Headlining an HBO-televised card at Madison Square Garden, unified light welterweight champion Terence Crawford made a case that he’s still one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
Crawford defeated Felix Diaz by TKO after Diaz’s corner threw in the towel at the end of the 10th round. It was Crawford’s fifth consecutive successful title defense.
The Omaha, Nebraska native had been rumored to be a potential opponent for Manny Pacquiao since Pacquiao returned from his short retirement. In the post-fight interview. Crawford did state he was willing to fight anybody in the world.
"I've been saying that for years now," Crawford said. "It's not up to me. But everybody wants to know who's the next guy that Terence Crawford wants to fight. I'll fight anybody. It doesn't matter who it is."
Crawford, who is undefeated in his career, has held the WBO title since beating Thomas Dulorme back in 2015 and won the WBC title, as well as The Ring and lineal light welterweight titles, when he defeated Viktor Postol last July.
The only other remaining champion at 140 pounds is Julius Indongo, who is also a unified champion, holding both the IBF and WBA titles. When Crawford was asked by HBO’s Max Kellerman after the fight who would be a good opponent for him, Crawford said he would love to fight Pacquiao.
“That’s the only fight out there that we’re really looking for,” Crawford said. “If not, Indongo’s here. He came to my fight. Let’s get it on, Indongo. Who knows [if Pacquiao will fight me?] That’s not up to me. I’m a fighter. That’s up to my promoter, Bob Arum. He’s got a fight he’s preparing for now, and he’s more focused on that fight than anything else.”
On the undercard of the Crawford vs. Diaz fight, Raymundo Beltran delivered a quick knockout to Jonathan Maicelo about halfway through the second round, potentially setting Beltran up for another title shot in the future. Beltran last challenged for the WBO lightweight title twice in 2014 and 2015. He lost his title challenge against Terence Crawford and once Crawford moved up to light welterweight, Beltran fought Takahiro Ao to a no contest in 2015 for the vacant WBO lightweight belt.