By John J. Raspanti
Terence Crawford added the IBF and WBA belts to his collection by knocking out previously undefeated Julius Indongo in the third round at a rocking Pinnacle Bank Arena in Omaha, Nebraska last night.
A minute into the bout, it was obvious that Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs) was the more skilled boxer. He was sharper, accurate, and more efficient.
Indongo, (22-1, 11 KOs) fighting in the United States for the first time, looked for ways to catch Crawford, but all he got for his trouble was mostly air and punches to the mouth.
Crawford, who’s equally effective as a southpaw or orthodox fighter, choose to lead with his right against fulltime lefty Indongo. Two minutes into the contest, a sneaky left hand buzzed Indongo. A bodyshot also landed. Indongo, with an advantage in reach, tried to jab but couldn’t touch Crawford.
Indongo came out more aggressively in round two. He fired a few sweeping hooks that Crawford easily ducked. Crawford countered with a right to the head and left to the belly. Indongo slid to the canvas in pain. He beat the count and survived the round, but the end was near.
It happened two minutes later in round three. Crawford circled Indongo. He jabbed and countered. Indongo chased, but a huge left to the breadbasket crumbled him like a cheap suit. He rolled over on his back and groaned as referee Jack Reiss counted him out.
The time was 1:38 seconds into round there.
Crawford lept into the air as his hometown fans serenaded him. He’s the first fighter to unify a division in 11 years.
“Belts matter," said Crawford. “I’m the only one that can be labeled champion at 140 and that’s a big deal to me. We have been practicing on the body shots all camp – it was a rough tough camp and everything that we worked on in camp came out today in the fight.”