Though Terence Crawford couldn't quite live up to Max Kellerman's salivating hype -- nor could anyone, really -- he looked good tonight in a sixth round TKO win over Alejandro Sanabria, scoring the stoppage on a lead left hook that came very suddenly. Referee Laurence Cole made the right call to end the fight when Sanabria returned to his feet and was clearly unsteady.
Crawford (21-0, 16 KO) may have trouble meeting the expectations that HBO seems to have for him -- not because of his talent, which seems legit, and not because his fights are too boring, because plenty of fairly dull fighters become stars (what's your favorite Canelo Alvarez fight?), but because he's so laid back and so relaxed both in the ring and behind the microphone that it's worth wondering if he has "star quality." There are lots of fighters we've seen that are this good -- or at least what we've seen from him so far -- that don't become stars. Is he good enough to overcome his (lack of) personality and become a bona fide star anyway? That remains to be seen, and there's a long way to go before we start calling him the "best lightweight in the world," which Kellerman declared that "many" believe. I don't know anyone besides, apparently, Max, but maybe I'm wrong. It's possible. It's likely, even. I'll give you those odds.
Sanabria (34-2-1, 25 KO) didn't look bad or anything, but Crawford was clearly the superior fighter. Sanabria wasn't being a bull, and Crawford got out of matador mode and took over leading action with good rallies and power punches, landing sharp right hands and left hooks, and mixing in some body work.
I'm not sold on Crawford being the second coming at 135 just yet, but he's got an arsenal, he's got smarts, and he's so relaxed that the constant pointing out of how relaxed he seems is actually understandable.
What did you think of Crawford tonight, and what do you see going forward? Is this a potential star?