Unbeaten Crawford stops Diaz to retain boxing crowns

Ruben Hill
May 30, 2017

The veteran Top Rank supremo promotes both men, and what better way to cash out your faded star attraction than to anoint his successor by having the younger man clobber him into retirement?

It's Crawford's first bout in the main arena at Madison Square Garden, another step in his rise to becoming one of boxing's marquee fighters. "But he has the tools, the personality and the ability to reach that goal".

Unbeaten American Terence Crawford kept his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization junior welterweight titles on Saturday by stopping Dominican southpaw Felix Diaz after 10 rounds.

Beltran is now 33-7-1 and closer to another world title chance, whilst Maicelo drops to 25-3.

Diaz, who won Olympic gold in 2008, is no marshmallow.

Diaz, a southpaw whose only loss was a 2015 majority decision to Lamont Peterson, presents a new challenge for Crawford. "There's a lot of opportunities at 147 and that's what I'm in the sport for", Crawford said. Now don't ask me, "Did [HBO] give you a date?' That's yesterday's news".

No one has given Crawford much of a problem so far. With an undefeated 30-0 record-including an astonishing 21 by KO-the ambidextrous brawler is no joke. He has built a huge fan base in his hometown of Omaha, Neb., but is looking to broaden his appeal with this fight at the Mecca of Boxing after appearing in the Garden Theater in February 2016.

Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) toyed with Diaz in the 10th, backing him into the corner and then, rather than throw any punches, he instead simply patted him on the head. "They can rate the fights when I win". "If the kid says that he wants to fight Terence and that's the fight, you know, we'll make it happen", he was quoted as saying.

"No excuses, I lost to the best guy at 140 pounds", Diaz said through promoter Lou DiBella. "I really believe this will be a war".

Tickets remain available priced from $35 to $250 and a large walk-up crowd is expected. Crawford-Diaz headlined just the fourth live boxing broadcast on HBO this year and there is just one more live event now on the premium cable channel's schedule (a tripleheader July 15 from Inglewood, California). Crawford has shown versatility few others have as he can fight inside and out, he has good power and excellent technique and he adds to that package exceptional ring IQ and a mean streak. I'm just telling them that I'm ready for whoever.

It's the ideal scenario for everybody - except Pacquiao - who at this stage of his career doesn't need problems like that, and is far happier topping up his pension with soft touches like Jeff Horn, who he faces in Brisbane on July 2.

Crawford has hardly looked at being best pound-for-pound as a priority but a fight with Pacquiao could determine where he stands among the elite.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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