SAN DIEGO, Calif., April 20, 2019 – Amir Khan’s previous losses have all come via single punch knockouts. Saturday night, he was pummeled into submission by the world’s best pound for pound boxer, Terence “Bud” Crawford.
After taking the heat for nearly half the scheduled 12 round fight, starting with a first round knockdown, Khan suffered a low blow from Crawford. Barely one minute into the five minutes Khan was permitted for walking it off, he told trainer Virgil Hunter he could not continue, and Hunter informed referee David Fields of their decision to end the fight 47 seconds into the sixth round.
Khan is not a quitter. Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) beat up Khan (33-6, 20 KOs), simple as that. As much speed as Khan still has, Crawford is one of the best counterpunchers in boxing. Khan was able to hit Crawford at times, but he always paid the price. Crawford was delivering a diverse array of head shots and body work, and Khan’s face was starting to show the effects. The odd stoppage was disappointing, but academic.
Crawford denied it was a low blow. “Virgil knew the fight was going in a bad direction, and stopped it before anything bad happend to him (Khan).” Crawford admitted he was rushing a little bit, but boxing more and “catching him in the trenches.”
After the stoppage, Khan apologized to his fans. “The fight was just getting interesting. Terence is a great fighter. I now realize why he’s the best pound for pound fighter in the world. I’m a good boxer, but he was showcasing great skill,” said Khan. “It was a pleasure to be in the ring with him, he’s a great fighter.”
Khan said he knew he could not go on. “I could feel it in my stomach, I could feel it in my legs. I’m a warrior. I would never give up a fight like this. I could feel it in my stomach, my legs kind of seized … I’m not one to give up in any fight. I’m not one of those fighters. I was hit with a hard shot below the belt.
Hunter said it was obvious Khan was in a lot of pain. “Sometimes you can continue, and sometimes you can’t continue. He indicated it was a low blow. He just said it took the legs right from him, what can you do? I asked if he could continue and he said no.”
Hunter said to the point of the stoppage, Khan was hanging in the fight. “Yeah. he took some punishment, but it was interesting to see where the fight was going. He was picking up on Crawford’s rhythm. I would have like to see where the fight was going.” Khan vowed to go back to training and “come back stronger.” A fight with countryman Kell Brook, who was sitting ringside at The Garden, seems an inevitable matchup.
“My punches are stronger, I felt physically stronger,” said Crawford. Asked about fighting for the most part in an orthodox stance versus switching to southpaw as he often does, Crawford said he wanted to prove a point. “I just wanted to show people I didn’t have to go southpaw. Every southpaw that (Khan’s) faced, he’s dominated. I wanted to show him I wasn’t one of the southpaws in his past.”
Crawford wants Spence; Bob Arum calls out Al Haymon
Crawford made his future plans crystal clear. “There’s only one fight I want and that’s (Errol) Spence. When you’re ready, I’m here. Man, listen, like I told you, I can’t put a gun to the promoter’s head to make the fight. The only thing I can continue to do is fight everyone they put in front of me.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum issued a call to arms by boxing fights who wants to see Crawford face Spence. “Listen, we want to fight Errol Spence. Terence wants the fight, Errol wants the fight. One guy is stopping the fight and that’s Al Haymon. Every boxing fan should refuse to patronize his fights until he makes this fight … Haymon refuses to allow any of his fighter to get beat by a Top Rank fighter.”
Managers may be reluctant to match undefeated stars against serious threats, for good reason. But when the demand is there and the money is big enough to shift the risk versus reward ratio, the fight will happen. Until then, Crawford can try and collect belts from welterweight champions Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. There aren’t many boxing fans who would mind seeing either matchup.
Another fight, another backflip for Teofimo Lopez
Teofimo Lopez of Brooklyn (13-0, 11 KOs) only needed five rounds of his first 12 round fight to defeat Edis Tatli of Finland (31-3, 10 KOs). Tatli, a two time European lightweight champion and reigning Finnish champion of “Dancing With The Stars,” made good use of his footwork in the early rounds. No matter to Lopez, who let him get settled, then moved in and found ways to catch Tatli and deliver body work and snapping right hands. In the fifth round, Lopez delivered a pinpoint body shot as electric as a Taser, dropping Tatli to his knees. He could not beat the count and the fight ended at 1:07 of the fifth round.
Lopez delivered his customary back flip and confident post fight comments. “The takeover’s here man,” although he admitted he hadn’t had the best camp leading up to the fight. “I’d rather not say (why). We’ll go back to the drawing boar and fix a couple things, tune it up and come out looking a little better. I called it though, I said it wasn’t going past six.” Lopez said he’d like to appear in the main event for his next fight in July at Madison Square Garden.
Tatli revealed that Lopez can be held off with good footwork and movement, two of the greatest assets of Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez and his trainer/father Teofilo Sr. would be smart to prioritize movement in the gym. Lopez has plenty of power. Now he needs some polish.
Shakur Stevenson delivers polish performance over Christopher Diaz
U.S. Olympic silver medalist Shakur Stevenson of Newark (11-0, 7 KOs) passed his New York exam against his toughest opponent to date, Christopher Diaz of Puerto Rico (24-2, 16 KOs), winning a unanimous decision. Scores were 100-90, 99-91, and 98-92. Stevenson retains his IBF Intercontinental title wins the vacant NABO title.
Stevenson, still only 21 years old, boxed a mature, smart fight. He was in control and never in danger for a moment. He was busier, more accurate, and elusive. Diaz couldn’t generate any offense to seriously challenge Stevenson.
“Christopher Diaz is a great fighter. I take nothing away from him,” said Stevenson after the fight. “My game plan was to come in here and box, get a victory, and that’s what I’ve done.”
Is he ready for the champions of the featherweight division? Stevenson thinks so. “I’m the smartest boxer in boxing. Nobody has a better defense in boxing. I feel like I’m the next Floyd (Mayweather), you can hate me. It is what it is. 126, I’m coming.” Asked if he could pick his next opponent, Stevenson named IBF champion Josh Warrington of Great Britain.
Stevenson’s co-manager, Andre Ward, said he’s in favor of seasoning and seems to counsel a slower course for his young charge.
Stevenson expressed irritation when he wasn’t named to fight the co-main event. Based on his performance, he needs to understand his tactical style doesn’t light up a crowd in the same way as Teofimo Lopez. Ward needs to remind Stevenson his role model Mayweather often got boos and yawns for his style, but he got the last laugh years down the road rolling up win after win and retiring undefeated.
Verdejo wins decision; Adames and Berlanga score KOs
In the PPV opener, Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo of Puerto Rico (25-1, 16 KOs) took a unanimous decision over former interim world champion Bryan Vasquez (37-4, 20 KOs). Vasquez did many things right in the right, while Verdejo seems competent but stalled, not yet fulfilling his early promise as the heir to Miguel Cotto.
On the undercard, super welterweight Carlos Adames (17-0, 14 KOs) of the Dominican Republic scored an impressive fourth round knockout over Brooklyn based Frank Galarza (20-3-2, 12 KOs).
Edgar Berlanga of New York (10-0, 10 KOs) blasted veteran Samir Barbosa of Brazil (37-16-3, 26 KOs), at 46 seconds of the first round in their middleweight fight. Berlanga is starting to create buzz with his punching power, winning all ten of his fights to date in the first round. Keep your eye on Berlanga.
Super welterweight Vikas “Indian Tank” Krishan of India (2-0, 1 KOs) defeated Noah Kidd of Missouri (3-2-1, 2 KOs) in a unanimous decision with scores of 60-54 X 2 and 59-55.
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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