Crawford Eases to Decision over Beltran

Terence “Bud” Crawford (25-0) successfully defended his WBOlightweight title on Saturday night with a unanimous-decision win over Raymundo Beltran (29-7-1) in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.

HBO Boxing had the official numbers:

Early in the bout, both Crawford and Beltran had their moments. Crawford controlled the action by switching stances and landing a steady jab. Welterweight contender Andre Berto complimented Crawford’s primary weapon:

Beltran periodically found a home for his hard right hand. In the fourth round, he was able to force Crawford back with a hard shot. Crawford almost immediately turned up the action to seemingly regain control of the round.

Boxing Channel caught one of the crisp shots Crawford landed in this tweet:

There were a few other rounds with the same types of sequences. Each of them ended with Crawford proving he was the boss in the ring. Late in the fight, he was on the attack as he searched for the stoppage finish that would have sent the CenturyLink Center fans home even more satisfied than they already were.

Beltran stood his ground and made it through, but there was no doubt who the premier lightweight in the world is. HBO’s Max Kellerman had an accurate assessment of Beltran’s performance:

Now it seems Crawford will be vacating his WBO 135-pound strap to move to 140 pounds.

If this is indeed Crawford’s last fight at lightweight, as he told LemSatterfield of The Ring Magazine, the light welterweight/junior welterweight division has a true budding superstar on its hands—no pun intended.

The champion reiterated his desire to move up to 140 pounds in a post-fight interview with Kellerman on Saturday night. Crawford continues to show all of the in-ring tools to become one of the pound-for-pound best in the sport. After yet another win, some would make the argument that he’s already among the sport’s elite fighters.

Fight Hub TV’s Mick Akers is excited about the prospect of seeing Crawford as a junior welterweight.

ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael pointed to Crawford’s in-ring weight on Saturday night as proof the 27-year-old needs to move up in weight.

It’s fun to imagine which fighters might be on Crawford’s radar at this point. Hopefully, he can be part of the evolution of the sport that sees HBO and Showtime fighters competing against each other. Opponents like Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse and Lamont Peterson would be interesting opponents for Crawford.

Even if those bouts don’t materialize, there are interesting possibilities with HBO fighters like Manny Pacquiao, Ruslan Provodnikov and Jessie Vargas.

No matter which direction Crawford goes in from here, a larger group of fans are almost assured of following his next move.