It was easy work, it looked like, for Terence Crawford, on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, the big room, and on HBO. He was the ace ring general against Felix Diaz, making the challenger look slow and two steps behind for most of the scrap. The Nebraskan pulled away midway through, thoroughly, and by the end, he was doing what he wanted to the Dominican. And that is not because it was an easy task, but because he makes it look that way, because he possesses an excess of skills over most anyone he's in with.
After a round ten which saw Diaz in retreat and not offering much offense, his corner pulled the plug. Once again, Crawford served notice he is a pound for pound ace, and leaves us fans searching hard for who might be able to truly challenge him. “Pacquiao” was a named he mentioned as a possible person to push him. If not him, he told Max Kellerman, then Juluis Indongo, or Keith Thurman.
Top Rank-Bob Arum was the promoter, and 8,026 folks put their butts into a seat.
Crawford (30-0 entering; from Omaha, Nebrska; trained by Brian McIntyre) was 39.2 Friday. Diaz (19-1 entering; from DR) was 139.4. He is promoted by Lou Dibella and advised by Al Haymon.
In the first, the lefties jabbed. Bud threw one, two, three. He’s a patient type, not prone to coming out and trying to steamroll a foe. His jab was working and so were his legs, as Diaz couldn’t get a read or bead on him.
In the second, a left landed on Bud and the rowd buzzed. Bud then started catching Diaz coming in. He threw and slid, and threw and slid. Diaz landed late and got bold and the crowd again surged.
In the third, Bud was sliding right, going to the body more, and being a bit smarter. He came from underneath more, too, as an adjustment.
In the fourth, the ref warned them to not be silly. Bud started moving to his left, not right as the round before. He hadn’t fought righty at all yet. They clinched more in the last round, and even more to start this round. Then Crawford pulled away, his volume edge clear.
In the fifth, Bud worked the hard jab. Diaz loading up was getting slipped pretty easily. Diaz stayed in his face but not with real effective aggression.
In the sixth, Bud had his way with Diaz. He clowned and mocked him a bit. A left uppercut was hellacious at 30 seconds left. To round seven; Diaz started to rumble. He then invited Bud to come close and Bud said nah, and the crowd roared. There was tons of inside work and no, the “stronger” and beefier guy Diaz didn’t win it. But strategically, good plan for him.
To 8; Diaz was a step, no two behind. He was smelling blood and wanting more. To 9—Bud was the stalker. It was all Bud. To round ten…Bud had to chase Diaz, who for another round was in retreat. His counters were too slow and predictable for the Nebraskan. After the round, the Diaz said no man, and threw in the towel.