Top Rank declared Terence Crawford the pound for pound king after his victory over Shawn Porter on Saturday night – a statement very few in the sport would agree with right now.
Labeling the controversial tenth round stoppage of Porter ‘a career-defining victory’, Crawford was hailed as any promotional company would attempt to do.
But witnessing the events from a weed-filled floor seat at Michelob ULTRA Arena, Porter getting pulled out in the tenth round by his father didn’t do his efforts in the ring any justice.
In a spectacular war, the pair traded blows in a Fight of the Year contender. But cutting short the contest when Porter was ahead and certainly very much in the fight, whiffed worse than the apparent marijuana smell.
“Showtime” lost out on the WBO welterweight world title in front of a sold-out crowd of 11,568 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as Crawford took his opportunity to put pressure on Kenny Porter to end it.
In the process, Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs) made the fifth defense of the title he won in June 2018. It was the stiffest test of his illustrious career.
Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs), who has fought every elite welterweight of this era, made things uncomfortable on the inside.
Speaking after the win, which enhanced his position on the WBN Pound for Pound T0p 50 list slightly, Crawford gave props to his most challenging foe yet.
“(I figured him out in) Round 1,” Crawford said. “I figured that I had the reach, and he had to take chances. He did what he usually does.
“He tried to maul and push me back, but I used my angles, and I pushed him back at times as well.
“Shawn Porter is a slick fighter. He was doing some things in there and made me think.”
Porter led 48-47 on all three scorecards after five rounds. But Crawford took control in the second half of the fight.
After a dominant ninth round, Crawford scored a pair of knockdowns, and Porter’s trainer and father stopped the fight.
“My timing was off, and he wouldn’t allow me to get my rhythm,” Porter said. “He’s the best out of everybody I have been in the ring with.”
At the post-fight press conference, Porter announced his retirement. Crawford’s future, meanwhile, remains to be seen.
Canelo Alvarez, however, is the current P4P king by a long way.
The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.