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Crawford outclasses Diaz to retain title

Terence Crawford epitomized perfection in the craft of the Sweet Science on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden as he retained his WBC and WBO super lightweight titles with a 10th-round stoppage victory of 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz.

Crawford improved to 31-0 with 22 knockouts as he outclassed a much bigger opponent.

Diaz walked into the ring as a Super Middleweight, weighing 161 pounds when the fight started, but the former lightweight and now light welterweight Crawford made him feel every punch that he landed. After the 10th round, Diaz’ corner threw in the towel. Crawford had shut him out on the scorecard up until that point.

For 10 rounds, Crawford displayed his elite level of defense and counter punching, but also some serious power that left Diaz in a daze by the end of the fight. Every time Diaz tried to go inside, where he could try to his use size and power to his advantage, Crawford would land a couple shots to fend him off. It got to a point where Crawford was teasing Diaz with opportunities to move inside. Frustrated by the embarrassment, Diaz would rush in, but was immediately nailed with a hard hook and forced back outside.

As great as his technical ability is, Crawford has also mastered in-ring psychology and knows how to get his opponent to make those types of mistakes and he knows how to make them pay. That is where his speed and footwork and head movement come into play. He made dodging and Olympian’s punches look easy.

Crawford first won a world championship in 2014 when he beat Ricky Burns for the WBO lightweight title. After two defenses he moved up to light welterweight and immediately TKO’d Thomas Dulorne for the belt. He’s had three TKO’s and one retirement in his five title defenses since.

It is rare to see a fighter improve as a puncher when they move up in weight like Crawford did, but he certainly has. He has not lost his speed either. At this point, with victories over Dierry Jean, Hank Lundy, Viktor Postol, John Molina Jr, and Diaz the light welterweight class just does not have anything left to really offer the Omaha native.

Moving up to welterweight may be his next step, where he can fight world-class opponents like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence, Jr, Kell Brook and Danny Garcia. Or, the legend Manny Pacquiao.

Crawford called out Pacquaio after his victory and would give him a chance to win a title in a third weight class while proving himself against a proven champion.

The other option would be to fight IBF and WBA light welterweight champion Julius Indongo in a unification bout. Indongo was sitting ringside for Crawford’s fight, but Crawford also mentioned that his promoter Bob Arum, who is also the promoter for Pacquiao, has made the Crawford-Pacquaio fight a top priority. So it is very likely that those two would clash next.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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