Written by Tré Berry III | 11/21/2021
Are you not entertained The Welterweight division blessed us with a gem that is worthy of replaying back, and will certainly be talked about for years to come. WBO World Welterweight Titlist 🇺🇸Terence “Bud” Crawford (38-0-0, 29KO) for years has been itching for that test to prove himself against an elite ranking Welterweight, and he finally got his wish tonight. The relentless 🇺🇸Showtime Shawn Porter (31-4-1, 17KO) in many instances gave Bud all that he could handle, as Shawn arguably had his best outing as a pro.
Fighting the Champion tooth and nail, on an evenish plane, it was Crawford who landed the boom in the 10th round, to force the fight to unravel at the seams, and he managed to put Porter down twice inside of the round, prompting the vexatious Kenny Porter to step to the ring apron and waive the towel, ending Shawn’s night, and Bud getting the signature victory to add to the growing HOF ledger. Shawn dropped a news bomb in the post-fight presser, announcing his retirement from the sport of boxing.
BEGINNING OF WHAT FELT LIKE AN OLD SCHOOL WELTERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
Immediately Shawn came out the gate and fired a combination, predictable given the lead up to the fight, coercing with his ambitions of taking the fight to the Champion and making him uncomfortable. The switch-hitting Bud Crawford came out right handed, and played his cards close to his vest. The second round was explosive, as they began to open up.
Crawford decided to switch to southpaw, giving Porter different looks. Porter was very controlled with his aggression, and managed to sneak in a solid right hand that got the Champions attention. Crawford returned the favor with a sneaky check-right hook. There was a noticeable cut over the right eye of Porters, but it played no factor.
The third round reached a feverish pitch in the physicality of the action. Porter landed an excellent 5 punch combination that got a smile from his friend, as Bud looked to retaliate, and capped off a rather strong round in his favor. Round 4, Crawford started to somewhat get the timing down, and began to counter Porter relentlessly with right hooks, uppercuts and left crosses.
Porter, while he was getting caught with the counters continued to hold his own in the skirmishes, even though it felt that the tides were beginning to turn in the fight, however by this point, every time that it seemed that it was turning, Porter found ways to adapt.
Round 5 is where Shawn’s motor began to take centerstage, as he worked feverishly once he got to the inside, ripping away with shots, looking to land anywhere (torso, temple, chin, forearms, elbows, shoulders), bottling Crawford up on defense successfully, and heavily tacking on the points for one of his best rounds of the contest.
Round 6 was by far Bud’s best round as he started to rip the left cross, and check right hook with merciless intent. Shawn absorbed the punishment given his granite chin, but the damage was being done, and slowly accumulated over time, with his left eye starting to show its first signs of swelling. An accidental headbutt caused blood to come down from the right eye of Bud, but very much like Shawn’s would, it was insignificant in the grand scheme.
Round 7, Porter did some very quality work, with his best punch being an overhand right that he landed on Bud while his back was by the turnbuckle. Round 8 was a beautiful back and forth see-saw affair, with Bud doing the bulk of the effective work early.
Towards the backend of the round, Porter landed a significant right hand that got Crawford’s attention. Bud soon after answered with a bevy of beautiful body shots in combination while Porter was coming in – it looked Crawford was beginning to spot something to exploit.
Round 9 was a more methodical approached round, which favored the Champion due to the lack of activity, and him being able to sit back. Crawford by this point apparently found something that worked with great effectiveness, and that was him shoveling the right hook to the liver on multiple occasions.
Round 10 is where Bud unleashed the depths of hell, and caught Porter with a massive uppercut to the chin he was charging him, and he dropped down to the canvas for the knockdown. Porter got up quickly, and looked determined to get back to action. As the action ensued, Porter tried to press the action, but Crawford took a half step back and unleashed a thunderous right hook, and a arc’d left hand to Shawn’s temple that send him spiraling back down to the canvas for a second, and final time.
Porter was dazed, but he got up after 7 seconds, and he showcased a fit of anger and rage. At first I thought it was because he was disappointed about what was happening in the moment of the action…but it appears that his Father & Head-Trainer Kenny Porter was already on the ring apron with the towel in his hand to signify the end of the fight, so it would make more sense for Shawn to be reacting to his fathers decision given the level of performance, effort he put forth, and with it simply being a fight that was razor close on cards, or at least the consensus thought of it being close by fight fans, pundits, and all onlookers, you’d be disappointed as well.
Now…speaking of the effort he put forth in this contest…I don’t mind Kenny Porter calling a stoppage to the fight AT ALL, after all…he knows his son through and through, and what can take…however, what he said about his son in front of the microphone pissed me off. Regardless of it you feel that your son didn’t stick to the game plan, you do not berate your fighter (damn it being his son) in the manner in which he did and it was done in a way where he was damn near undressing Shawn and acting like he was incoherent about the instructions being shared.
Even worse to bark at…..you do-not-question-Shawn-Porter’s effort. I repeat…you do NOT question Shawn Porter’s effort. He left everything in the ring in terms of his desire to win, the fervor in which he stuck it in there against truly one of the best fighters in the world, and finding ways to fight him on an evenish playing field before the Crawford destruction train came into the picture.
Kenny is one of the most likeable people in all of boxing, and including by me…but I can’t help but feel a certain type of way about how he was more than willing to have his son hung up and dried after putting him through the ringer, especially after a tough fight.
Now, as for Porter, you have to appreciate this guy. He is an old school fighter given the type of throwback mentality he has, and he has managed to continuously improve over the years, and had his greatest outing, despite what his Father wanted the world to hear from his mouth.
