Craw­ford cruises to win over Molina in eighth

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

OMAHA: Cham­pion Ter­ence Craw­ford eas­ily de­fended his WBO and WBC belts by stop­ping brawler John Molina in the eighth round of their ju­nior wel­ter­weight ti­tle fight on Saturday.

Craw­ford dom­i­nated the fight from the open­ing bell land­ing pre­ci­sion head shots and bruis­ing body blows through the first seven rounds then tak­ing out the chal­lenger with a se­ries of rights late in the eighth round.

“I showed ev­ery­thing in this fight,” said Craw­ford, who im­proved to 30-0.

“Give credit to John Molina be­cause he came to fight.”

The 29-year-old Craw­ford was rarely tested in his third fight of 2016 in front of his home­town fans as he landed 109 punches through eight rounds com­pared to just 22 for Molina. The 2014 fighter of the year said he wants his next fight to be against Filipino cham­pion Manny Pac­quiao.

“I would love to fight Pac­quiao, but it is a busi­ness. Right now I want to fight any­one with a ti­tle. I want them belts. “If I can’t get Pac­quiao, I want the belts.” Molina showed de­ter­mi­na­tion and big heart but he was no match for the quick hands and smooth foot­work of Craw­ford who was the heavy favourite com­ing into the fight at Cen­tu­ryLink Cen­ter arena. Craw­ford pinned a de­fence­less Molina in the cor­ner, then landed three straight right hands be­fore the ref­eree stepped in and stopped the slaugh­ter as the chal­lenger slumped to the can­vas.

Craw­ford started 2016 with an im­pres­sive fifth-round knock­out of Henry Lundy in Fe­bru­ary and fol­lowed it up five months later with two knock­downs while cruis­ing to a one-sided de­ci­sion over Vik­tor Pos­tol to unify the ti­tles in Las Ve­gas.

The 33-year-old Molina dropped to 297. He earned a shot at the ti­tles by up­set­ting for­mer cham­pion Rus­lan Provod­nikov in June. But Molina did not come close to mak­ing the 140-pound weight for his ti­tle shot so he would have been de­nied the belts if he had done the im­pos­si­ble and won.

AP

OMAHA: Ter­ence ‘Bud’ Craw­ford is de­clared winner over John Molina Jr. af­ter a WBO ju­nior wel­ter­weight box­ing bout at the Cen­tu­ryLink Cen­ter in Omaha, Neb., Saturday. Craw­ford won by TKO in the eighth round. —

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