Terence Crawford has successfully retained his WBO welterweight championship with a ninth-round stoppage victory over Egidijus Kavaliauskas in front of a capacity crowd In New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Neither fighter was dominant throughout the early proceedings, but it was the Lithuanian who made the initial impression by letting the American lead before exploding back with combinations, timing his punches to perfection whenever the pair exchanged.
Indeed, this approach appeared to frustrate Crawford somewhat and notably paid dividends in the third round, when a flurry of counterpunches appeared to bundle Crawford to the canvas; something which was ruled a slip.
The champion fired back furiously in subsequent rounds courtesy of his irrepressible mean streak, throwing with malice intent as the bout degenerated into something of a brawl, as opposed to the methodical, measured dissection many were anticipating.
However, Crawford showed unquestionably that he possesses the will to match his considerable skill, menacingly stalking the self-styled Mean-Machine around the ring and looking to set up the highlight-reel finish.
Finally, the opening came in the dying seconds of the seventh stanza, when a destructive right hook clipped the challenger and sent him spiralling to the canvas.
Although Crawford was unable to finish the job at the time, he enjoyed a thoroughly dominant eighth round, before dropping Kavaliauskas repeatedly in the ninth and ultimately pummelling him into submission, despite a relatively shaky start.
Article by: Navi Singh
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