Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 Kos) dominated and stopped Thomas Dulorme (22-2, 14 Kos) for the vacant WBO junior welterweight title on Saturday night.
More importantly, the destructive and concussive force Crawford displayed against a rugged opponent showed that the 27-year-old will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
“I worked hard in training camp,” said Crawford. “ It was just a matter of time. I was ready for anything he was going to bring me.”
Just before the action began at the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, news blew through press row that a tornado warning might put a bit of a damper on things. Rain, hail and high winds rocked the Metroplex area enough to encourage those in charge of the HBO production crew to move their behind-the-scenes worker bees from outside the venue in the television trucks to inside the arena. But the only tornado that made its way to the venue this night was Crawford. He was a whirlwind of skill, precision and technical ability, proving to all in attendance his elite mastery of the sweet science.
Dulorme came to the ring dressed like a gladiator, but Crawford was the crowd favorite. While Dulorme wasn’t booed when he made his way to the ring, he certainly wasn’t cheered the way the Nebraskan was as he entered the arena. It didn’t hurt that he brought the stars and stripes with him to the fracas while Dulorme, in Texas, waved the flag of his native Puerto Rico as if that meant something here. Dulorme’s camp also had several small Texas flags waving in his corner but no one seemed to notice.
Things got worse for Dulorme when it was time to announce the men in their corners. This time the boisterous crowd booed Dulorme quite vociferously while Crawford, adorning a red and white hat emblazoned with the Nebraska Cornhusker logo, was applauded.The bout was immediately good. Round 1 was high-speed chess and both players knew their stuff. Crawford worked behind a jab while Dulorme did the same but more aggressively and with greater attention to the body. But Crawford’s crafty counters carried the round. As it was in the first, so the rest of the fight played: Dulorme tried his best but Crawford was quicker, faster and better. Round 2 was fought at a more measured pace but was more of the same. Crawford landed a nice counter right in Round 3. The two men engaged and traded but Crawford’s punches were again more accurate. Dulorme landed a long, looping overhand right to catch Crawford by surprise, but the Nebraskan answered with a sharp punch to the body moments later. The pace picked up. Crawford felt sure enough with his previous work to showboat at the end of Round 4. His right hand lead from an orthodox stance was his best weapon, and he started to feel as though he could land it at will. But he missed it here and there, and Dulorme didn’t seem keen on backing down from the action. It was probably his undoing. Dulorme settled in for the next few minutes behind a hard jab to Crawford’s head and body. The defensively astute Crawford blocked many of them, and he missed with counters on the others, but the strategy kept Dulorme in the fight for a few more minutes.
Coming down from 147 pounds to 140, Dulorme said before the bout that he felt like the bigger, stronger fighter and now he was trying to fight like it. But it was a mistake.
In Round 6, Crawford staggered Dulorme with a hard one-two. Crawford then proceeded to chase his prey to the ropes and put him down to the welcoming blue canvas. Dulorme rose to his feet but quickly found himself bullied back into a corner where Crawford let loose a flurry of punches until another right hand dropped Dulorme to the mat. The fighter who came to the ring dressed like a gladiator did his best to act like one. Dulorme rose bravely to his shaky feet but was soon back on the ropes getting strafed with lefts and rights until he was put down to the ground one final time. The last punch was a left hook to the temple, but it could have been anything. The gladiator was going to his knees defenseless. Referee Rafael Ramos waved it off, and the crowd in Texas cheered wildly for their man from Nebraska.
“I feel very strong in this weight division,” said Crawford after the fight, and he certainly looked it. Crawford would give no indication about who his next opponent might be. He said he would take a few months off from boxing and then come back later this year.
Whatever the case, Crawford appears to be on his way to stardom.
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