Photos: Terence Crawford Beats Down Felix Diaz For TKO Win
Terence Crawford patted Felix Diaz on the head and pounded uppercuts into his eye in his latest dominant victory. His next fight could bring him all four 140-pound belts. Or it could bring him Manny Pacquiao. Photos by Mikey Williams.
Crawford remained unbeaten when Diaz’s corner stopped the fight after the 10th round of the 140-pound fight and looks ready for whichever of his options comes later this year.
“I’ve been saying that for years now. It’s not up to me. But everybody wants to know who’s the next guy that Terence Crawford wants to fight,” Crawford said. “I’ll fight anybody. It doesn’t matter who it is.”
Crawford had dominated after a couple of close early rounds and Diaz’s left eye appeared swollen shut, making him helpless to spot Crawford’s lightning-fast combinations.
Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) toyed with Diaz in the 10th, backing him into the corner and then, rather than throw any punches, patting him on the head. He then unloaded a couple hard shots toward the end of the round, prompting trainer Joel Diaz to tell referee Steve Willis his fighter could no longer continue.
Afterward, Crawford named longtime superstar Pacquiao and welterweight champion Keith Thurman as fighters he’d want if he moves up in weight. But he may stick around at 140 a little longer to grab the two belts he doesn’t own.
Crawford successfully defended his WBC and WBO titles. Promoter Bob Arum said the Omaha, Nebraska, fighter would return this summer and they could look to unify the titles against Julius Indongo, who holds the WBA, IBO and IBF 140-pound titles.
“Once he gets all four belts he’s going to fight Pacquiao with my new partner Warren Buffett,” Arum said.
Diaz (19-2, 9 KOs), a 2008 Olympic gold medalist for the Dominican Republic, lost for the first time at 140 pounds and was stopped for the first time.
The shorter Diaz tried to get inside but was kept away by Crawford in the first round, though he landed a couple of hard shots when he closed the distance in the second — when he won the only round he was credited with on one judge’s card. The fighters stared at each other after the round ended, but Crawford seized control from there.
“I knew he was frustrated,” Crawford said.
Boxing throughout from the southpaw stance, he rarely let Diaz get close again, using left uppercuts and combinations. He put his 4-inch reach and 3-inch height advantages to good use, and when being bigger wasn’t good enough, Crawford relied on being faster, spinning out of trouble any time Diaz lunged forward.
“No excuses, I lost to the best guy at 140 pounds,” Diaz said through promoter Lou DiBella.
Crawford stuck out his tongue at Diaz after one exchange in the seventh, showing no fear. Diaz’s face was swollen by the ninth and ringside doctors checked his eye before the start of the 10th.
Joel Diaz gave Felix one last round but it was clear there was no point.