Well that was weird.
From all angles, it certainly seemed like what everyone predicted would happen was, in fact, going to happen. Terence Crawford was dominating Amir Khan, sending him stumbling all over the ring round after round, and even scoring an unexpected first round knockdown. Then, Bud landed a low blow in the sixth – a low blow some are saying hit the thigh, but I thought was legitimately low. Khan went to his corner to recover and then… the fight stopped. Huh?
Turns out, during the recovery period Khan told his trainer Virgil Hunter he didn’t want to continue. Hunter told the ref, the ref waived it off, and based on that, Crawford got the TKO win. Via low blow.
Look, there was a lot of weirdness here, but what seems clear to me is that Khan and Hunter were hoping if Khan couldn’t continue, they would get the DQ win. That didn’t happen, and instead they lost, somewhat humiliatingly.
The end result is a Crawford stoppage win, which, holistically, is the right result given how the fight was going. But what a mess. Boxing. Why do you have to be so frustrating?
Thoughts on the rest of the card:
- Teofimo Lopez is a bad (young) man. He was given the spotlight again here, and again, he delivered with a violent KO, this time thanks to a straight right to the body that broke his opponent’s will to continue. Lopez is entertaining, he has power, he has skill, and he’s coming for the best in the world. You’ve got to be watching him. What next? Well, he’s been open about his desire to take on Vasyl Lomachenko. That seems it’s likely to be his Icarus moment, but I’d certainly be interested to see just how it would play out.
- Can we just quickly talk about Joe Tessitore? He was scheduled to be on play by play for this card, but when it started, he was nowhere to be found due to illness. An hour in, he showed up, told us he had been dealing with some sort of neurocardiogenic episode in the hospital (still sporting his hospital bracelet), and proceeded to call the rest of the show. Much respect to him. Wow.
- Shakur Stevenson turned pro in 2017, but you’d never know he only had two years experience from this fight. Facing a solid, experienced opponent who was supposed to be a difficult step-up, Stevenson turned up his game and completely dominated. His hand speed was great, his body work was great, and his combinations were exceptional. He also had to deal with some of the sneaky veteran moves that Orlando Salido used to topple Lomachenko in their fight (here, it was Diaz egregiously stepping on the foot) and he managed it with no issue. This was a terrific performance, and one where Stevenson justified the hype.
- Felix Verdejo badly needed a win here, and he got it. But it’s hard to look at this as a fully successful night for him, as he did not impress in his performance. On commentary, Timothy Bradley spent much of the fight questioning Verdejo’s heart and his strategy, which is never a good sign for a fighter. So yes, he won. But I doubt he’ll get a big shot like this again next time out.
- Bryan Vasquez gets huge points from me for sporting a giant Legend of Zelda tattoo on his chest. That’s not something you see in combat sports every day. I approve.
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