Terence Crawford has officially crashed the party at 147-pounds.
The unbeaten Crawford (33-0, 24 KO's), 30, one of boxing's finest pound-for-pound performers, made a splash in his welterweight debut by dismantling Jeff Horn before 8,112 fans Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas in an utterly one-sided ninth-round TKO victory to become a three-division world champion.
With the win, Crawford added the WBO welterweight belt to his ever-growing collection of world titles. Last August, he knocked out Julius Indongo in the third round ESPN to become the first-ever undisputed super lightweight world champion and the first in any weight class since 2005. Moreover, Crawford was a lightweight world titleholder in 2014.
Crawford, who trains out of Colorado Springs, came out immediately in the southpaw stance, and caught Horn (18-1-1, 12 KO's) with a straight left hand that knocked the reigning WBO champion off balance.
Although Horn showed a lot of heart and barged his way forward in an attempt to get to Crawford's body, he was met with return fire throughout the fight. By the third round, Crawford was in total control, connecting on hard counter right hands, straight lefts, rights hooks, and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink.
Horn suffered a cut in the fourth round above his right eye, and it went downhill from there.
In the fifth round, Crawford was laughing, smiling, sticking his tongue out at Horn, who had no answer to his puzzle.
Horn was stunned in the sixth round after another effort to bully his way to the inside was thwarted by a huge uppercut from Crawford, who dictated the pace from the opening bell.
Crawford switched to the orthodox stance to begin the eighth round and went on a rampage as the punishment dragged on for Horn, who was nearly knocked down after getting tagged late by hard body shots and right hooks.
Crawford continued to have his way in the ninth, dropping Horn with a vicious combination. The Aussie rose before the count of 10 and once again put his heart and soul on the line, but Crawford went right back to business, and referee Robert Byrd wisely stepped in to stop the action at two minutes, 33 seconds.
“Like I told y’all before, I’m strong,” Crawford said. “You know, y’all didn’t believe me and I was way stronger than him. You know, y’all kept telling me how strong he was, but y’all didn’t give me enough credit. So I had to go in there and show y’all.”
Despite the pre-fight antics, Horn made no excuses.
“He was strong,” Horn said. “He was fine. He didn’t seem like a smaller guy, that’s for sure. We weighed the same thing.”
According to Compubox, Crawford landed 155 of 367 punches (42 percent), while Horn managed to connect on just 58 of 257 punches (23 percent).
FightNights.com had the fight a shutout for Crawford at the time of the stoppage.