Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Crawford Stops Benavidez Jr. In Thrilling Welterweight Title Finish

Crawford Stops Benavidez Jr. In Thrilling Welterweight Title Finish

So he should be anxious because I'm gonna come take that belt from him.

The American (34-0-KO25) could now put his unbeaten record on the line against IBF champion Errol Spence after inflicting a first career defeat on Benavidez (27-1-KO18) at the end of a contest which had long-since developed into a personal grudge match.

"I gave a hell of a fight to the best fighter in the world".

Both appeared at a media workout Wednesday, and two heated confrontations erupted between the fighters' camps, the last one ending with Crawford being pulled away from Benavidez. The fighters' camps traded barbs at a media workout Wednesday and the bickering continued Thursday at a news conference.

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The scheduled 12-round fight will be Crawford's first defense of his WBO belt. Crawford improved to 34-0 with the win.

Benavidez Jr recovered but the fight ended in flurry of punches from Crawford, with the referee stepping in.

"I gave him a good fight", Benavidez said.

Benavidez will be fighting for the third time since being shot multiple times in August 2016 in his hometown of Phoenix. This was a fight Crawford personally asked for and he is ready to humble the undefeated Arizona based boxer. "I saw him in his corner taking deep breaths and knew he was done".

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Crawford landed more punches than Benavidez (186 to 90) and essentially skipped over the jab to focus on power punches, which he landed with brutal effectiveness and efficiency (131 of 302 thrown, 43%). "The point is we're here now, and we're fighting on Saturday".

"This is boxing. It happens". Top Rank fights are televised by ESPN; PBC fights are on Showtime and Fox.

"There's no way in hell he's gonna beat me". "Everything else will fall into place".

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