There was a tornado warning in Arlington, Texas on Saturday night and although the weather reportedly was a non event, a storm of another kind wreaked havoc at the University of Texas in the sixth round during a world title fight.
Omaha, Nebraska’s Terence “Bud” Crawford (26-0 18 KO) stopped Thomas Dulorme (22-2 14 KO) by technical knockout at 1:51 of the 6th round and captured the vacant WBO junior welterweight title.
Crawford looked a bit unlike the 2014 Fighter of The Year early for most of the first five rounds but that was all part of his master plan. Dulorme most likely won at least four of those rounds by utilizing an active jab which allowed him to control the distance and turn Crawford exclusively in to a counter puncher. Crawford looked to be surprised by Dulorme’s speed but looks can be deceiving, Crawford was actually gauging his opponents timing and movement while giving him false confidence and drawing him further into his trap.
About thirty seconds into the sixth round, Crawford unveiled his strategic plan as he lured Dulorme in just as he had in the first five rounds and landed a left jab followed by a straight right wobbling Dulorme into the ropes. Crawford then attacked his opponent landing a blistering combination causing Dulorme to take a knee. Dulorme was up at the count of eight as Crawford unleashed a barrage of punches culminating with another straight right to drop Dulorme again at the two minute mark. Dulorme was up quickly and took a standing eight count. As the fight ensued, Crawford closed the show cool, calm, and collective landing both high and low with precise accuracy causing Dulorme to fold under the pressure and once again, drop to a knee as referee Rafael Ramos jumped in and stopped the fight.
After the fight, Crawford explained his game plan to HBO’s Max Kellerman,
“My coaches told me to do that (not be overly active early and give up rounds), Saul told me, when I go out there, don’t give him it yet, just touch him, just touch him, don’t let him feel it yet, then as you can see, in that sixth round, he told me to pick it up, he said pick it up, I said alright!”“That’s what we practiced on, touching him, touching him, making him feel like..aw, this guy ain’t got nothing, kind of will him to sleep”
Crawford stated after the fight than he thought he had a hell of a performance, felt strong at his new weight, and that he considers his style to be very versatile. “Bud” seems to get better with every outing always showing a new wrinkle to his game. In a fight he appeared to be losing, he was actually winning because he was sticking to the plan that was built for success and tailored to his opponent. It takes a great amount of restraint and discipline to be able to hold back but that’s what true champions do, execute all phases at the highest of levels.
Crawford is now a two time world champion in his second weight class and there are a slew of great fights out there for this rising pound for pound great not only here but north as well. If a few of those fights can be made this year and he is successful we may just see the Fighter of The Year trophy on his mantle have 2015 inscribed right below 2014.
This article contributed to BTG.