By David Martinez / dmboxing.com
Saturday night on ESPN, fight fans were treated to an entertaining three bout boxing show, televised live from New York’s Madison Square Garden.
First up was undefeated featherweight Michael Conlan (13-0 / 7 by KO) who remained undefeated, winning a unanimous 10-round decision over Vladimir Nikitin (3-1 / 0 by KO). The official scorecards were 98-92, 99-91, 100-90 … my scoring was 98-92, eight rounds to two for the winner Conlan.
In the co-feature main event unbeaten Teofimo Lopez (15-0 / 12 by KO) scored a second round knockout over IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey (29-3 / 26 by KO).
After a slow start in the first round, Lopez dropped Commey with a spectacularly executed straight right hand. To my amazement Commey beat the count, but Lopez was on him and landed countless barrage of punches as referee David Fields stopped it at 1:13 time of round two. With the win Lopez captures a part of the 135 lb. title, and is in line for a mega unification fight with WBA/WBC/ WBO champion Vasility Lomachenko, projected for April 2020.
The main event of the night was WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (36-0 / 27 by KO) successfully retaining his 147 lb. title by scoring a ninth round knockout over top rated and mandatory challenger Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-1-1 / 17 by KO).
After a feeling out first round, in which Crawford had the edge, Kavaliauskas kept up a steady and determined pressure. In round two he landed a series of punches including a right hand, which “surprisingly” dropped the southpaw champion. The referee ruled it a slip, but after watching the replay it clearly was a knockdown – the first in Crawford’s career.
Kavaliauskas won both rounds two and three before Crawford stepped up his aggression. He would not lose another round in the fight.
Crawford dropped Kavaliauskas in round seven with an array of solid punches, which proved to be the beginning of the end.
In round eight, Crawford was like a hungry lion, stalking its prey.
In round nine, the end came when Crawford again dropped Kavaliauskas with a barrage of punches and ended the fight with a huge right hook. The time was 0.44 of the round. At the time of the knockout, I had Crawford ahead 78-73, six rounds to two.
What’s next for Crawford, is what I want and every boxing fan on the planet wants in 2020 – Errol Spence Jr.! We all hope to see these two undefeated champions in a mega welterweight unification fight!