Terence Crawford reiterated his credentials as one of the best fighters in the world, as he knocked David Avanesyan out in round six to retain his WBO welterweight title at the CHI Health Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska on Saturday.
Crawford (39-0, 30 KOs), fighting for the first time since stopping Shawn Porter last November, came into this one riding high in the pound-for-pound charts and with nine straight knockout wins, although he had been finding booking a meeting with Errol Spence Jr fruitless, so had to settle for Avanesyan (29-4-1, 17 KOs), who arrived as European champion, and was on a run of six straight early wins.
Avanesyan began well, coming forward and landing with overhand shots that kept ‘Bud’ alert, and by the third, Crawford switched stances, and landed well to the body.
For every success the challenger was having, the home favourite was paying him back, and in the fifth, the 35-year-old champion went from head to body seamlessly.
The ending came just a round later, and with Avanesyan operating under a tight guard, an electric left-right combination went straight through from Crawford, and the 34-year-old Russian was out cold.
On the undercard, Arnold Khegai (19-1-1, 11 KOs) scraped past former world title challenger, Eduardo Baez (21-4-2, 7 KOs) after ten rounds at featherweight via split decision.
Light heavyweight, Steven Nelson (18-0, 15 KOs) wiped out James Ballard (10-5, 3 KOs) inside a round of their scheduled eight rounder, and Jose Lopez (4-2-1) upset Robert Rodriguez (10-2-2, 5 KOs) by majority verdict.
Javier Mayoral (5-2, 1 KO) caused another upset on the card, taking a points win against the previously undefeated Boubacar Sylla (12-1, 7 KOs).
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MMA Star, Cris Cyborg (1-0) made her professional boxing debut, and took a four round points win at super welterweight against Gabrielle Holloway (0-3).
Heavyweight hope Jeremiah Milton (8-0, 6 KOs) was taken six rounds, securing a decision win against Dajuan Calloway (5-2, 5 KOs), and Edel Gomez (7-0-1, 7 KOs) stopped Joseph Aguilar (4-2-1, 2 KOs) in the second round of their six rounder at light heavyweight.