Now we know for sure.
Terence Crawford, the boxer who many believe has a slim résumé, proved he can deliver a dominating performance against a high-profile opponent on Saturday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Shawn Porter gave him hell for most of the fight but Crawford eventually took control and ended up with a bang, putting Porter down twice and stopping him with a 10NS ring.
As a result, Crawford retained the WBO welterweight belt. More importantly, he ended up having his defining victory and a stronger argument for becoming the top 147-pound boxer and the best boxer in the world.
“Who is number 1 in the current weight class?” Crawford shouted to the Las Vegas audience, who responded with cheers.
It was a blow to Errol Spence Jr., who holds the IBF and WBC welterweight titles. If comparisons matter, Spence beat Porter by a split decision in September 2019.
That’s not to say Crawford (38-0.29 KOs) had an easy time on Saturday. No one could get past Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs), who fought a controlled and effective aggression that helped keep the fight competitive almost to the end.
Crawford had good moments from the opening bell but struggled to separate himself from a polished, experienced opponent.
It wasn’t until the second half of the match that Crawford seemed to find a groove and began to deliver his powerful shots consistently, which allowed him to regain momentum for extended periods of time.
Porter started to slow down in Round 9, when it looked like he was conserving energy. However, Crawford’s punches may have begun to affect him.
However, the end came suddenly. About 15 seconds into the 10th, Porter lunged at Crawford, who made a short left cut that left Porter behind in the first truly dramatic moment of the game. He’s up, but there’s more trouble ahead.
About a minute later, Crawford shot hard to the right and was followed by a three-punch combination that sent Porter on target again. He smacked the tarp in frustration but was back on his feet before referee Celestino Ruiz counted to 10.
Only this time, his father/coach Kenny Porter, has seen enough. He signaled to the referee that he wanted to stop the fight and that was it. Porter, as rugged as any boxer, was knocked down for the first time in his career. It ends at 1:21.
Crawford had a tight lead on cards after nine rounds, 87-84, 86-85 and 86-85.
“Shawn is injured. Going forward, as I said, [Crawford is] a sharp warrior. And my child was in deficit at that time. He couldn’t defend himself like he should. And I had to defend him,” said eldest brother Porter, who also criticized his son’s preparation in a strange time that will raise questions in the future.
Crawford said he had no doubt Porter finished after the first knockdown.
“I saw on his face that he was really hurt,” he said. “And you know his father did the right thing by stopping because I came with a vengeance.”
It’s no secret that Crawford wants to come next. He didn’t know that Spence was in the crowd until an interviewer told him so. That’s when he asked the fans present to tell him and the world who they believe is the best weight class.
He would love to prove it in the ring.
“You already know who I want,” he said. “I’ve been calling him all day, you know what I mean? Maybe I’ll get to 154. Maybe Spence with its tail coming out of his ass and fighting me.
“Whatever, I mean,” he added, sounding exasperated.
One thing’s for sure: A showdown between Crawford and Spence will be bigger than ever after Saturday night.
https://boxingjunkie.usatoday.com/2021/11/terence-crawford-stops-shawn-porter-for-first-defining-victory Terence Crawford stops Shawn Porter for the first win