Porter’s idol 🇺🇸Marvelous Marvin Hagler would have smirked if he was still here to walk the earth, being proud of the efforts put forth by someone who idolized him since a youth. We just have received word that Shawn Porter in the Post-Fight Press Conference announced his retirement from boxing, a major revelation, and surprising in a sense.
With Porter’s improvement, I would love to have seen him in against anybody, because he always made for a difficult assignment against anybody, and can still perhaps hold true to his word in retirement that he was never dominated in a any contest as a professional fighter. If the retirement sticks true, we give a proper farewell to a modern warrior in EVERY sense of the word, as the curtain closes on his campaign.
TRUTH TO KILL THE OLD NARRATIVE, AND HOW HIS PERFORMANCE AGAINST PORTER TIES TO THE LINGERING TALKING POINT
This was the statement victory that Terence Crawford had been looking for ever since he met the form of some resistance from the Welterweight division in terms of finding suitable dance partners that rank in the elite contingent.
Despite what the eye test clearly showed you, there was always this narrative floating around some people stuck to…that they couldn’t rank or view him as high as his skills would indicate because they “quote, unquote”…believed that Bud hadn’t faced elite competition up to this point in his career, which is misleading to be frank, in a multitude of ways.
🇺🇦Viktor Postol (especially back in 2016) was an undefeated world titlist, with plenty subtleties behind his style, and despite not having aesthetic flare to his arsenal, he’s been one of the best fighters at 140 lbs., evidenced by his victory over Argentina’s 🇦🇷Lucas Matthysse, his highly arguable decision loss to 🇺🇸Jose Ramirez (a bout that some people felt he won), and with Postol giving 🏴Josh Taylor perhaps his second greatest challenge in his career after 🇺🇸Regis Prograis.
Lithuania’s 🇱🇹Egidijus Kavaliauskas may not have the major win on his record, but that is because he’s faced truly elite competition in his step up opportunities against a P4P threat like Terence Crawford, and rising 🇺🇸Vergil Ortiz Jr. (whose skill ranks with the best of of the best regarding all Welterweights)…..but each of those times, the Mean Machine certainly showed what he was capable of, hurting both, and if you pair him against other high ranking Welterweights of far lesser ability, he could surely pick up a couple of major wins.
There was a time where despite having some fundamental flaws that was masked by his athleticism and punching power, former unified titlist 🇨🇺Yuriorkis Gamboa commanded the respect of the boxing masses, and when he was on top of his game, he was a difficult force to handle.
Certainly he was lightyears away from the decrepit version of him that exists now, where over time he has been relegated to being a stepping stone…but in 2014 (the year in which Crawford stopped him in a title defense), we can’t ignore that he was a big threat that other fighters had difficulty in figuring out.
As for the rest…if you have difficulty getting more A-list talent in with you, then it is incumbent upon you to take on the next level B-listers, and dominating them in order to show what stratosphere you rank as a fighter. The rest of Bud’s resume reflects that concept perfectly, so he has been very responsible throughout his professional career of showing up, and showing out, against all competitors that had “made themselves available” for Crawford (🇬🇧Amir Khan, 🇬🇧Ricky Burns, 🇳🇦Julius Indongo, the current version of 🇬🇧Kell Brook to name a few…that fits into the “B” category that we speak of).
That is why the notion of Terence Crawford not thriving against stiff competition has been a flawed argument over the duration of him being a P4P claimant, and mainstay. Now…what Shawn Porter had is the name, and the huge resume to go with his major level of threat, and a recognized name for fans was needed for Terence to put on his record, and the Porter victory surely will close the book on that talking point for sure, especially with Crawford being the first to stop the former 2-time titlist in his pro career.
CRAWFORDS LOFTY AMBITIONS, AND HIS PROSPECTS IN GOING FORWARD
After being phased out of any legitimate discussion regarding the prospects of fighting other elite Welterweights, over time, Crawford developed the disposition that there was nothing that he could do, and seemingly gave up on fighting his biggest potential foe, of course that being against unbeaten Unified WBC/IBF Welterweight world titlist 🇺🇸Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr, his biggest foe in the division.
It has to be noted that for whatever reason, Errol Spence left the Mandalay Bay venue immediately the very second that Crawford was able to put Shawn down on the canvas. Why? I have no idea…but it is certainly not a good look on the optics.
Now that there is a slight crack in the doorway for Bud to peer in the room to see what his options are, he could open that door and press the status quo, towards opening the flood gates of opportunities, which may (or should) reroute Crawford’s stance that he adopted over time.
Crawford has recently stated that his ultimate goal in boxing at this current point, is to be a 3-division Ring-Magazine Lineal World Champion, and a 2-division Undisputed World Champion – lofty ambitions that only a short list of boxing legends had been able to accomplish in their careers – careers that have them all in the HOF.
For Bud to complete the cycle of the ambition laid out, he has to find a way to get 🇺🇸Errol Spence Jr. to sign on, so that boxing can finally get this generations most sought after fight, for some history to be made, and for WBA Welterweight world titlist 🇨🇺Yordenis Ugas to be willing to enter the party, given his newly found respect & status that he sits on.
Crawford is 34 years old…but he happens to be a young 34, with considerably less mileage than others his age given his ability to wipe out opponents with minimal resistance (outside of what he faced tonight), and him being able to steer clear of the injury bug that typically robs older fighters of their abilities. His bout with Porter seemed to energize him on an unquantifiable scale, and it showed in his preparation for the fight, coming in, in the greatest shape of his career.
With a greater sense of motivation considering that the tide may be turning on his ability to secure the big fights coveted, he may try to push the pedal to the medal, to truly make concrete his position of being the generations greatest fighter – that is certainly enough material needed to keep Crawford’s eyes on the prize, and that is to continue to make history.