Terence Crawford (39-0-0, 30 KOs) has unified a division before, when he grabbed all the belts at 140lbs. He’s only got the one at welterweight though. Errol Spence (28-0-0, 22 KOs) holds the other three. More than that, though, these have been the two top fighters in the division for half a decade or more, and two of the kings of the sport. Whoever wins this rivalry puts a real crown on their legacy. It’s the big, big one for boxing this year, and it’s finally here.
Look out also for the title fight between the Filipino legend Nonito Donaire, looking to win yet another world title at age 40 as he takes on Alexandro Santiago. We’ll have a separate play-by-play of that fight.
The card can be viewed on Showtime in the US, on a $84.99 pay-per-view. It’ll air on TNT in the UK, and on Fite.TV in many other territories. The card will start at 8PM ET, with the main event expected around 11PM ET; but, as usual, stay tuned here for any updates to that main event time. Find all the details of how to watch the fight in our guide here.
Update: Okay, the card is live. Scroll down for live results and some thoughts or join me in the comments.
A note: it was completely unscheduled to the point of not even being on Boxrec, but there was an prelim after all. We’ve got results and highlights for you on that at the bottom of the page.
For the Donaire-Santiago title fight, find our separate play-by-play here.
UPDATE: Main event up next. Ringwalks imminent.
Errol Spence vs Terence Crawford: Live play-by-play
Round 1: The pageantry is over and we’re in the ring. Crawford opens southpaw, so both men that way to start. Both men trying to claim center ring, but Crawford as expected more willing to circle on the outside. Feeling out process early. Spence made the first real forway about halfway through the round, nothing significant but in a close round a couple of raids probably lands him the round. Crawford counters one of those raids with a left upstairs that backs Spence off, but still, 10-9 Errol Spence
Round 2: Spence presses more immediately in the second. Leans in and Bud holds. Then Spence overcommits a bit coming in and Crawford lands a counter combination. Spence responds by upping the volume more. Crawford, as usual, taking some time to see what Spence has. Crawford shoves Spence back, which could be noteworthy, Spence is supposed to be the bigger stronger guy. And Crawford drops Spence with a lead left! Spence tried to disengage and got caught off balance. Hunting him in the corner and the bell saves Spence! He looks recovered, but that’s a bad start. 10-8 Terence Crawford, 19-18
Round 3: Spence doesn’t look hurt, it was a flash knockdown, but Spence has to watch his balance. Now Spence tries to get it back, really bullying into the corner. Crawford shoves him off and backs him up again with a jab. It really could be significant that Spence does not appear to have the strength advantage. He’s pushing hard but he’s getting backed up and he isn’t finding safe routes to disengage. Caught again as he steps back. And a right hook wobbles Spence a bit with thirty seconds to go. Spence probably too eager to get the knockdown back, giving Crawford too many openings. 10-9 Terence Crawford, 29-27
Round 4: Once again Spence gets caught coming in too hard. Crawford starting to work the body now, and Spence’s nose is all bloodied up. He’s doing work himself, don’t mistake me., but all the sharpness is with Crawford. And a big left backs up Spence! Spence is not in a good way, Crawford is beating him up now. A minute and a half to go and Crawford is on fire. He’s making Spence look average. Spence is now in a bind- he knows he has to push but every time he does he’s geeting smashed up. Crawford works the body again.
The round ends with Spence on the backfoot, and this is becoming very one-sided. Spence has to find something. It’s not clear what that might be. Sounds like the referee called for the doctor to look at Spence in the break. 10-9 Terence Crawford, 39-36
Round 5: Yep, the doctor in the ring for Spence. He’ll let it continue though. Possibly an overabundance of caution by Harvey Doc, but better that than the opposite. Crawford lighting Spence up again when they do restart. Spence coming in with his jab, working the body, pulled up for low blows. Double jab and clubbing left by crawford. Then Spence comes in and eats a right hook. Quite frankly he’s panicking here.
Right hook to the body, right upstairs, and an uppercut, all by Crawford. Spence lands a big left and Crawford felt that for the first time. Crawford responds by pushing him back with a jab. Better by Spence in this round but still a clear 10-9 Terence Crawford, 49-45
Round 6: Crawford is willing to push forward consistently now. Spence responds by trying to work downstairs and back him up that way. The left over the top is a good punch for him, but Crawford landing almost at will. And a big right followed by a left buckles Spence briefly! The referee pauses it again to warn Spence for low blows again. Seems harsh. Probably helped him though, since Bud had him hurt. Crawford trying to up the tempo, and he is, but Crawford finding space for unorthodox punches that still carry power in close. Uppercuts are a money punch for him too. 10-9 Terence Crawford, 59-54
Round 7: Spence pushes again, needing to take over, but Crawford catches him and pushes him back very quickly. Spence becomes hesitant. Pushes forward again and gets dropped again! He has no answers for what’s coming at him. Huge lefts over the top, then a right. Harvey Doc watching carefully. Crawford backs off a bit now, letting Spence work and looking for counters. And a big right drops Spence again at the end of the round! 10-7 Terence Crawford, 69-62. This is an absolute beating so far.
