Crawford unifies titles with third-round KO

1:39 AM ET

LINCOLN, Neb. — Terence Crawford, with one crushing left hand to the body, became the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world on Saturday night.

Crawford, fighting just outside of his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, knocked out Julius Indongo in the third round in a history-making victory at the Pinnacle Bank Arena, electrifying the crowd of 12,121.

Crawford also knocked Indongo down in the second round.

With the resounding victory, Crawford made his case for pound-for-pound No. 1 status and became only the second male boxer of the four-belt era to unify the four major sanctioning organization titles.

The only other time came in 2004, when then-middleweight world champion Bernard Hopkins put his three belts up against Oscar De La Hoya’s one and knocked him out in the ninth round to unify the 160-pound division. Hopkins went on to defend all four belts in 2005, retaining them by outpointing Howard Eastman, and then lost them later in the year by decision in his first fight with Jermain Taylor. By the time Hopkins and Taylor met in an immediate rematch, politics intervened, and Taylor had been stripped of a belt.

So four-belt fights are very rare, but Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) came into the fight as the owner of two of the 140-pound titles, as did Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs). But it was Crawford who left the ring with all the hardware and a big smile.

“I’m just blessed to be in this position,” said Crawford, a former lightweight world champion. “I have to thank [promoter] Bob Arum and Top Rank. I’m blessed and humbled to be the undisputed champion of the world. It means everything.

“I’m the only one who can say I am the undisputed champion of the world, and that’s big. There’s nobody else who can say that they are undisputed in their weight division.”

comments powered by Disqus