By Edward Chaykovsky
Top Rank President Todd duBoef was very impressed with Saturday's performance by Terence Crawford (24-0, 17KOs), who pulled off a major statement with a ninth round stoppage of Olympic gold medal winner Yuriorkis Gamboa. The Cuban boxer was dropped four times before the fight was waved off.
The bout took place in Crawford's hometown, at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, with nearly 11,000 fans in attendance to support the WBO lightweight champion's first defense.
The last time duBoef was so impressed by a hometown defense, was when Top Rank promoted the Grand Rapids return of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 1999. Mayweather was making his second defense [not the first as duBoef had stated] of the WBC super featherweight title and won a twelve round decision over Carlos Alberto Ramon Rios.
"I'm going to tell you guys as a promoter who has signed numerous fighters for 20-plus years that I've been here - everybody tells me 'come to my hometown, I can do it' and 99.9% of them don't. They don't deliver like this. I'm going to be honest with you. The last time I felt this in a first defense, was when Floyd Mayweather, after he beat Genaro Hernandez, we went to Grand Rapids, Michigan and he sold the place out," duBoef said.
"It was a magical night, except one thing - the fight tonight was ten times better. I think Floyd cruised to a decision. But this guy delivered. He captured everybody and he had the right guy in front of him who gave his heart and everything. This was a special night and he delivered."