LAS VEGAS – Terence Crawford’s head trainer warned him at times Saturday night that he wasn’t sure how the judges were viewing a very competitive fight Crawford’s corner men felt he was winning.
Crawford took Brian McIntyre’s assessment under advisement, but the unbeaten WBO welterweight champion didn’t think the scores should’ve been all that close once he and Shawn Porter completed nine rounds at Mandalay Bay’s Michelob ULTRA Arena. The 34-year-old Crawford felt he was comfortably ahead by the time the 10th round began, but two of the three judges seated ringside had Crawford ahead by only one point.
Crawford was up by three points, 87-84, on Max De Luca’s scorecard. Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld had Porter behind by just one point apiece, 86-85.
Their scorecards didn’t matter, of course, once Crawford knocked Porter to the canvas twice during the 10th round. Kenny Porter, Shawn’s father and trainer, waved a white towel after that second knockdown, which left his frustrated son pounding the canvas repeatedly with his left glove as he struggled to reach his feet.
“I didn’t think it was close at all, to tell you the truth,” Crawford said during their post-fight press conference. “I was out there doing what I wanted to do. You know, and once I got the look that it was close, I had to turn it up in that round and that’s when I got the stoppage.”
Crawford would’ve won the 10th round by scores of at least 10-7 and widened his lead on the cards considerably had Porter not gone down a third time and made it to the 11th round. His father felt he had taken too many clean punches from Crawford, however, and instructed a Nevada State Athletic Commission inspector to tell referee Celestino Ruiz to stop their 12-round title fight at 1:21 of the 10th round.
Porter (31-4-1, 17 KOs), who lost inside the distance for the first time in his 13-year pro career, admitted he “wasn’t quite sure” how he was doing on the scorecards entering the 10th round with Crawford (39-0, 28 KOs).
“I think this is one of the first fights that my dad didn’t really, he didn’t have the, you know, ‘You’re up. You’re down,’ ” Porter said. “We didn’t have any of those conversations. It was just we’re literally going round by round. My dad did an excellent job in the corner, gave me some really good instruction and some really good adjustments to make as well. You know, I think my execution was there, but my consistency wasn’t there. But through the 10 rounds that we had gone, I really wasn’t sure where the score was.
“There was some rounds that I felt like were definitely mine. And there were some other rounds where, you know, I’d get hit a little bit more than usual against Terence Crawford. So, you know, I automatically feel like, you know, that’s not my round. So, I wasn’t really sure where the score was. And, you know, my dad didn’t really give me a score. I think he was more so focused on, ‘Let’s take this round by round and let’s stay focused and let’s beat this man.’ And you know, we didn’t get it tonight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.