WBO Welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) had to rise from the canvas in the third although it was ruled a slip to knockout Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) in the eighth round on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Kavaliauskas came with intentions on causing the upset, started well landed hard shots on Crawford in the third before a few more right hands hammered home in the third which made Crawford take a knee but as mentioned earlier it was ruled a slip by the referee. The act only served to awakened the beast within, Crawford now switching gears, upped his level of pressure steadily before the inevitable came to fruition in the seventh, a combination dropping the Lithuanian with a sense that the end was near. Crawford now looked to finish with aplomb, finding a perfectly placed right hook in the ninth to do so Time was :44.
“I thought I had to entertain ya’ll for a little bit. He’s a strong fighter, durable, and I thought I’d give the crowd something to cheer for,” said Crawford afterward. “I wasn’t hurt at all. I got up and went straight to him. I wasn’t hurt by no means, I walked through everything he threw all night.”
“The round before that, my coaches kept telling me stop loading up. I was loading up a lot because the first couple clean shots I landed, I knew I hurt him. I wanted to give the crowd a knockout. When I started letting my hands go, I started landing more fatal shots.”
On the subject of who was next for the Pound 4 Pound star, Crawford simply said, “I’ll fight anybody. I’ve been saying that for I don’t know how long. I’m not ducking anyone on the PBC side or Top Rank platform. I want to fight all the top guys.”