In the hours leading up the welterweight title clash between WBO champ Terence “Bud” Crawford and former IBF welterweight champ “The Special One” Kell Brook, late money started to pour in on on the former world champ to pull off the upset. For three rounds The Special One seemed to be cooperating and was outboxing the pound for pound elite Crawford. Brook was making the late money look like it was smart money. Then, in just a blink of an eye, Crawford flipped the switch, badly hurt, dropped, and then stopped Brook. To retain his WBO title, retail his pound for pound status, secure a likely mega-fight with one of the other world champions in the loaded 147-pound division and take home our Fighter of the Week award.
Both combatants came out strategically in the opening round, trading jabs at center ring It was Brook winning that long-range battle of the jabs. Timing the champ and scoring with the sharp jab. With just seconds remaining in the opening stanza, Brook scored with the first meaningful shot, a short left hook that rung the bell of Crawford. Throughout the second and third rounds, Brook was able to establish his preferred distance and maintain it with his jab. He also mixed in a perfectly timed right hand here and there. Through three The Special One was making the last minute betters very happy. Brook was fighting the exact fight he needed from the outside. Crawford knew he had to close the distance and get to the midrange and closer. To start the fourth Bud was motivated to do just that. Clearly looking to pick up the Pace Bud landed a short snapping right hand out of the southpaw stance that sent Brook reeling across the ring into the ropes and down. Brook got up but was on wobbly legs. Bud, a master closer, immediately got to work firing overhand lefts and right hooks at a defenseless Brook, bringing in referee Tony Weeks to stop the fight with 1:46 left in the fourth. Giving Bud the TKO victory and moving his record to a perfect 37-0 (28).
Crawford has now completed his multi-fight deal with Top Rank that he signed back in 2018. This leaves the three-division world champ in a great position to call out his next opponent. Boxing fans will certainly want Crawford to sign with Al Haymon’s PBC. That is where the bulk of 147-pound talent lies. Unified champ Errol Spence, former champs Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, and Shawn Porter are all represented by PBC as is Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao was previously promoted by Top Rank and the two were unable to secure a mega-fight when they were both signed under the same promotional banner for years. However, when asked what was next, Crawford names, the legendary Filipino and said they were close to working out a deal prior to the pandemic. Promoter Bob Arum who was by the side of Crawford during post-fight interviews said “an agreement was reached for Crawford and Pacquiao to fight around this time in a Middle Eastern country but the plans gave way. They said if Terence is successful, they want to resume talks,” Crawford lived up to his end of the bargain in scoring the fourth-round TKO over Brook. Now we will find out if those talks continue or if Crawford looks to fight a unification bout with Spence later in 2021.