Terence Crawford vs Jose Benavidez Jr
3 weight world champion, former undisputed light welterweight champion, Terence Crawford (33-0) defends his WBO world title (which he won 4 months earlier against Australia's Jeff Horn), in his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska, against undefeated challenger, Jose Benavidez (27-0).
There is animosity between Crawford and Benavidez, and at the weigh in, an illegal fight nearly breaks out, as Benavidez squares up to Crawford and pushes him, before Crawford swings a punch that misses. The security is good enough that neither fighter can hurt the other, and the fight is not at risk of being called off.
The fight is very interesting, for 5 rounds, it is close, Crawford is mobile, lands more clean punches, but Benavidez is aggressive, lands a couple of good shots, gets the best of some exchanges.
By round 7, Crawford looks to be taking control, as he finds the target more easily, seems able to outbox Benavidez as the challenger starts to look predictable.
In the late rounds, Crawford steps it up, Benavidez, tired, and an easy target for Crawford, who boxes very well, but attacks head and body with aggression, the body shots, seeming to weaken Benavidez. In the last round, Crawford lands a great counter right uppercut, drops Benavidez heavily, he gets up, but after 4 or 5 unanswered shots, a couple of big shots, against a defenceless, static Benavidez, the referee stops the fight.
Terence Crawford makes the first defence of his WBO title, punches to a 34-0 record. Jose Benavidez raises his stock, having done better than a lot of people thought he would, coming back from a major shooting to his right leg, and competing at the highest level, but is still very well beaten, stopped, as expected.