Terence Crawford stops Felix Diaz after ten rounds, Beltran scores vicious second-round knockout
NEW YORK – In front of a lively crowd of over 8,000 fans at Madison Square Garden unified WBC/WBO 140-pound champion Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) stopped the Dominican Republic’s Felix Diaz Jr. (19-2, 9 KOs) after ten rounds. Diaz’s corner headed by Joel Diaz decided that their fighter had taken enough punishment and put a halt to the fight.
Crawford fought the entire fight from the southpaw stance not allowing Diaz to form any kind of momentum. Diaz found minimal success in the first two rounds landing right hooks on the inside, but by the third round Crawford adjusted and realized that the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist would only be effective on the inside. The Omaha native used his full arsenal of jabs, straight lefts, right hooks, uppercuts and body shots to make for a one-sided affair.
According to Compubox Crawford landed 139 out of 235 power punches at a 59 percent connect rate. This was one of Crawford’s most complete performances of his career against a formidable opponent.
In attendance, was WBA/IBF 140-pound champion Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) who may be next in line for Crawford to crown an undisputed champion in the division. If for some reason a fight with Indongo does not get consummated, a move to the welterweight division may be next. For Crawford, a fight with 8-division champion Manny Pacquiao is still a priority.
On the televised undercard, Ray Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KOs) scored a devastating second-round knockout over Jonathan Maicelo (25-3, 12 KOs) with a left hook. In the first round, an unfortunate knockdown was scored against Beltran after replays showed that it was an accidental head butt that caused Beltran to go to the canvas. Both men were cut from the headbutt with Beltran being cut on his left eye and Maicelo on the top of his head.
Maicelo came out fast in the second round landing power shots but was quickly halted by Beltran’s left hook putting an end to the fight. Maicelo when knocked down hit the back of his head on the canvas and was carried out of the ring on a stretcher as a precautionary measure.
This was an emotional victory for Beltran as the fight was an IBF elimination bout but also gave the longtime contender a chance to get a green card to become a full citizen of the United States. Beltran spoke with HBO’s Max Kellerman about his victory.
(Feature Photo: Ed Mulholland/HBO Sports)