Terence Crawford has made easy work of his latest challenger en route to his first welterweight title defense.
In the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card from Omaha, Nebraska, Crawford stopped Jose Benavidez Jr. in the closing seconds of their fight to retain his WBO welterweight title. It was Crawford’s first defense since winning the title off of Jeff Horn earlier this year.
Crawford dominated the entire fight, landing multiple punches throughout the fight, not allowing Benavidez to get into any offensive rhythm. Benavidez managed to land clean shots throughout the fourth round, but nothing followed for the challenger.
The Omaha native would continue pressuring Benavidez and in the final round, it was a right uppercut that sent Benavidez to the canvas. Immediately afterwards, Crawford would keep unleashing big punches until the referee stopped the fight and award the victory to Crawford.
On the stats sheet, Crawford was much more efficient when it came to landing his punches. According to CompuBox, Crawford landed 186 of 579 total punches (32 percent) and 131 of 302 power punches (43 percent) while Benavidez landed 92 of 501 total punches (18 percent) and 64 of 211 power punches (30 percent).
The fight was built on a very personal feud between the two. It started with a confrontation back in February that saw Benavidez challenge Crawford. Benavidez would go on to win his next two fights since that confrontation while Crawford won the WBO title.
The rivalry reached a fever pitch the day before the fight as the two nearly brawled at the weigh-ins. Benavidez shoved Crawford during a staredown and Crawford would swing and miss at his opponent.
At the time of the stoppage, Crawford was comfortably ahead on all three scorecards with scores of 110-99, 108-101 and 107-102.