Looking to solidify his position as one of the best fighters today, Terence Crawford put on a masterful display of his skills fighting out of both the conventional and southpaw against tough challenger Dierry Jean last Saturday at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
The first round began with both pugilists staying on the outside. Jean tried to jab Crawford and out-box him while Crawford seemed content to study his opponent and look for any potential cracks in Jean’s defense. He found it in the last 10 seconds of the round as a left hand-right hook combo from the southpaw put Jean down on the canvas for the first knockdown of the fight.
Whatever gameplan Jean had coming into the fight was probably tossed by that point.
Crawford (27-0, 19KO) stayed in the southpaw stance and put Jean (29-2, 20KO) on the defensive using his southpaw jab to keep Jean at a distance. Jean, a Montreal-based former title-challenger, landed his right hand on occasion but each time he had any amount of success Crawford responded with hard combinations that drove him to the ropes.
This fight gradually shifted from Crawford out-classing Jean to beating him up physically. Although Jean is a decent fighter, he had no answer for the speed and precise punches from Crawford. A hard left hand followed by a blow on the back of the head put Jean down for a second knockdown in the 9th round.
Jean survived the 9th, but it was clear he simply couldn’t handle Crawford’s increasingly aggressive offense and the referee waved the fight off in the middle of the 10th round to award Crawford the TKO victory.
This fight was meant to be Crawford’s test in a possible bid to fight Manny Pacquiao in April. He passed with flying colors as not only did he outclass a fighter he was meant to outclass, but he also beat the guy up and made the fight exciting even with the one-sided nature of it. During the post-fight interview, he said he is ready to fight the highly accomplished Filipino.
After his performance on Saturday, who could argue?