Terence Crawford Defeats Egidijus Kavaliauskas Via 9th Round TKO

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 15, 2019

Terence Crawford has his hand raised in victory after defeating Lithuania's Egidijus Kavaliauskas by TKO in the ninth round of a WBO welterweight boxing match, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)
Michael Owens/Associated Press

Terence Crawford continues to reign over the welterweight division after defeating Egidijus Kavaliauskas at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Crawford (36-0-0) defended the WBO welterweight title via a ninth-round TKO victory over Kavaliauskas (21-1-1).

Kavaliauskas did a good job of pressuring the champion early, doing enough to potentially split the first four rounds. 

Crawford began to hit his stride in the seventh round when he scored a clean knockdown. The ninth saw Bud put things away when knocked the challenger on the ground twice. The first time came on a hard left hook right to the face and a right that hit the Lithuanian in the side of his head. 

Mean Machine was knocked down for the final time when Crawford's right hook caught him on the neck.

The 147-pound division doesn't seem to be providing much of a challenge for Crawford at this point. He entered this bout having won each of his past six fights by stoppage, including a TKO victory over Amir Khan in April.

That streak included three WBO welterweight title matches dating back to June 2018 when he won the crown from Jeff Horn.

Despite those impressive credentials, in the lead-up to this fight, Crawford addressed the media about his standing with ESPN and Top Rank and how it impacts his ability to fight Premier Boxing Champions stars like Errol Spence Jr., Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter:

"I would say all of you (media) that's feeding the people that 'wrong side of the street.' There's no such thing as wrong side of the street in the sport of boxing. When you look at it, Deontay Wilder is about to fight Tyson Fury and you never heard anything about 'wrong side of the street.' It's just something they say when Terence Crawford got something to do with it. You don't ever hear 'wrong side of the street' with any other fighter but Terence Crawford...

"If those fights can get made then they can get made. It's more so about money at the end of the day."

Per RingTV.com, Crawford is the only welterweight ranked in the top five under contract with Top Rank. Spence, Thurman and Porter are all signed with PBC.

That left Crawford in a situation where he has to take on Kavaliauskas, who is coming off an uninspired draw against Ray Robinson in March.

"Egidijus Kavaliauskas is a two-time Olympian and I can't take him lightly," Crawford said in a press release when the fight was announced. "He's got everything to gain and nothing to lose and that makes him dangerous. I never overlook any opponent, and this will be no exception."

Crawford lived up to his word, kept his perfect record intact and retained his championship. The next step on his journey is still to be determined, though the 32-year-old sounds like he's looking at Manny Pacquiao in 2020.

Nothing is standing in the way of Crawford getting what he wants now that he's taken care of business against Kavaliauskas. The ball is in Pacquiao's court if he wants to challenge himself against arguably the best pound-for-pound welterweight in the world.

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