The Super Featherweight fight between Shakur Stevenson and Viorel Simion didn’t even last one full round.
Stevenson entered the ring undefeated, having scored three knockouts in his last five fights.
Simion (21-3, 9 KO’s) was coming back from an 18-month layoff.
Although their reach was virtually the same, Stevenson enjoyed a 3-inch height advantage and is 15-years younger than Simion.
Both are former Olympians.
Halfway through the opening frame southpaw Stevenson landed a left, followed by a sweeping right hook to the cheek.
Simion wobbled, then fell to his hands and knees. He got up, took the mandatory 8-count, and continued…not for long.
Stevenson fired a right to the chops and Simion did another “downward-facing-doggie.”
He took the count and went back at it. But as the round came to a close Stevenson landed another right hook that sent Simion staggering to the ropes before he slid to the floor.
The referee started the count but saw the danger in continuing and called an end to the contest.
Good call, ref.
Shakur Stevenson remains undefeated and improved his record to 9-wins, with 5-victories coming by way of knockout.
The main event featured Jose Benavidez challenging reigning champ Terence Crawford in the first defense of his WBO World Welterweight title.
They respected each other’s power and abilities, but neither was afraid to mix it up.
Although Benavidez is a full 4-inches taller, Crawford sported a 1-inch reach advantage.
This match went into the 12th and final round. Benavidez spent much of the bout absorbing leather; then shaking his head to tell Crawford he wasn’t hurt…but he was.
Crawford kept chiseling like a sculptor, relentlessly chipping away at the body and hammering to the head.
In a dominant performance Crawford landed twice as many power punches and twice as many total punches.
All three judges had him comfortably ahead (one had it scored as a shutout) but Crawford was not content to “just” win.
With less than a minute remaining in the fight he whipped a right uppercut into Benavidez’s mug that sent him down like a ton of bricks.
When he got up his eyes were glassy and vacant. Benavidez took the count, but he wasn’t right.
With 32-seconds left, the violence resumed.
Crawford pressed Benavidez to the ropes and batted him back and forth until the referee stepped in and called a halt to the competition.
Another good call, by another good ref.
Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KO’s) retains his belt and adds another knockout win to his campaign.
The Los Angeles Rams went to play the Broncos in the sub-freezing temperatures of Mile High Stadium in Denver.
It was the coldest October home game for the Broncos in almost 50 years.
The Rams scored on their first three possessions: 2-field goals and a 10-yard touchdown rush by running back Todd Gurley.
The L.A. defense held Denver to one field goal in the 1st quarter and kept them scoreless in the 2nd Q, 13-3.
Coming back from the half, Gurley (208-yards on 28 carries for the day) scored his second TD on an 11-yard run.
The teams then exchanged interceptions. The Broncos turned theirs into a TD, 20-10.
L.A. missed a kick. Denver didn’t, 20-13.
The Rams put up 3-points on another FG. But a Broncos TD made it uncomfortably close, 23-20.
It was too little…and way too late.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff knelt twice, and the game was over.
The Rams play the 49ers in San Francisco, on Sunday.
About a week ago, I mistakenly stated that the Rams sat alone as the only undefeated team in the NFL.
That was incorrect.
The Kansas City Chiefs were also without an “L.”
However, last Sunday the New England Patriots battled back against a second half surge, and handed K.C. their first loss of the season, 40-43.
So I guess that makes me clairvoyant…or at least correct in retrospect.
God Bless and admit your errors.
Mark Felicetti encourages you to observe Cancer Awareness Month. Reach him at email@example.com.