Tonight at 10:30 pm ET on ESPN, Terence Crawford and Jose Benavidez Jr meet in the main event from Omaha, with Crawford’s WBO welterweight title on the line.
This is a fight that’s become about a lot more than a title, though, as the two sides have some serious beef with one another, evidenced at Friday’s weigh-in where Benavidez shoved Crawford, who responded by throwing a right hand at the challenger.
Crawford (33-0, 24 KO) is the heavy favorite here, but Benavidez (27-0, 18 KO) is a very talented fighter who has been considered a top prospect — if one who hasn’t moved too quickly — for a long time now. It could be a more interesting fight than expected, but either way I think we can expect some fireworks. This is a personal one.
Featherweight prospect Shakur Stevenson (8-0, 4 KO) will also be in action, taking a super featherweight bout against veteran Viorel Simion (21-2, 9 KO). That fight is scheduled for 10 rounds.
Wil Esco will be on the round-by-round call. Join us!
- TERENCE CRAWFORD def. JOSE BENAVIDEZ JR. by TKO (2:42 of Round 12)
- SHAKUR STEVENSON def. VIOREL SIMION by TKO (3:00 of Round 1)
ROUND BY ROUND
TERENCE CRAWFORD vs JOSE BENAVIDEZ JR.
Round 1: Crawford comes out in the orthodox stance, feinting and showcasing a fair bit of head movement. Benavidez tries a jab that just misses. Jab to the body lands for Crawford. Benavidez stalks forward and walks into another jab to the body. Benavidez put his hands down to taunt Crawford. Now Crawford switches to southpaw and slides along the ropes. Benavidez lands a jab, then another. Crawford tries to sneak in two of his own jabs and lands one clean. Left hand lands downstairs for Crawford. Benavidez lands a left hand just before the bell and Crawford mugs at him. Tentative round, but I think Crawford just edges it. Crawford 10-9.
Round 2: Benavidez comes out to center ring and presses Crawford with his taller frame. Crawford lands a jab from the southpaw stance. Crawford jabs twice but Benavidez is able to pull away from the punches. Benavidez tries a right hand lead that Crawford parries with his glove. Straight left to the body lands for Crawford, followed by two more body shots. Jab lands for Crawford at center ring. Now Benavidez pressures Crawford more and backs him to the ropes and tries three wide punches. Left hand lands for Benavidez but Crawford snaps a jab right back. Both fighters exchange at the bell but neither land anything clean. I think Crawford’s little flurry halfway through the round were the best punches of round. Crawford 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Crawford paws with his lead hand as he looks to get more active. Crawford attacks with three punches but only grazes Benavidez. Now Benavidez gets in a left hand upstairs and a right to the body. Two hooks land to both sides of Benavidez’s body, Benavidez shakes his head. Crawford can’t consistently find the range on his jab but Crawford jumps in and strafes Benavidez with a couple more hard shots that gets the crowd excited. Jab lands for Benavidez. Two more body punches land for Crawford, Benavidez tries to respond but ineffectively. Straight left hand lands for Crawford. Best round for Crawford so far. Crawford 10-9.
Round 4: Both fighters jockey for position with their jabs and both are able to land one. Hard left hook lands for Benavidez! Now a right hand lead lands for Benavidez. Both fighters trade shots at center ring! Benavidez looking for a counter opportunity now, trying to make Crawford lead. Right uppercut lands to the body for Benavidez. Hard right hand lands to the body for Benavidez, who is landing his best shots of the fight. Benavidez 10-9, 37-39.
Round 5: Both fighters fight for position with their lead jab hands again. Benavidez lands a quick volley of punches on Crawford. Crawford firing a number of jabs but their aren’t landing. Now Crawford lands a hard left hand to the body. Crawford is outworking Benavidez in this round, even if he isn’t landing many clean shots. Right hand to the body comes from Benavidez. Left hand barely clips Benavidez upstairs. I just think Benavidez didn’t throw enough in this round. Crawford 10-9.
