Terence Crawford left no room for debate or doubt tonight, knocking out Julius Indongo in the third round to become the true, fully unified, undisputed champion at 140 pounds.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KO) dropped Indongo in the second round, before finishing him off in the third on a hard body shot. Indongo (22-1, 11 KO) was down for the full ten count, while the home field crowd in Lincoln, Nebraska, went crazy for their fighter.
Crawford gains the WBA and IBF junior welterweight titles, adding to the WBC and WBO belts he had coming in. He is the clear No. 1 fighter at 140 pounds — really, he already was, but any dispute coming from belt ownership is now over, at least for the time being.
“It feels great. Like a dream come true,” Crawford said after the fight. “Belts matter. I’m the only one that can be labeled as champion at 140, and that’s a big deal to me.”
About the finish, he said, “We’ve been practicing body shots all camp. Everything that we worked on in camp, it came out today in the fight.”
Asked about staying at 140 or moving up, Crawford said, “I’m going fishing next. Then I’m gonna rest up with my family. Then my coaches and managers, they’re gonna see what’s next for me.”
Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KO) stayed unbeaten and added another stoppage win to his record, putting Craig Baker (17-2, 13 KO) away in the sixth round. Gvozdyk was boxing comfortably for the first five rounds, keeping Baker from doing much of anything, a smart approach given that Baker really only had a puncher’s chance on paper.
But Gvozdyk found Baker with a right hand that dropped the Texan in the sixth round, and finished him off with a series of punches after action resumed. The referee stopped the fight with Baker still on his feet, a fine call by the official.
Featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson improved to 3-0 (1 KO) with a six-round decision over David Paz (4-4-1, 0 KO), all three judges scoring it 60-53. Stevenson scored a knockdown in the fifth round.
Stevenson comfortably won this fight, critics may say too comfortably, but remember that he’s 20 and still a developing fighter, too. And even with the critics, there are plenty of people impressed with where he’s at, too. It’s a debate right now, it seems, but I’m not really ready to call his potential either way. Too early.