Updated: Dec 2, 2021
On Saturday, Terence Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) jumped up in jubilation after securing the biggest win of his career at Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay, scoring a 10th-round TKO victory over Shawn Porter to defend his WBO welterweight title. But it didn’t come easy for Crawford, as Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs) applied relentless pressure in a rugged, tit-for-tat battle before Crawford scored two knockdowns in Round 10, leading his father and trainer, Kenny Porter, to throw in the towel.
The stoppage of the match came at 1 minute and 21 seconds, marking the first time in Porter's career that he was stopped. The first knockdown came from a counter left cross to the face as Porter swung wildly. Moments later, an array of punches finished by a right hook sent the two-time champion to the canvas before Porter's father, Kenny Porter, jumped up in the corner to grab the ref's attention.
Crawford stated how his dad saved him, stating, "He did the right thing by stopping it because I was coming with a vengeance.” Crawford was ahead on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage: 86-85, 87-84 and 86-85. Porter, who was fighting for just the second time since a September 2019 loss to Errol Spence Jr, announced his retirement after the loss to Crawford.
Crawford has now knocked out nine consecutive opponents, with the previous eight not being near Porter's level. The last opponent to take him to 12 rounds was Viktor Postol, when Crawford weighed just 140 pounds. Now at 147 pounds and ranked No.2 by ESPN behind Spence, Crawford’s resume of legitimate wins was severely lacking until this win over Porter, who was defeated by prime versions of Kell Brook and Keith Thurman by narrow decisions.
But, outside of the final round, it appeared this fight was headed for a similar fate. Porter used foot feints and upper-body movement in an attempt to confuse Crawford and set up his attack. Porter would later unleash punches like rapid gunfire, followed by a few forearms as he pushed Crawford to the ropes. Crawford would backpedal, looking to create separation on his counter shots, and as the rounds wore on, he started to find his rhythm more and more.
Porter would continue to loop right shots repeatedly until he was blasted by Crawford. Porter even had praise for Crawford, stating, "He's the best out of everybody I have been in the ring with, he was on point, A-Z, and he was that good.”
Porter’s father added: "He didn't prepare like I wanted him to prepare. He fought a great fighter, [but] it was like fighting him blindfolded. When guys get to certain levels, they believe they know what they are doing. Shawn was hurt. [Crawford's] a sharp fighter, and my kid was at a deficit and I couldn't let it go on."
Crawford's greatest payday came Saturday, securing a guaranteed $6 million dollars as his long-term contract with Top Rank expired. Will Crawford get to fight Spence, who is now cleared to train following surgery on a detached retina? We don’t know, but what we do know is that Crawford can soak up all the adulation of his greatest victory yet, and has cemented himself as boxing’s best finisher.