Terence Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) is everything you want out of a champion. It isn’t just his boxing skill, but it’s his straight up dog mentality.
Crawford needed every bit of that aforementioned dog tonight as the “Mean Machine” Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) gave him all he could handle during the first few rounds.
It was an unfamiliar sight for Crawford, as Kavaliauskas looked as sharp as can be.
During the third round, something that many did not see coming actually happened. Crawford went down to the canvas.
Although it was ruled a push instead of a knockdown, replays showed that it was actually a legitimate knockdown due to several punches that Kavaliauskas connected with.
Regardless, it was ruled a slip and the match continued. Kavaliauskas continued to find success throughout the match, but if you were paying attention closely, you could see that Crawford was just starting to heat up.
He began pouring the pressure on and was finally rewarded for his efforts in the seventh as he sent Kavaliauskas down to the deck.
He wasn’t badly hurt, but he didn’t look to be in great shape either.
Kavaliauskas, threw on his poker face in the subsequent rounds as he did a great job of showing no emotion or effect from the damage that Crawford was dishing out. Yet, it was becoming apparent that the punishment was becoming too much for him and he crumbled in the ninth.
Kavaliauskas has a heart that is too big for his own body because he kept rising to his feet and continued to fight.
Crawford however, was ready to put him to bed. He did just that in the ninth as he connected with one more shot in the period. The referee called an end to the contest as Kavaliauskas dropped down to his knees yet again.
By no means was it easy, but Crawford got the job done and will now look to make a splash in 2020.
Final Grade: A
The struggles of Terence Crawford would lead you to believe that he deserves a lesser grade. You’re wrong.
Crawford found himself in a tough, physical matchup. Instead of backing down from the physicality, he embraced it. When the going got tough, he didn’t fold. He stood up strong and put a beating on a very good fighter.
Crawford is the real deal folks. Let’s just hope that he gets some meaningful fights in 2020.