HBO and Showtime went head-to-head tonight with a pair of undefeated champions defending their titles in the respective main events. Terence “Bud” Crawford and Leo Santa Cruz both passed their tests with stoppage wins.
Crawford (28-0, 20 KO’s), had a live challenger in Hank Lundy to deal with and the Omaha, NE native thrilled the fans at Madison Square Garden with a TKO5 to retain the WBO super lightweight title.
Likewise, Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KO’s), sent his Southern California fans home happy with a fifth-round knockout of Kiko Martinez (35-7, 26 KO’s) to keep the WBA super title at featherweight.
Crawford got a stiff test from Lundy (26-6-1, 13 KO’s) in the first round as the challenger threw heavy shots, sometimes from wild angles and postures. Crawford quickly switched to a southpaw stance and fought that way till the end. Lundy got some solid power shots in during that first round, but the fight changed at the start of round two.
The pace slowed to a more measured battle and Crawford gained the upper hand due to his precise boxing skills.
In the final round, Crawford hurt Lundy with a flush right hand to the jaw and he followed up to score a brutal knockdown. Lundy was able to continue but the fight was waved off moments later with Crawford landing at will and Lundy covering up against the ropes.
Official time of the stoppage was 2:09 of round five.
Out west, Santa Cruz started very quickly and dropped the hard-charging Martinez twice in the first round. It was pinpoint punching from Santa Cruz landing flush on the challenger, who came in willing to take a few shots.
He got them, as Santa Cruz nearly ended the fight in the first round.
But Martinez rebounded and fought well over the next few rounds, backing the champion up and landing solid shots of his own. It was a spirited fight until the fifth round when Santa Cruz got his man in trouble again with power shots and closed the show with a lethal barrage of unanswered shots. This fight also ended at the 2:09 mark of round five.