LINCOLN, Neb. – Terence Crawford stopped Julius Indongo in the third round Saturday night to become the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds.
Crawford sent Indongo to the canvas with a right to the body in the last minute of the second round and just missed with a massive left hook before the bell. Midway through the third round, Crawford caught Indongo with a left hook to the body that put him down writhing in pain.
The fight was the first four-belt unification bout since 2004, when Bernard Hopkins stopped Oscar De La Hoya to claim all the belts in the 160-pound division. Crawford came in with the WBC and WBO belts; Indongo, from Namibia, was the WBA and IBF champion.
“It means everything,” Crawford said. “I’m the only one who can I’m the undisputed champion of the world. That’s big because there’s nobody else who can they’re undisputed in their weight division.”
Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said the plan is for Crawford to go with him to Australia for the expected November rematch between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao. Arum wants Crawford to fight the winner.
“I’m all for it,” Crawford said.
Crawford (32-0, 23 knockouts) was in his home state for the fifth time in nine fights but for the first time in Lincoln, 45 minutes from his Omaha base.
Indongo (22-1, 11 knockouts) was fighting for the first time in the United States after winning bouts in Russia and Scotland to win his titles.
Crawford entered the ring to roars from the Pinnacle Bank Arena sellout crowd of 12,121 after coming down the steps from the arena concourse. He wore a red No. 140 Nebraska Cornhuskers football jersey, a nod to this city being home to the University of Nebraska.
With fans on their feet and chanting his name, the 29-year-old Crawford seized control early. When his final blow took down Indongo, the decibel level increased even more, and Crawford jumped in the air in the middle of the ring in celebration.
Indongo couldn’t get up.
“When he hit me, it hurt so bad,” he said. “When he hit me like that, my mind was gone.”
On the undercard, 20-year-old Shakur Stevenson scored a unanimous decision over Argentinian David Paz in a super featherweight bout. Stevenson (3-0, 1 knockout) flashed superior speed and finesse throughout the six rounds and knocked down Paz (4-4-1) late in the fifth.
Stevenson, of Newark, New Jersey, is considered a rising star in the pro ranks after earning a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics.
“I feel like the competition stepped up this fight and I feel like I put on a good show, a good boxing display,” Stevenson said. “I was really trying to get the knockout, and I was trying to get him with a good hard punch. I was trying to hit him with my left hand and my hook. I do need to use my jab a lot more.”
Light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KOs) of Ukraine stopped Craig Baker (17-2, 13 KOs) of Baytown, Texas, at 2:40 of the sixth round.