Terence Crawford is good at boxing. Saturday, in Omaha, Neb., he reminded us how good he is.
Crawford’s junior welterweight bout with John Molina, Jr. on HBO was always destined to be a mismatch. Molina gave Lucas Matthysse a few rough moments while absorbing a frightening beating a few years back. He came back from the brink to knock out Mickey Bey. He jabbed his way into a win against a completely shot Ruslan Provodnikov earlier this year. For all of that drama, Molina isn’t a good fighter. Terence Crawford is. He might even be a great fighter, but we won’t know that until he has a challenge in front of him.
There was no drama. There was only the inevitable. Crawford (30-0, 21 KO) utterly neutralized Molina with his footwork. Crawford is excellent as an orthodox fighter, but when he switches southpaw, he becomes an offensive dynamo. Molina (29-7, 23 KO) had no answers for either version of Crawford. Bud picked him apart, and we were left wondering WHEN it would end, not how.
Graciously, Crawford chose the 8th round. He could’ve chosen the first, and I doubt the raucous crowd in Omaha would’ve felt cheated. Crawford has one of the rare things in boxing these days, a home town. He is a legitimate draw in Omaha. That arena was packed and everyone was there to see Bud. Say what you will about the sport, but there is something quite special about an entire city coming out to support their team. And in Omaha, Bud Crawford is their team.
On the undercard, Ray Beltran taught Mason Menard what a world class fighter is like over seven rounds en route to stopping the kid. Menard was game, but no one who’s been stopped by Carl McNickles (I had to look him up too) is going to give a world class fighter like Beltran a loss. I love Ray Beltran. He’s not special, but he’ll beat anyone who isn’t special. We need more guys like that in the sport.