Terence Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) became boxing’s only undisputed world champion with a performance which was assured as his standing in the 140-Pound division, knocking out Julius Indongo (22-1, 11 KOs) in the third round to the roar of his hometown support at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The contest was the first four belt unification contest since 2004 which witnessed Bernard Hopkins stop Oscar De La Hoya.
Indongo entered as the WBA/IBF champion with a height and reach advantage which Crawford’s camp had worked tirelessly to neutralise.
The trick was to work the body which paid dividends in the second, Crawford landed to the body with a right hand that sent Indongo to the canvas in the last minute of the round without the time needed to create the finish.
It was a stay of execution that would last just a round longer as another body shot found its way to Indongo’s midriff, leaving the Namibian on the canvas, grimacing in pain.
“It feels great, like a dream come true,” the 29-year-old Crawford said of being the undisputed champion. “I want to thank everyone who came out. I want to thank Nebraska (and) America. I did this for all of us.”
Crawford can assert himself as one of the sports best, entered firmly into discussion of the sport number one pound 4 pound
“Belts matter,” Crawford said. “I’m the only one who can be labeled as champion at 140 (pounds) and that’s a big deal to me.”
“Andre Ward is one of my favorite fighters, but I think I have to top him with this one,” Crawford said.