Terence Crawford shocked the world by knocking out Julius Indongo in the third round Saturday night to become the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds.
The victory itself was not at all surprising, but how quickly he dismantled Indongo, was a thing of beauty. Fight Nights.com predicted a seventh-round KO. We were all wrong – at least most of us were.
The fight was the first four-belt unification bout since 2004, when Bernard Hopkins knocked out Oscar De La Hoya, ironically, with a left to the liver, to claim all the belts in the middleweight division.
But the battle atop boxing’s pound-for- pound list is the tightest in years, and despite Crawford’s sensational knockout, he is not the Pied Piper – at least not yet.
The top slot, undoubtedly, belongs to light-heavyweight world champion Andre Ward (32-0, 16 KO’s), who cemented his status as boxing’s best pound-for- pound fighter in June with an eighth-round stoppage of former world champion Sergey Kovalev.
Kovalev, 34, who is known for his tremendous punching power, posed an imminent threat to Ward, but not only did he outlast the Russian, he also beat the will out of him with a tremendous body attack over the course of the fight. Crawford has yet to face that kind of a fight, albeit he is certainly up to the task.
A bevy of belts should help boost his stock in the pound-for- pound battle, but Crawford needs big fights, and an inevitable move to 147 pounds should provide those opportunities.