. “You saw the performance tonight. He’ll take out Errol Spence in about the same number of rounds as he took out Kell Brook.”
Arum said when a planned bout with Manny Pacquiao in Qatar fell through due to COVID issues, Brook because the next best choice. Arum said he will resume talks to stage a Crawford and Pacquiao fight in the spring, “before or after Ramadan.”
Brook: ‘I’d rather lose on my shield’
A disappointed Brook said, “This is boxing. I obviously got caught with a shot I didn’t see. The referee waved it off; that’s never happened before. I always said I would go out on my shield. The referee knew I couldn’t continue. I’d rather lose on my shield.”
Brook offered his take on a potential fight between Crawford and Spence Jr. or with Shawn Porter, as he has experience now against all three.
“I can’t sit here now and say he’ll beat Spence and Porter, because styles make fights. He’s got good distance, fast hands, a good eye. Never in my career has anyone done that to me in sparring or anything.
“They’re both really good, you know. I’ve got nothing against any of them … That’s the fight to make. I can’t sit here and say he would do that to Spence, but it’s a fight everyone needs to see. I think his timing is great. I did have a little bit of success but for some reason I didn’t feel comfortable letting my hands pop and that’s what he made me do. It’s a funny one, it’s an odd one. He’s a great talent.”
Take nothing away from Brook. He never turns down a challenge. He has been willing to test his limits, and it’s not any disgrace coming up short to someone like Crawford or Spence Jr. Now the chatter can resume about Crawford’s relative talent against Spence Jr. until the Texan gets back into the ring on December 5.
Franco vs Moloney 2 ends in disappointing no contest ruling
WBA Super Flyweight champion Joshua “The Professor” Franco of San Antonio, Texas (16-1-2, 8 KOs) and opponent Andrew Moloney of Australia (21-0, 14 KOs) walked away without any resolution in their rematch on Saturday, and no one present or watching was happy about it.
Moloney got his chance to settle the score after Franco defeated Moloney in a tough decision victory in June. Damage to Franco’s right eye from the first round was ruled accidental, and the fight was ruled a no contest after a considerable delay for a controversial review ruling.
But it hardly went down this smoothly.
Franco’s right eye took damage in the first round, initially ruled to be from a clash of heads by referee Russell Mora. ESPN replays showed Moloney’s jab landing, but a definitive headbutt wasn’t seen.. The fight continued for one more round, with Mora and the ringside physician checking on Franco. The fight was stopped after the second round with Mora ruling the no contest since four rounds had not been completed.
Moloney celebrated with a shout of victory, not realizing the fight would be reviewed. After an excruciating 26 minutes, four times the length of the original fight, replay official Robert Byrd was asked for a ruling. Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Bob Bennett asked the ESPN broadcast team for additional views for replay. Referee Jay Nady joined Byrd and Bennett, examining the video, digging for a definitive resolution.
As Moloney’s trainer Angelo Hyder waited for the result, he said, “He jabbed him all night, it’s not from a headbutt from Andrew. It’s frustrating. We don’t want any injustice to occur. Andrew worked for this. He deserves it, and he needs to have it.”
Franco’s trainer Robert Garcia was also fit to be tied while waiting for the ruling. “Look, they’re pretty much trying to screw us. Taking two rounds, why do they even have a ref if they’re going to do this?” But in the end, Franco walked back to the dressing room with the belt still in his hands. Garcia indicated he’d be open to another fight.
Moloney was devasted, holding back tears as he spoke to ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna.“That eye was closed by 50 jabs. I seen it. That’s why his eye is shut. There was no headbutt.
“I can’t believe they took this away from me,” continued a devastated Moloney. “I trained my ass off the last five months, and been away from my family. I heard that Bob (Arum) and the Top Rank team will get me that third fight. I can’t believe he can walk around with that belt as the champion. I can’t believe they didn’t give it to me. That’s why they’ve got instant replay working, for moments like this.”
“I’m absolutely disgusted,” said an apoplectic Arum, who blasted Mora and Bennett. “People blame me because I’m the promoter. I’ve got nothing to do with the goddam thing. I just want a fair adjudication. The referee made a mistake, they have his back. It’s clear. It’s not even close.” Arum said he would get out of Vegas, although far more colorfully than this.
Bennett said the NSAC rules require “clear and convincing” evidence and the replay didn’t deliver enough to overrule Mora’s original call.
A rematch should be arranged as soon as Franco’s eye is healed properly. Moloney will have extra fuel to get his revenge, and it would be some sort of consolation if it could take place in front of fans for a proper setting.
Undercard results: Greer gets draw with Rodriguez; Howard, Ragan, Larfield, Muratalla win
Joshua Greer of Chicago (22-2-2, 12 KOs) hoped to get back in winning form, but his transformation isn’t quite complete. Greer fought to a draw against Edwin Rodriguez of Puerto Rico (11-5-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight fight. After taking a loss in June against Mike Plania, Greer began working with trainer Kay Koroma, and had featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson in his corner as chief second. Greer has retired the “Night Night” pillow, and the goal was working on skills without worrying about the knockout. Rodriguez was the busier man in the ring and nearly pulled off the win. The scoring was 77-75 for Rodriguez, and 76-76 on the other two cards. Greer needs to assess his retooling plan and see where he goes from here.
Tyler Howard of Crossville, Tennessee (20-0, 12 KOs) outworked and outlasted KeAndre Leatherwood of Tuscaloosa (22-9-1, 13 KOs) in their eight-round middleweight fight. Howard gets the unanimous decision with scores of 76-74, 77-74, and 77-73.
Duke Ragan of Cincinnati (3-0, 1 KO) remains perfect as a pro in the 2020 bubble with his third win over Sebastian Guitierrez of Oxnard (1-1, 1 KO). All three scorecards were a shutout, plus a flash knockdown called on Guitierrez due to his glove barely brushing the canvas after stumbling from a punch in the second round for 40-35 X 3. Staying busy is the smartest thing the 23-year old featherweight could do in these pandemic days.
So far, 18-year-old bantamweight “Lethal” Vegas Larfield of Brisbane, Australia is living up to his bigger than life name. Larfield won his second pro bout with a flurry of unanswered punches, winning a third-round knockout over Juan Alberto Flores of Monterrey, Mexico (2-1-1). Larfield trains with the Moloney brothers and is enjoying exposure on their international appearances.
Super lightweight prospect Raymond Muratalla of Fontana, California (11-0. 9 KOs) continued marauding through his opponents. He pressured and pummeled Luis Porozo of Ecuador (15-5, 8 KOs) behind impressive bodywork. It was a classic left hook to the liver that stopped Porozo in the fourth round for a TKO win. The 23-year-old Muratalla is progressing nicely under the direction of trainer Robert Garcia.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning boxing journalist covering the Sweet Science for Communities and for boxing fans worldwide. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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