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Crawford easily outclasses Klimov

Terence Crawford, right, won on Saturday but wasn't able to move the crowd against Andrey Klimov. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Terence Crawford came into his fight with Andrey Klimov on Saturday night knowing that a victory would likely earn him a lightweight world title shot in his next fight, but he wanted to put it out of his mind until he handled his business.

Well, he handled his business and did it with ease, dominating Klimov en route to a shutout decision win on the Miguel Cotto-Delvin Rodriguez undercard at the Amway Center. All three judges had it 100-90, as did ESPN.com.

"I went in there and I got the job done," Crawford said. "I outboxed him. It was easy all night long. I thought I was hurting him all night long. I was never in any trouble and I thought he was in trouble."

Although Crawford, 26, of Omaha, Neb., won, he probably didn't make many new fans, as the crowd spent most of the fight booing the lack of action.

Much of the blame goes to Klimov, 31, of Russia.

Crawford was the far superior boxer. As he switched from right-handed to a southpaw stance, Klimov had no answers. Crawford just picked him apart.

Klimov (16-1, 8 KOs), coming off a majority decision win against fringe contender John Molina in June, didn't even appear to be trying. A member of his team even called Klimov "a coward" in the corner after the eighth round.

Although Crawford (22-0, 16 KOs) was steady with his punches and landed regularly -- although not with much power -- Klimov landed single-digit figures in every round except in the 10th, when he landed 12 blows. The most punches he threw in a round -- 38, which is awful for a lightweight -- also came in the final frame.

For the bout, Crawford landed 192 of 604 punches (32 percent), according to CompuBox statistics. Klimov landed just 57 of 290 (20 percent).

Crawford is the mandatory challenger for titleholder Ricky Burns of Scotland, and a matchup between the two is supposed to be their next fight, possibly as soon as January. But Burns suffered a broken jaw in a Sept. 7 defense, a controversial draw with Raymundo Beltran, and might not be ready in time.

If Burns isn't ready, Crawford possibly could meet Beltran for the interim belt or a Burns-Beltran rematch could be ordered, forcing Crawford to wait one more fight for his shot.

Verdejo shines in TKO win

Junior lightweight Felix Verdejo (8-0, 6 KOs), a 2012 Puerto Rican Olympian and one of boxing's best prospects, destroyed Gary Eyer (11-4-1, 7 KOs) of Duluth, Minn., stopping him in the second round.

"I feel great and I was very excited about fighting on this Cotto card in front of all the Puerto Rican fans," Verdejo said through a translator. "Every night I pray to God and say thank you for the skills that I have."

Verdejo, with a strong Puerto Rican contingent on hand and cheering wildly for him, spent the first round unloading on Eyer with left hooks, right hands, body shots and combinations. He landed at will and it was a surprise that Eyer didn't go down.

Eyer showed incredible grit. As much punishment as he took in the first round, it was worse for him in the second round. Verdejo continued to pound him, giving him a bloody nose that flowed like a faucet. But when referee Tellis Assimenios called timeout to have the ringside doctor check Eyer's nose, the fighter pleaded to continue even though he was badly outgunned.

Moments later, Verdejo slammed him repeatedly with another flurry of shots, including a left hook that nearly spun him around, and Assimenios stepped in to call off the fight at 2 minutes, 53 seconds.

"He's a very talented fighter. He's going to be the next star," Eyer said. "I could have been a little rougher with him. The doctor was checking my nose because he thought it was broken, but it's not. He said if I kept getting hit, he was going to stop it. He could have let it go."

Verdejo could be a future star, but manager Ricky Marquez said after the fight, "He's about 30 percent of where we want him to be. We're working on better head movement, a better jab and a better body attack. We saw a little of that, but not enough."

• In a raging slugfest that had the crowd roaring throughout, featherweight Jayson Velez (21-0, 15 KOs), a Cotto protégé from Puerto Rico, outpointed Dat Nguyen (17-3, 6 KOs), a Vietnam native.

It was a spectacular fight that featured non-stop action for 10 solid rounds, and when it was over -- with Velez winning 98-91, 96-93, 96-93 -- the crowd gave them a standing ovation.

"Ten rounds with a tough fighter, that was great," Velez said. "I made some mistakes, and next time I will do better. I knew he was going to be a strong fighter, but he was much stronger than I imagined."

Velez, in his first fight with trainer Abel Sanchez, got the better of the action overall, but it was Nguyen who scored the only knockdown of the bout during the blazing second round, when he clipped Velez and caused him to steady himself by touching his right glove to the canvas.

It was a good victory for Velez, who was making his return after being out of action for 10 months.

"We knew Dat had never been down and it was going to be a really tough fight," Sanchez said. "It's hard to keep a guy like Dat off of you for 10 rounds. This is the kind of fight that will make [Velez] better and [help him] learn how to be a champion. He probably learned more in this fight alone than the last 20 combined."

After Velez knocked out Salvador Sanchez II (the nephew of the Hall of Famer with the same name) in the third round in December, he was supposed to challenge then-featherweight titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon of Mexico for his world title on March 2.

But Velez suffered a severe ankle sprain a few weeks before the bout and was forced to withdraw, and the fight was not rescheduled. The injury didn't happen during training, either. Velez was taking a walk with his family when he got hurt.

• Puerto Rican junior middleweight Jorge Melendez (27-3-1, 26 KOs) blew out Jamaal Davis (14-11-1, 6 KOs) of Philadelphia in two one-sided rounds. Melendez, one of the fighters Cotto's promotional company is high on, dropped Davis twice in the opening round, first with a right hand and then with a jab. In the second round, Melendez was teeing off on Davis and had badly rocked him when referee Sam Burgos stepped in to stop it at 2 minutes, 29 seconds.

• Orlando, Fla., middleweight Moises Carrasquillo (4-0, 3 KOs) cruised to a 40-36 shutout decision against Jacksonville's Steven Chadwick (2-5, 1 KO), much to the delight of the hometown fans cheering him on.

• Featherweight Ricky Tomlinson (1-0-1, 1 KO) of Thonotasassa, Fla., and Lamar Charlton (1-4-2, 1 KO) of Ocala, Fla., battled to a split draw in an entertaining four-round bout that opened the card. One judge had Tomlinson winning 39-37, one had Charlton by the same score and one had it 38-38.