Round 6: Benavidez stalks forward and lands a grazing right hand lead. Crawford paws with the jab as he looks for an opening to get in on Benavidez. Now Crawford lands two body shots in the middle of the ring. Benavidez covers up as Crawford rips off a short combination. Hard right hand counter lands for Benavidez, Crawford shakes his head. Right hook to the body lands for Crawford. Another four punch combination from Crawford follows. Crawford goes back downstairs to the body with a straight left hand. Three more punches come from Crawford as Benavidez covers up. I still think Crawford is just outworking Benavidez. Crawford 10-9, 59-55.
Round 7: Crawford lands a jab over Benavidez’s lead hand. Right hook lands for Crawford as a counter. Left hand to the body lands for Crawford. Benavidez still standing in there but he’s just not letting his hands go much. Now Benavidez tries a big right hook that misses. Another left hand to the body lands for Crawford. Benavidez follows Crawford around the ring and walks into a jab. Three punch combination comes from Crawford as Benavidez walks right in with his guard up. Both fighters trade hooks at the bell. Benavidez is just tired or can’t pull the trigger. Crawford 10-9.
Round 8: Both fighters trade jabs to open the round. Crawford throws a flurry of punches as Benavidez can only cover up! Crawford is looking to pick up the pace as he thinks Benavidez is fading.Hard left hand to the body land for Crawford. Benavidez tries two punches but Crawford pulls away from the attack. Now Crawford lands a counter jab upstairs. Benavidez tries a combination but Crawford is able to smother him before he can land anything clean. Crawford tries another combination to end the round. Crawford 10-9, 69-64.
Round 9: Crawford comes out right away with two big punches that just miss the target. Crawford pumps a few jabs as Benavidez leads on his back foot and looks for a game-changing right hand. Crawford lands a left to the body followed by a right hook upstairs. Crawford tries two hooks to the head, partially lands one. Two more hard body shots land on Benavidez. Now Benavidez lands a right hand. Not nearly enough. Crawford 10-9.
Round 10: Benavidez leads with a jab that falls short. Jab lands for Crawford, though. Left hook lands clean for Crawford upstairs. Crawford starts unloading on Benavidez as he voluntarily puts himself in the corner. Benavidez is missing on some sloppy punches. Crawford rips off three more punches as Benavidez just covers up. Benavidez puts himself right back on the ropes and then tries to rush Crawford but Crawford returns fire with several punches. Right hook lands for Crawford. Crawford 10-9, 99-91.
Round 11: Benavidez misses on a big right hook to the body. Crawford lands three punches in succession, targeting both the body and the head. Right hand lead lands for Benavidez. Benavidez walks forward and throws two punches that don’t land clean. Benavidez puts himself back on the ropes again but Crawford won’t take the bait. Check hook lands for Crawford. Left hand to the body lands again for Crawford. Another check hook from Crawford knocks Benavidez off balance. Crawford 10-9.
Round 12: Crawford’s corner instruct him to play it safe and go home with the win. Benavidez stalks Crawford with several punches but can’t land on Crawford who is still pretty sharp defensively. Benavidez walks right into a Crawford left hand. Four punch combination comes from Crawford. Hard right land lands for Benavidez! Now Benavidez goes back on the ropes and Crawford is able to throw a flurry of punches. Now Crawford lands a monster right uppercut that puts Benavidez down! Benavidez makes it back to his feet and Crawford comes out with several more hard shots that badly rock Benavidez again. Benavidez might be out on his feet! The referee steps in! It’s over! Crawford TKO-12.
SHAKUR STEVENSON vs VIOREL SIMION
Round 1: Stevenson leads with a jab that doesn’t land clean. Stevenson paws with the jab again as he looks to fight Simion from a distance. Stevenson ducks a Simion hook along the ropes and pivots back to center ring. Simion jumps in with a right hook and the fighters get tangled up. Hard right hook lands for Stevenson and drops Simion! Simion beats the count and Stevenson jumps on him and drops him hard again with a combination! Simion gets up to his feet again and Stevenson jumps in with several more hard punches. Another right hook followed by a straight left hand lands for Stevenson! Now another monster right hook levels Simion, who is holding onto the ropes with his glove! He’s out of it! Referee waves the fight off. Stevenson TKO-1.