In the HBO TV opener, Terrence Crawford got a tryout to see if he could advance on the Keith Thurman prospect track, or would be shoved off the path by bomber-prospect tester Breidis Prescott at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
He didn't get shoved off, as he schooled Prescott with fast hands and smart movement, but Crawford didn't jazz the crowd much, enroute to a 99-91, 97-93, 100-90. About 11 people clapped when Michael Buffer called him the victor.
Crawford went 119-432 to 71-403 for the loser.
Crawford (a 25 year-old Nebraskan; 10-0 entering) had beaten nobody known to any other than matchmakers and crazed stream addicts. The Colombian Prescott (age 29; 26-4 entering) still eats off his KO1 win over Amir Khan in 2008. He came in 2-2 in his last four, but on a two fight win streak.
In the battle of the junior welters, Crawford switched from righty to lefty. Both men were landing little and the crowd was slightly restless early. Crawford mostly backed up while Prescott advanced, but without that much effectiveness. Hand speed gave Crawford an edge. Prescott was cut outside his left eye as he went to his corner after the fifth. They jawed at each other because of that situation, caused by a butt. Crawford went 17-48 in the round, his best, in the sixth. He showed slickness, smarts, a quick sharp jab, and that he is a promising player in the division looking forward, to this point.
Blood came from Crawford's nose in round nine, while Prescott's left eye was closing.
Crawford closed the distance, got more aggressive, and got busier to start the tenth. But by the end of the round, he was gliding to the close. We went to the cards.
Mike Tyson grinned and waved to the camera before round three. Juan Manuel Marquez sat ringside with Top Rank exec Todd DuBoeuf.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV