Crawford takes out determined challenger
Terence Crawford was annoyed in round two. A right hand from Egidijus Kavaliauskas appeared to knock him down. The referee didn’t agree. Crawford dug down and fought harder, eventually stopping the game challenger in round nine at Madison Square Garden Saturday night.
The time was 44 seconds into the ninth stanza.
In round one, Crawford, an orthodox fighter - who likes to switch between orthodox and southpaw, went lefty. He bounced and probed with his right jab. He landed a left. Kavaliauskas pursued but did little.
Crawford (36-0, 27 Kos) stayed southpaw in round two. He worked the body and head. Kavaliauskas fired a right that missed. He was staying patient. Both fighters landed, but the bobbing and weaving Kavaliauskas did better. Kavaliauskas connected with the aforementioned right hand in round two that seemed to hurt Crawford. He soon fought back, but still ate a few more blows.
Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) continued to play the counter game in round three. Crawford was more aggressive with hooks. He fired some uppercuts. In the last seconds of the heat, both men landed crisp shots. Crawford appeared to go down, but the referee ruled it a slip. A bad call.
Upset minded Kavaliauskas did well in the opening seconds of round four, but the tide was turning. He was catching Crawford, who wasn’t boxing as much, but slugging. A couple of shots seemed to hurt Kavaliauskas. A combination also landed.
Crawford circled in rounds five and six. He was working. A one-two landed. Kavaliauskas connected with a glancing right. Crawford went orthodox and unloaded in round seven. A sweeping right put Kavaliauskas on all fours. The challenger got up and survived another onslaught to survive the round.
In round eight, Crawford, jabbed and walked forward. He wanted a knockout. Crawford ripped to the gut. He landed a wicked right, but ate one in return. Crawford backed Kavaliauskas into the ropes and fired.
Crawford came out firing in round nine. A vicious combination floored Kavaliauskas for the second time. The brave challenger rose once again, but not for long. A long right landed, ending the night for Kavaliauskas
“He’s a strong fighter," said Crawford. "I thought I’d give the fight crowd something to cheer. I was loading up, but when I let my hands go, that was it.”