What is Next for Terence Crawford Following His Emphatic TKO Victory Over Shawn Porter?

Terence Crawford stopped Shawn Porter in the 10th round on Saturday night (Photo: Mikey Williams – Top Rank/Getty)

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By Chris Robinson

This past Saturday night, inside of the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, NV, we saw Terence Crawford perform under his biggest stage against his most accomplished opponent to date in Shawn Porter.

And Crawford definitely delivered, ultimately scoring a 10th round TKO victory, but nothing came easy on this night. With the win, Crawford (38-0, 29 KO’s) also scored a fifth successful defense of this WBO welterweight title, yet Porter (31-4-1, 17 KO’s) also has much to hold his head high about after another valiant effort vs. another elite fighter.

The early rounds saw Porter have success with his work rate and by taking the early lead. The Akron, OH native led 48-47 on all three cards after five rounds.

Crawford, who has stopped his last nine opponents, is often a slow starter and seemed to be biding his time early on. The fight featured some great tactical moments, as well as some intense exchanges, as things appeared fairly even through the first six rounds.

Crawford gave his view of the action.

“(I figured him out in) Round 1,” Crawford said. “I figured that I had the reach and he had to take chances, and he did what he normally does. He tried to maul and push me back, but I used my angles and I pushed him back at times as well. Shawn Porter is a slick fighter. He was doing some things in there and made me think.”

Crawford offered his praise to Porter, who gave him seemingly his stiffest test as a professional.

“I love him. Shawn Porter is a real good friend of mine,” said Crawford. “I didn’t really want to fight him. We always said we would fight each other when the time was right and I guess the time was right for this fight to happen. I tried to fight the other champions in the division, and that didn’t happen, so I went to the next best thing.”

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Crawford dominated the ninth round and scored a pair of knockdowns in round ten, the first off of a beautiful counter left hand. Porter was visibly shaken after the second knockdown, as his father and trainer Kenny Porter elected to stop the fight.

“My timing was off and he wouldn’t allow me to get my rhythm,” Porter said afterwards. “He’s the best out of everybody I have been in the ring with.”

What now for Crawford? This was a very big statement for him. Porter has never been stopped after having faced the likes of Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman, Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., and others, and Crawford was able to do it in emphatic fashion.

The ideal fight to make is a matchup with Spence, who holds the IBF and WBC titles. Yordenis Ugas, who holds a version of the WBA title, remains a viable candidate after his big upset win over Manny Pacquiao three months ago.

Whatever direction he goes, Crawford is now a promotional free agent and the options for him are endless. Don’t be surprised to see if he operates a bit like Canelo Alvarez, who appears to be working on a fight-by-fight basis with promoters.

This very well could lead to a big fight with Spence, who fights under the Premier Boxing Champions banner. That would be a dream fight for all of boxing.

Chris Robison can be reached at CRobinson@hustleboss.com

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