Crawford stops Brook in four to retain WBO title

It started out competitive, then the defending champ erased all doubt with a right hand.

Terence Crawford scored a knockdown on Kell Brook in the 4th round and then blitzed the Englishman, forcing referee Tony Weeks to put a halt to the bout at the 1:14 mark of the round and giving Crawford the TKO victory. He improved his record to 37-0 with 28 KOs while handing Brook his third loss of his career (39-3, 27KOs).

Brook was using the jab in the first round after both fighters were measuring each other in the first round. He was able to land the jab while Crawford was in an orthodox stance and mix the pace to throw off the pattern that Crawford was planning to use. Near the one minute mark of the round, both fighters threw jabs at each other then Brook followed that up with a two punch combination. Crawford switched to the southpaw position near the end of the round, but received a combination by Brook while going back to orthodox.

Brook landed a lead right hook in the second round and an uppercut on Crawford as the champion was in the southpaw stance. After getting hit a few times while in the orthodox position, Crawford decided to come out in the third round in the southpaw stance and be active with the right jab. That was successful as he landed a few of those jabs in the front end of the round and used a left-right combination to get to Brook at the midway point of the third. Brook responded with lead right hands as he felt that Crawford left himself open on that side. Crawford threw a combination then a strong right jab at the close of the round to get the momentum on his side.

They traded jabs at the start of the fourth round and then measured each other before Crawford caught Brook with the lead right hand, which forced Brook to stumble towards the ropes at the 2:18 mark of the round. Tony Weeks stepped in to give Brook a standing 8 count after a combination, and then when Crawford got to Brook he threw hard left hands to end the fight. After it was over, the Omaha native felt like his success was dependent on finding the range on his opponent.

“I was trying to gauge the distance,” Crawford said. “Brook had good distance. I was trying to find my rhythm. That’s why it was so competitive at first.”

Crawford also believed that being more aggressive during the fight led to the stoppage.

“Stepping forward a little more, throwing a little more punches but not too much…and I caught him a couple times.”

Brook was disappointed with the stoppage and felt that he was doing well over the course of the fight. While he was returning to 147 after being at 154 his last few fights, he felt good going into the bout against Crawford.

“I got caught with a shot I didn’t see,” Brook said. “I’m gutted because nobody could’ve gotten me in better condition. I was bang on the limit. Maybe I could’ve been a bit more relaxed and loose and let the shots go.”

The 4th defense of the WBO title for Crawford ended in another TKO victory, and he has his sights set on unifying the division. While there is a unified champion out there that he would like to fight soon, he mentioned another champion that he has his eyes on.

“I want Pacquiao. I want to revisit that fight,” Crawford said. “That was a fight that should’ve happened right now, but being that the pandemic happened, and they weren’t going to allow fans in the Middle East, they had to put a hold to that.”

If that fight does happen, it would be one of the biggest fights of the year. Crawford is ready, and wants to make a statement to the rest of the division that he is the top dog…and a win over Pacquiao would do that.

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