Tonight starting at 10:15 pm ET on HBO, BLH will have live coverage of two fights from Madison Square Garden, headlined by Terence Crawford defending his WBC and WBO junior welterweight titles against Felix Diaz.
Crawford (30-0, 21 KO) last fought in December, when he dominated John Molina Jr, so this is his first fight of 2017. Diaz (19-1, 9 KO) is a former Olympic gold medalist for the Dominican Republic (Beijing 2008), and as a pro was probably at his best in a narrow and debated defeat against Lamont Peterson back in 2015.
Crawford has emerged as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing and someone you always want to see in action.
The co-feature will be a lightweight bout between veteran Ray Beltran (32-7-1, 20 KO) and Jonathan Maicelo (25-2, 12 KO). Some minor titles are on the line, and the fight is set for 12 rounds.
Wil Esco will be on the round by round call tonight. Join us!
TERENCE CRAWFORD def. FELIX DIAZ by TKO (End of Round 10)
RAYMUNDO BELTRAN def. JONATHAN MACIELO by KO (1:25 of Round 2)
ROUND BY ROUND
TERENCE CRAWFORD vs FELIX DIAZ
Round 1: Crawford comes out southpaw and peppers Diaz quickly with three punches. Crawford measures with the jab and pivots to his right before landing a left hook to the body. Diaz having trouble early getting into range against Crawford, who is using his reach advantage intelligently. Crawford taps with the jab and the measures a straight left hand, then moves over. Diaz whiffs on a few punches as Crawford darts out of range. Crawford misses on a big left uppercut that was intended to end the fight early. Crawford goes back to poking Diaz with the jab. Crawford 10-9.
Round 2: Diaz comes out and feints, trying to startle Crawford. Crawford catches Diaz in an exchange, Diaz goes down but it's ruled a trip. Crawford tags Diaz with a lead straight left hand from the southpaw stance. Crawford puts together four punches, just touching Diaz. Crawford throws a few more punches, pivots away, and Diaz can't get off in return. Diaz walks right into a stiff right jab from Crawford. Now Diaz gets in his first meaningful punch, landing an overhand right on Crawford's head. It's not enough though, Crawford 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Diaz ducks down and tries to close the distance but walks right into a Crawford uppercut. Crawford perppers Diaz with a few jabs as he gets back on the outside where Diaz can't cope with him. Crawford lands a left hand, then a right. Now Crawford lands a hard left hook to the body. Diaz is in too deep and it shows, but he's still game. Crawford unloads a few more uppercuts until the bell rings. Crawford 10-9.
Round 4: Diaz's corner was concerned about his lack of activity in between round. Diaz comes out this round with a rambunctious attitude and charges at Crawford but takes punches before ending up in a clinch. Now, back on the outside, Crawford jabs Diaz over and over, moves laterally, and repeats the action. Diaz's eyes are beginning to swell. more jabs come from Crawford, followed by another crisp uppercut. Diaz tries an overhand left hand but it doesn't land clean. Now Diaz gets in a left hook, but it pisses off Crawford who returns with five punches of his own. Crawford 10-9, 40-36.
Round 5: Diaz comes out looking 3 shades lighter with all the vaseline on his face. Crawford knocks some of it off as Diaz walks right into straight punches. Crawford starting to pick it up a little more now as he can see Diaz starting to wilt. Crawford lands two hooks on Diaz. Crawford tags Diaz again with a lead left hand (he hasn't switched orthodox in this fight yet). Diaz continues to walk through fire to come forward and five it a go but he can't deal with Crawford's length and boxing ability. Crawford 10-9.
Round 6: Crawford counters Diaz with a four punch combination. Crawford goes back down to the body with a left hook to the body. Crawford pauses center ring to pose, taunting Diaz. As Diaz gets emboldened Crawford tags his with three sharp jabs. Crawford nearly dancing in his rhythm now, knowing he's in complete control. Crawford throws a hard left uppercut, then another, followed by three more punches until the bell rings. Crawford 10-9, 60-54.
Round 7: Crawford continues to pump the jab, landing at a staggering rate. Diaz's face is getting busted up. Crawford continues to strike like a cobra with the jab, mesmerizing Diaz and then snapping forward with brilliant quickness. Diaz digs deep and walks forward and tries to go to war with Crawford at close range. Crawford lands two sick body punches which have Diaz backing up to the corner. Diaz gets in a left hook, Crawford gets one in back, then mocks Diaz. Diaz continues to throw all he has until the bell rings. Crawford 10-9.
Round 8: Crawford waves at Diaz to come forward. Now Crawford comes forward and touches Diaz's high guard with jabs. Crawford lefts go a few more combinations and clips Diaz with a sharp right hook. Craford jumps forward with three punches, but Diaz pulls back off of them. Diaz may have spent all his gas in the last round as he hasn't punched much in this round. Crawford sorts of toys with Diaz like a cat with a ball of yarn -- actually, that's a perfect analogy for this fight. Crawford 10-9, 80-72.
Round 9: With Diaz less willing to walk through punches, the pace has slowed down. Crawford stings Diaz with a hard punch and then rushes forward to look for an opening to end it, but Diaz recovers quickly. More jabs land for Crawford and Diaz is looking a mess: his left eye is closed, his right eye is closing, and his nose and mouth are busted up. Uppercut lands for Crawford. This fight is over, should be stopped right now but somebody, anybody! Crawford 10-9.
Round 10: Diaz's corner threatens to stop the fight if he can't turn things around this round. Now the doctors come to take a look at Diaz right after the bell rings. Now we start the round and Diaz is on the defensive, which proves he can't really turn things around. Crawford playfully walks forward, looks for spots to land some jabs, then whips in left hooks and uppercuts. Crawford mugs at the HBO commentators as they talk about him beating up fighters, ruining their careers. Crawford walks Diaz into another uppercut and I don't know what else we need to see here. He's just taking a beating and Crawford lands a flurry of punches to end this round. Please show mercy! And now Diaz's corner throws in the towel. Crawford TKO-10.
RAYMUNDO BELTRAN vs JONATHAN MAICELO
Round 1: Maicelo comes out on the back foot as Beltran stalks forward. Maicelo tries to keep distance by throwing out jabs, most of which miss. Beltran gets knocked down on what appeared to be a head butt, but the referee called it a punch. Maicelo has a bad cut in his scalp and Beltran appears to have a cut over his eye. After a delay for doctors to examine the injuries we're back underway. Maicelo throws two three-punch combinations but not much lands. Then Beltran lands a hard punch at the bell and Maicelo hits the matt. No knockdown ruled, though. I guess this is officially a Macielo 10-8 round?
Round 2: This has already been a strange fight and we're only one round in. Maicelo attacks with three punches and lands a nice left. Maicelo goes on a flurry now as he gets Beltran to the ropes momentarily. BUT JUST LIKE THAT BELTRAN LANDS A MONSTER LEFT HOOK THAT FLATTENS MAICELO!! HE'S OUT COLD. IT'S OVER! BELTRAN KO-2. Tremendous one punch knockout.