One dynamic combination showed that Terrence “Bud” Crawford is still one of the best lbs in boxing.
In front of a rowdy hometown crowd, Crawford knocked out David Avanesian with a sixth-round TKO floor on Saturday at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. A left uppercut followed by a textbook right laid Avanesian on his back, quickly bringing an end to a tough fight with Crawford.
With the win, Crawford retained his WBO welterweight title.
“I started picking up pace, planted my foot and caught him with a hook,” Crawford said in the post-fight interview on BLK Prime.
Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs) started slowly against Avanesian (29-4-1, 17 KOs). In the first round, the Russian challenger landed a right hand which was the most important punch in the fight. Known for switching positions, Crawford started in a traditional position before switching to the southpaw position after Avanesian’s early success with a similar tactic.
Once Crawford began leading right-handed, he settled into the fight.
While Avanesian successfully walked Crawford at times and closed the distance between them, Crawford made tactical use of his punches and feet to maintain punching space against the tough opponent.
The 35-year-old from Omaha said he wasn’t surprised by Avanesian’s approach.
“We already knew what he would bring to the table,” Crawford said afterwards. “We knew he was going to go back and forth from Orthodoxy to the South. We knew he was going to confront me. We knew he was going to pressure me.”
In the fifth round, Crawford increased his punching output and leaned on a series of uppercuts with Avanesian on the inside. In the final minute of round 5, Crawford unleashed a countering left uppercut before ending the fight with an over-the-top right hook.
It was Crawford’s tenth straight stoppage win.
“I was just warming up the previous rounds,” said Crawford. “My coach [trainer Brian McIntyre] Tell me, I can sit there if I’m comfortable and pick the shots.”
Saturday night was Crawford’s first fight since November 2021, when he stopped Shawn Porter in Las Vegas in a title defense. In the months since that match, Crawford has been focused on taking on Errol Spence Jr., his longtime rival who now holds the other three belts in the 147-pound division.
Crawford left top-tier promotions after defeating Porter to battle Spence, who is fighting for Premier Boxing Champions. According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Spence and Crawford agreed to preliminary terms on the potential bout before talks about some of the technical aspects of the fight, including net expenses, dissipated. Once that bout fell through, Crawford signed the deal with BLK Prime, which will promote a bout between former welterweight champ Adrian Broner and Ivan Redkach in 2023, it announced Saturday.
Crawford said he made $10 million fighting against Avanesian.
Spence, who said on social media that he was involved in a car accident, said he was still interested in the match, which many boxing fans have wanted to see for years. When asked about it directly, Crawford was vague about his plans but seemed open to the possibility after a big show in front of his biggest fans.
“This was one deal [with BLK Prime]said Crawford. “I hope we go to the drawing board and these big fights happen in the near future.”
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