Porter landed a nice jab and Crawford closed the round with a body shot. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Crawford (86-85 Porter)
Terence Crawford waited years to finally get the level of fight he deserved as a welterweight world champion and one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. On Saturday night, Crawford made good on his opportunity, surviving a ferocious effort from former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter to retain his WBO welterweight title after scoring a TKO in the 10th round.
In the early rounds, Porter was effective in his aggressive attack, taking advantage of Crawford's typically slow start as the champion gathers information to set up his withering attack as the fight moves forward. As Crawford started to dial in his offense, Porter rose to the task and met the champion punch for punch.
Crawford's adjustments continued as the rounds wore on, even as Porter fought his typically rough and tumble style of inside punching and lunging power shots. Both men suffered cuts over their eyes from clashes of heads, a product of Crawford's southpaw stance clashing with Porter's orthodox style.
The biggest adjustment for Crawford was dialing in a vicious body attack. Crawford's elite skills kicked into another level as Porter slowed just a step and he began to take over the fight in the final third.
In the 10th round, Crawford's power finally changed the fight. First, a left uppercut dropped Porter to the canvas. Moments later, Crawford unloaded with a combination to score a second knockdown.
While Porter rose to his feet after pounding the canvas in frustration, his father and trainer, Kenny Porter, jumped on the ring apron to call a halt to the fight at the 1:21 mark of Round 10.
Porter objected to his father's decision to stop the fight in the moment but was understanding when asked about the situation after the fight.
"He's doing what he knows he needs to do," Porter said. "I didn't expect that. We've never had a conversation about that. We've always had an unspoken understanding that if he sees what he needs to see, he'll do what he has to do. ... The punches were catching me too clean and my dad saw that."
Porter's father would claim that the result was a product of his son's failure to train the way he thought he should, somewhat undermining an impressive performance by Porter against one of the sport's absolute best fighters.
For Crawford's part, he claimed that the decision was the correct one and that he'd figured Porter out "in Round 1" and was simply breaking him down to the point where there was no doubt what was coming.
"I know I caught him with a good uppercut," Crawford said. "When I caught him with another left hook, I saw it in his face that he was real hurt. His dad did the right thing by stopping it. I was coming with a vengeance."
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Attention now turns to Crawford's next bout. He was long locked out of the best available fights at welterweight by his association with Top Rank while the other top 147-pound fighters -- including Porter -- fought under the Premier Boxing Champions banner. The man who holds two of the other three world titles at welterweight, Errol Spence, was in attendance and the boxing world continues to hope a mega-fight can be made between the two. If not, Crawford said, it may be time to move up in weight.
"That boy said he would never be at my fights and now he's at my fights," Crawford said. "You already know who I want. I've been calling him out all day. Maybe I'll go up to 154. Maybe if Spence gets his tail out of his butt, he'll fight me."
Elsewhere on the card, Esquiva Falcao scored a technical decision win over Patrice Volny in the sixth round after an accidental headbutt left Volny unable to continue. Falcao moves to 29-0 with 20 knockouts in his career. Plus, Janibek Alimkhanuly scored a TKO over former middleweight titleholder Hassan N'Dam. The Kazakhstan native put a beating on the 37-year-old before the referee stepped in and put a stop to the fight. Alimukhanuly moves to 11-0 in his young career.
CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below.
Crawford vs. Porter fight card, results
- Terence Crawford (c) def. Shawn Porter via 10th-round TKO (corner stoppage)
- Esquiva Falcao def. Patrice Volny via technical split decision (58-57, 56-58, 58-56)
- Janibek Alimkhanuly def. Hassan N'Dam via eighth-round TKO
- Raymond Muratalla def. Elias Damian Araujo via fifth-round TKO
Crawford vs. Porter scorecard, live coverage
|Crawford (c)||9||9||9||10||9||10||9||10||10||TKO|| || ||85|
|Porter||10||10||10||9||10||9||10||9||9|| || || ||86|