Terence Crawford stops Jose Benavidez with 12th-round barrage

Terence Crawford stops Jose Benavidez with 12th-round barrage

Terence Crawford controlled José Benavidez the entire fight, landing a devastating knockdown in the 12th round, with Benavidez having no answer when he gets up, resulting in a TKO victory.

This was more of a stay-busy fight for Crawford but he was eager to take the bout after being called out by Benavidez, who is only the 10th-ranked 147-pounder by the WBO.

There had been bad blood in the build-up, which culminated in Crawford trying to punch Benavidez Jr at Friday's weigh-in.

To his credit, Benavidez fought through a knee injury suffered from a 2016 late night shooting where he was targeted while walking his dog and was able to counter well through the first six rounds. At various times in the fight, Crawford was able to effectively switch up his stance and land numerous shots to the body. The fighters' camps traded barbs at a media workout Wednesday and the bickering continued Thursday at a news conference.

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Crawford now holds a flawless 33-0 record with 24 KOs heading into Saturday's fight, where he'll defend his WBO welterweight title.

Crawford, 31, improves to 34-0 (25 KOs) with the win and retains his WBO welterweight title.

"It feels so good to shut somebody up who's been talking for so long", said Crawford, who was making the first defence of his title since winning the belt against Australian Jeff Horn in June. "I know I have what it takes to beat him, and I am going to beat him".

"I've been wanting this fight for three years", Benavidez said. Boxing politics aside, the division is stacked with everyone from Errol Spence and Keith Thurman to Shawn Porter and, potentially, Mikey Garcia.

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