Round 8: Crawford comes out walking Spence down, and wobbles him with a left over Spence’s jab. It’s hard to see a way back into this for the Texan. Now he backs off a bit and tells Spence ‘come at me’. Soence is in recovery mode, though. Or survival mode. Either way, he’s not willing to step in because he doens’t know how to stay safe when he does at this point. Crawford stabbing with body jabs and then wobbles Spence with a combination. Spence tries to respond, but he’s being wobbled by jabs. 10-9 Errol Spence, 79-71
Round 9: Terence Crawford looking relaxed. Spence… not so much. And a jab snaps his head back again. Everything Crawford lands is having an effect. Body jabs working him and now he picks up the pace and starts landing combinations. The referee and corner have to think about this. Spence runs in with a combination, misses and is clubbed with a left hook. And Now Crawford wobbles Spence, Harvey Doc stops it! Absolute domination!
Some aggro betweent he corners after the fight, sounded like they were disagreeing about the rematch. The boxers themselves were respectful though. But let’s not let that obscure just how good Terence Crawford was.
Live results and highlights
WBA, WBC, WBO and IBF welterweight title fight: Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford
Lightweight: Isaac Cruz SD Giovanni Cabrera 114-113 113-114 115-112
- Cruz (24-2-1, 17 KOs) is the more experienced of the two and wants to get the job done and get back to chasing a rematch with Gervonta Davis. Cabrera (21-0-0, 7KOs) is less experienced and less explosive but has a huge size advantage. This is a big chance for him, but also a big step up.
- Cabrera not interested in engaging in close at all. Cruz, on the other hand, is all about that. The early pattern is set. One man chasing, one man jabbing and moving.
- This is weird and janky and neither man fighting particularly well. Cabrera’s stance is all over the place but he’s keeping range effectively and cuffing Cruz over his stance a lot. But whenever Cruz does get inside he has the clear advantage.
- Cabrera starting to take over in the middle rounds, and Garcia showing his chin as he eats a number of big shots.
- Cruz deducted a point for a headbutt in the eighth. Ends the round hurting Garcia though.
- Split decision, which is a bit controversial. Cruz had that pretty comfortably. A lot closer than I expected, not great cards. Actually 114-113 to Cabrera is insane.
WBC bantamweight title fight: Alexandro Santiago vs. Nonito Donaire 115-113, 116-112, 116-112
- Nonito Donaire (42-7-0, 28 KOs) is a legend, he’s done it all. At aged 40, he’s looking for yet another world title. Alexandro Santiago (27-3-5, 14KOs) stands in his way.
- Our separate live thread for this fight can be found here.
- Donaire far more economical in the early rounds, Santiago having to work far harder, but the first two rounds were quite close
- In the third, Santiago decided to try to push Donaire back, and got clipped and hurt by Donaire’s signature left hook.
- Through five, it’s still pretty even- Donaire more efficient, Santiago working much more, landing fairly similarly. Every so often Donaire does land a shot that gets Santiago’s attention, though.
- Santiago probably winning most of the rounds, but not dominating them or anything. Through seven, still a battle of Santiago’s volume v Donaire’s power.
- Time told as the fight went on, though, and Santiago mostly took over in the back half of the fight as the older man’s reaction time visibly slowed by the round.
- In the end, Santiago did what he needed to, keeping the volume up and keeping himself safe enough as he did so. Good performance by him and he takes the belt home with him.
Light middleweight: Yoennis Tellez TKO-3 Sergio Garcia
- First up: Garcia- 34-2-0 is a Spanish veteran of the European scene. He was meant to be providing a stiff test to the highly-rated Alejandro Ramos, but with Ramos out, the bout was saved by Cuban prospect Tellez. At 5-0-0, this is a huge step up, especially since none of his pro opponents have a winning record.
- The first round set a pattern of Garcia pressing behind his jab with Tellez circling, but both men fairly cautious despite throwing a fair bit.
- A shock in the third, as Tellez caught Garcia as he dropped his hands, and dropped him! Garcia protests but he’s not recovered and Tellez tees off until the ref stops it! What a statement!
Super-middleweight: Steven Nelson UD Rowdy Legend Montgomery 99-91, 99-91, 100-90
super-bantamweight: Jose Salas Reyes TKO-4 Aston Palicte
Lightweight: Demier Zamora UD-8 Nikolai Buzolin- 80-72, 80-72, 80-72
Super-featherweight: Justin Viloria TKO-4 Pedro Penunuri Bogaro
Welterweight: Deshaw Prather UD Kevin Ceja Ventura: 57-56, 57-56, 57-56
Lightweight: Jabin Cholet TKO-2 Michael Portales
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