Craw­ford wins WBO ju­nior wel­ter­weight ti­tle

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY STEPHEN HAWKINS

Terence Craw­ford landed a stunning right that Thomas Du­lorme never re­ally saw.

Soon af­ter that, Craw­ford was a two-time WBO cham­pion, win­ning the lat­est ti­tle in his first fight since mov­ing up in class.

Craw­ford won the va­cant WBO ju­nior wel­ter­weight ti­tle with a sixth- round tech­ni­cal knock­out Satur­day night, knock­ing down Du­lorme three times in quick fash­ion af­ter that big blow.

With Du­lorme stunned, Craw­ford hit him again and knocked him down for the first time. Then Craw­ford de­liv­ered a flurry of punches, lead­ing to an­other knock- down. When Du­lorme got back up, Craw­ford un­loaded again — and the fight was stopped as Du­lorme stag­gered against the ropes near his cor­ner.

Craw­ford re­mained un­de­feated, win­ning as a heavy fa­vorite in his first fight mov­ing in the 140-pound class. He won the WBO light­weight ti­tle 13 months ago and de­fended in the 135-pound di­vi­sion twice in his home­town of Omaha, Ne­braska.

The sched­uled 12-round fight in North Texas came a week be­fore Craw­ford, now 26-0 with 18 knock­outs, is sched­uled to be in New York to ac­cept his 2014 fighter of the year award from the Boxing Writ­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica.

Af­ter the fight ended, pro­moter Bob Arum shouted “That’s why he’s the fighter of the year!”

Du­lorme, the 27-year-old Puerto Ri­can, is 22-2. He had won his last six bouts since mov­ing down in class af­ter be­ing knocked out by Luis Car­los Abregu at 147 pounds in a wel­ter­weight fight in Oc­to­ber 2012.

Craw­ford seemed mea­sured in his ap­proach the first two rounds against the quick-start­ing Du­lorme, who en­tered the ring wear­ing a glad­i­a­tor hel­met and breast­plate. Du­lorme was clearly the ag­gres­sor early against Craw­ford, who went with a red Ne­braska Corn­huskers cap for his en­try.

But in round 3, there was a quick ex­change of punches, and later a hard body blow by Craw­ford.

There were times in the fourth and fifth rounds when Craw­ford ei­ther smiled or shook his head af­ter tak­ing blows from Du­lorme. Craw­ford taunted him, and at the end of the fourth had him back into a cor­ner and de­liv­ered two big rights.

Craw­ford was also smil­ing at the end of the fifth round, then came out in the sixth and ended the fight.

Craw­ford’s trainer, Brian McIn­tyre, said the first cou­ple of rounds were just a mat­ter of Craw­ford get­ting his tim­ing down. McIn­tyre said they knew the punch­ing Du­lorme would wear out, though he lasted longer than they ex­pected.

Arum this week called Craw­ford a new su­per­star on the hori­zon, and said this fight a “very, very cru­cial first step” for Craw­ford to join the truly elite group of fighters.

Arum was at the bout half­way be­tween Dal­las and Fort Worth that came only two weeks be­fore the long-awaited fight in Las Ve­gas be­tween an­other of his box­ers, Manny Pac­quiao, and Floyd May­weather Jr.

AP

Terence Craw­ford throws a punch against Thomas Du­lorme dur­ing their boxing match for the va­cant WBO world ju­nior wel­ter­weight ti­tle on Satur­day, April 18.

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