Terence Crawford definitely got his toughest test from Shawn Porter, but in the end, it was the same sort of result, with Crawford stopping Porter in the 10th round to retain his WBO welterweight title.
Crawford (38-0, 29 KO) definitely got his “big win” as a welterweight in this one, and put to bed any lingering doubt that he may not be a true top 147 lb fighter. Porter (31-4-1, 17 KO) gave it his usual excellent effort and was in the fight, but was dropped two times in the 10th round, leading his father Kenny Porter — also his trainer — to stop the bout.
Before that, it had been back-and-forth to a degree. Bad Left Hook’s unofficial cards had Crawford up 87-84 (my card) and 86-85 after nine rounds, and then he really stepped on the gas and put things away.
Porter did not seem to agree with the stoppage when his father made the call, but was very congratulatory toward Crawford and his team when all was said and done.
“He’s doing what he knows he needs to do. I didn’t expect that. We’ve never had a conversation about that, we just kind of always had a silent understanding, but I didn’t expect it,” Porter said. “He was catching me too clean and that’s what my dad saw. I saw it, I felt it. My timing was a little off. A great fighter over there wouldn’t allow me to catch my rhythm. That was my game plan, not to allow him to catch his. He’s a dynamite dude in and out of the ring. Congratulations.”
Asked if Crawford was the best fighter he’s faced to date, Porter didn’t quite say that, but gave Crawford his respect.
“There’s no doubt that man hit me more than anybody I’ve been in the ring with,” he told Bernardo Osuna. “He was on point, A through Z. The competitor in me won’t stop looking at him wanting to fight him again, and he’s that good that I want to do it again. He’s got it. I said that multiple times. He just has that.”
Kenny Porter was booed pretty hard for his explanation as to why he stopped the fight.
“He didn’t prepare like I wanted him to prepare, and that makes me say, ‘I don’t want him in that situation,’” Kenny said. “He fought a great fighter, the guy’s super sharp, and he’s at a deficit. It’s like fighting this guy blindfolded when you’re at a deficit like that. I wasn’t going to let that happen to him.”
Crawford shared the respect for Porter after the bout.
“Shawn Porter, like I said before, I can’t say nothing bad about him. He’s been in there with everybody, he did what I could, I was just the better man today,” he said. “I figured him out in round one. I had the reach, he had to take chances to get in. I was a little stronger than him. He was just trying to do what he normally does — maul, push me back, but I used my angles and pushed him back at times as well.
“Shawn Porter is a good fighter. He was doing some little slick things in there, making me think. I knew I caught him with a good uppercut, and then when I caught him with another left hook, I saw on his face he was real hurt. His dad did the right thing by stopping it, because I was coming with a vengeance.”
Told that Errol Spence Jr was at the fight — and left at the finish of the bout — Crawford laughed it off.
“He was at my fight? That boy said he wasn’t gonna never be at my fights, and now he’s at my fights. You see what I did compared to what he did,” he said. “Who’s number one in the welterweight division now? I’ve been calling him out all day. Maybe I’ll go up to 154. Maybe if Spence gets his tail out of his butt, he’ll fight me.”
Crawford did pull it back some and gave a sincere answer about the situation. “Look, styles make fights. We’re all great, we’re all talented. We’ve all got different styles. He won, I won. I just look at it like no matter how the end comes, as long as you get the victory, that’s all that matters.”