Tonight at 9:35 pm ET on HBO, Terence Crawford takes to the ring for the third and final time this year, facing veteran John Molina Jr in the main event. This was supposed to be a WBC/WBO junior welterweight title fight, but Molina missed weight by a few pounds.
Crawford (29-0, 20 KO) has beaten Hank Lundy and Viktor Postol this year, while Molina (29-6, 23 KO) is coming off of a sizable upset over Ruslan Provodnikov. A win here would be an even bigger upset for the 33-year-old veteran, as Crawford is a prohibitive favorite.
In the lightweight co-feature, Mason Menard (32-1, 24 KO) will face Ray Beltran (31-7-1, 19 KO) in a pivotal crossroads matchup for both men. A win means a good shot at a world title fight in 2017. A loss would be a setback for Menard, and all but a final blow to Beltran’s chances of winning a world title now that he’s in his mid-30s.
Wil Esco will be on the round by round call for the fights tonight. Join us for the coverage!
TERENCE CRAWFORD def JOHN MOLINA JR by TKO (2:32 of Round 8)
RAY BELTRAN def MASON MENARD by KO (0:51 of Round 7)
ROUND BY ROUND
TERENCE CRAWFORD vs JOHN MOLINA JR.
John Molina enters the ring in a Riddler costume. Ok, then...
Round 1: Molina comes out looking jittery, perhaps concerned about Crawford's speed. Crawford lands a good right hand. Crawford taking his time but it's already clear he can land whenever he wants to. Crawford looks like he's trying to walk Molina into a big shot as Crawford utilizes his far superior footwork. Crawford turns southpaw and lands a straight left hand immediately. Crawford 10-9.
Round 2: Crawford comes out using lots of lateral movement, boxing circles around Molina. Molina, can't keep up with the footwork. Molina comes for a little recklessly and walks into a hard shot. Crawford lands three more hard shots on Molina. I don't think Molina has landed a clean punch thus far. Crawford outclassing Molina early. Crawford 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Crawford pokes Molina with three clean jabs. Molina lands a looping right hook which catches Crawford's attention. Crawford uses more lateral footwork to get Molina to follow him, then walks him right into a hard left hand. Crawford picking off Molina before he can really get started but Molina is trying to make a fight of it. Crawford 10-9.
Round 4: Crawford lands punches, Molina doesn't. Crawford 10-9, 40-36.
Round 5: Crawford continues to use a lot of lateral movement that Molina just can't keep up with. Crawford peppers Molina with jabs. Molina looks like he has some blood in his mouth. Crawford lands a hard left hand to the body. Crawford is landing whenever he wants to. Molina throws wide hail mary shots which whiff. More hard body shots land clean for Crawford. Molina is starting to get busted up. Crawford 10-9.
Round 6: Crawford repeatedly throws lefts uppercuts on Molina. Crawford again digs two uppercuts to the body. This is actually getting a little sad, Molina can't cope. Crawford lands everything, like everything! I don't expect this fight to go on much longer. Molina keeps coming, though, but he's just walking into more punishment. Crawford 10-9, 60-54.
Round 7: Just more of a beating. Crawford lands this, Crawford lands that. It's not competitive and Molina isn't looking good. Molina hasn't looked like any one punch has had him ready to go, but I'm seriously wondering when this fight should be stopped. Crawford 10-9.
Round 8: Complete and total one-way traffic. Molina tries to line up a home run punch but misses badly. Unless Zeus himself intervenes by striking Crawford down with a thunderbolt, well...you get the picture. Crawford relentlessly assaults Molina in the corner until he collapses and the referee immediately stops the fight. Crawford TKO-8.
RAY BELTRAN vs MASON MENARD
Round 1: Both fighters come out pawing jabs. Menard lands a left jab to the body. Beltran gets Menard along the ropes and strafes him to the body and head with left hooks. Menard lands a nice lead left hook to the body of Beltran. Both fighters trade body shots at center ring. I'm going to give a slight edge to Menard who looked just a little sharper. Menard 10-9.
Round 2: Menard comes out pumping a stiff left jab. Beltran lands a sneaky looping counter right hook. Beltran steadily stalking Menard and lefts his hands go once he gets Menard backed-up. Another good counter left lands for Beltran. Now Beltran lands two good jabs. Beltran digs hard body shots to both sides. Beltran's experience showing early. Beltran 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Menard's corner did not like how that last round went, they were really animated between rounds. Beltran just looks like he's must calmer in the midst of a firefight than Menard, who looks much more tense. Beltran targets the body again as Menard weaves a shot to the head. Beltran's shots look to be having a much stronger effect than Menard's. Nasty three punch combination to the body and head lands for Beltran. Beltran 10-9.
Round 4: Beltran continually lands counter body shots on Menard, then follows it up with some more. Beltran bulls Menard to the ropes but the referee calls a break once they get there. Now Menard is back on the ropes and Beltran is landing hard shots on the body over and over again. Menard tries to break Beltran's forward momentum by putting a few punches together but it's too late to win this round. Beltran 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Fighters touch gloves to open the round. Beltran lands a hard left jab to the body, then feints another only to land a hard left hook instead. Beltran continues to push Menard back and it looks like Menard is showing signs of distress. Beltran is really starting to take it to Menard and beat him up a little. Beltran appears to have a small cut on his face but it's hard to say if it came from a punch or a headbutt. Beltran 10-9.
Round 6: Menard's corner seems really concerned about Menard's condition, his trainer repeatedly asked him if he's okay to continue fighting between rounds. Beltran comes out walking Menard down as Menard throws punches just to try to keep Beltran off of him. it's not working. Beltran attacks the body with well placed and calculated shots. Beltran assaults Menard along the ropes to end the round. Beltran 10-9, 59-55.
Round 7: BELTRAN CRUSHES MENARD WITH A LEFT HOOK! IT'S OVER! Beltran KO-7.