WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford laid claim to a lucrative clash with Manny Pacquiao by halting Dierry Jean in the tenth round in Omaha, Nebraska.
The talented and undefeated 28 year-old dropped Jean in the first, ninth and tenth rounds before referee Tony Weeks had seen enough later in the session. With the win, Crawford improves to 27-0 and could now be in line to face Pacquiao in the spring of 2016.
Crawford is one of five names in the frame for the Filipino as revealed to WBN by Top Rank’s Carl Moretti last week. Crawford is in the running alongside Amir Khan, Timothy Bradley, Kell Brook and Juan Manuel Marquez.
On the undercard, former IBF featherweight champion Evgeny Gradovich could only manage a split decision verdict against Brazilian journeyman Aldimar Silva Santos in an eight-round comeback fight.
The Russian was returning from losing his belt to Welshman Lee Selby in the UK earlier this year but was less than convincing in recording a 20th career win.
Also on the bill, heavyweight puncher Andy Ruiz Jr carded an eight round points win over Rafael Zumbano Love to move to 26-0, whilst Mikael Zewski knocked Ayi Bruce out in the fifth round.
There were also victories for undefeated quartet Alex Saucedo, Julian Rodriguez, Alfredo Martinez and Zsolt Daranyi Jr.