It wasn’t the fight that boxing fans wanted but Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford delivered the finish that everyone has come to expect.
An aggressive challenge by David Avanesyan was turned away by the three-division and reigning WBO welterweight titlist, who scored a highlight-reel sixth-round knockout. Avanesyan was put flat on his back courtesy of a combination by Crawford, prompting referee Sparkle Lee to end the fight without issuing a count in the main event of a BLK Prime Pay-Per-View event Saturday evening in front of a raucous crowd of 14,630 at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Crawford is often labeled as a switch-hitter in the ring but generally turns to southpaw more often than not. The unbeaten three-division champ opened the fight in a conventional stance, for which Avanesyan was prepared and managed an overhand right upstairs. Crawford went left handed moments later, remaining that way for the balance of the fight though the traditional slow starter didn’t offer much in the opening round.
Avanesyan sought to capture lightning in a bottle in round two. Crawford began to throw—and land—with greater frequency but struggled to keep his aggressive challenger at bay. Avanesyan occasionally switched to southpaw, reaching with a long right jab which was effective in forcing Crawford to fight in reverse. He also landed a left hand and a body shot against the local hero and long-reigning welterweight titlist.
Crawford established a body attack in round three, throwing right hooks downstairs as he offered constant movement. Avanesyan continued to come forward but was squared up and not as defensively responsible as was the case earlier in the fight. A spin move by Crawford left Avanesyan out of position to counter, instead throwing up a high guard to defend against an incoming right hook to the body.
The near capacity crowd was brought to its feet in the final minute of round four. Crawford settled down after Avanesyan was able to get off several power shots, using a pawing jab to set up straight left hands and right uppercuts. Avanesyan snuck in a left hand and chopping right right at the bell in response to a right uppercut from Crawford moments before that sequence.
Crawford was dialed in with his right uppercut as well as his right hook both to the body and head. Avanesyan refused to wilt, wading through the offensive storm to get off his best shots in a competitive and entertaining round five.
A single combination would end any thoughts of an upset by the visiting challenger.
Crawford mixed in several left uppercuts with his continued body attack in round six. Avanesyan was not as effective in guarding against the incoming, which Crawford fully exploited in his effort to close the show. A left uppercut crashed home on Avanesyan’s chin, followed by a right hook to put him flat on his back. No count was necessary as Avanesyan was immediately tended to by ringside medical staff.
The loss snaps a six-fight win streak—all by knockout—for Avanesyan, who falls to 29-4-1 (17KOs) in his first major title challenge. He previously held the WBA ‘Regular’ welterweight title but never previously received a shot at a primary titleholder.
Crawford improved to 39-0 (30KOs) as he made the sixth defense of his WBO welterweight title. The win was also his tenth straight knockout extending back to his undisputed junior welterweight championship reign.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox