There’s not much good that could be said following the co-main event to HBO’s Miguel Cotto vs. Delvin Rodriguez card. Featuring up-and-coming prospect, (and supposed second-coming based on the HBO commentators ring-side) Terence Crawford (22-0, 16 knockouts) and relatively unknown Andrey Klimov (16-1, 8 knockouts), fans were treated to another 12-round drubbing reminiscent of the Klistchko vs. Povetkin fiasco from just before.
Going into the bout, fans were reminded of Crawford’s recent tear through the 135-pound division. With him still remaining a prospect, fans believe it was time he stepped up, and the folks at Top Rank believed that Andrey Klimov was that step up. Although Klimov certainly proved to be a “step up”, it wasn’t in the manner that Top Rank was expecting for their fighter. Instead of posing a threat through offense, Klimov was a stylistic nightmare thanks to jerky movements, European style point fighting, and an incredible lack of offense. This led to both Crawford and fans getting frustrated as the fight progressed, and both also let out a sigh of relief as soon as the fight was over.
The 10-round fight between the two fighters could be summed up in so many words: Crawford came forward, jabbed, and seemed confident from the opening that he was winning the fight. Klimov simply jerked and jumped his way around the ring for the entirety of the bout, and landing only 28 punches the entire time. Aside from rounds 8 and 12 which saw Crawford finally looking like the type of fighter who is capable of finish an opponent like Klimov, he seemed all to content with his seemingly guaranteed points lead against the European.
With the crowds relentless boo-ing only growing louder with each of the passing rounds, it was interesting to see that neither fighter paid much mind to it. By the final round however, there was no mistaking what the crowd was cheering for, the fight was finally over. The judges scored the bout as an absolute shut out with scores of (100-90), (100-90), and (100-90).
Even with the win, it was obvous that Crawford wasn’t pleased. Still, one can’t give up hope on the young man. With Klimov being a stylistic nightmare for anyone in the division, there’s no ignoring that Crawford still had a mastery of all the fundamentals, as well as a proficient level of power in both hands that will lead him to success in the sport. With time he will learn to develop the killer instinct he most desperately needs, but there is no doubting that the man has a bright future ahead of him. As for Klimov, his first time on HBO may have also been his last. That performance din him no favors, and when you’re own corner starts labeling you as a “coward” one wouldn’t be wrong to question your longevity in the sport.