Egidijus "Mean Machine" Kavaliauskas was game, but Terence "Bud" Crawford was too much.
Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) defended his WBO welterweight world title, knocking down Kavaliauskas three times en route to a ninth-round TKO in front of 10,101 fans at Madison Square Garden.
“I thought I had to entertain ya’ll for a little bit. He’s a strong fighter, durable, and I thought I’d give the crowd something to cheer for," Crawford said. “I wasn’t hurt at all. I got up and went straight to him. I wasn’t hurt by no means. I walked through everything he threw all night.
“I’m not ducking anyone on the PBC side or Top Rank platform. I want to fight all the top guys.”
Kavaliauskas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) had some success early, even buzzing Crawford in the third round with a near-knockdown. Crawford rebounded, reloaded and dominated per usual, cementing his status at the top of the welterweight and pound-for-pound heap.
Also on the card, Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) blitzed Richard Commey (29-3, 26 KOs) in two rounds to win the IBF lightweight world title. Lopez knocked Commey down with a right hand in the second round and followed up with a savage combination that forced referee David Fields to stop the fight.
Revenge came for Michael “Mick” Conlan, but it was wasn’t easy. The pride of Belfast, Conlan earned a 10-round unanimous decision over Vladimir Nikitin to retain his WBO Intercontinental featherweight belt by scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Conlan controlled the bout, but Nikitin had his moments and found a home for his overhand right.
Nikitin (3-1, 0 KOs) was the beneficiary of a controversial decision over Conlan (13-0, 7 KOs) at the 2016 Rio Olympics, a decision that sparked an international firestorm and set up this highly anticipated grudge match.