Terence Crawford wrapped his Saturday night on top of the boxing world.
Crawford defeated Errol Spence Jr. via technical knockout in the ninth round to win the WBC, WBA and IBF welterweight championships. He already owned the WBO title going into the fight. With the win, he became the first male fighter to become the undisputed champion in two divisions in the four-belt era.
“I only dreamed of being a world champion,” the Omaha, Nebraska, native said after the fight. “I’m an overachiever. Nobody believed in me when I was coming up, but I made everybody a believer. I want to thank Spence and his team because, without him, none of this would have been possible.”
The bout had the big fight feel. Andre 3000, NBA star Damian Lillard and Dallas Cowboys team owner Jerry Jones were among those who descended upon the T-Mobile Arena. Additionally, Eminem came out in Crawford’s corner as his hype man. They all watched as “Bud” knocked down Spence three times in the 12-round fight.
Crawford moved to 40-0 and solidified himself as one of the best welterweight fighters of all time.
“They said I wasn’t good enough and I couldn’t beat these welterweights,” he said. “I just kept my head to the sky and kept praying to God that I would get the opportunity to show the world how great Terence Crawford is. Tonight, I believe I showed how great I am.”
Two of the three knockdowns came in the seventh round. Crawford hit Spence with a short right with about 1:02 remaining in the match and another right just before the round ended.
Spence, who moved to 28-1, called for a rematch right away.
“We’ve got to do it again,” he said. “I would be a lot better.”
Crawford teased moving up a weight class for another challenge.
“I’m in the hurt business,” he said. “Forty-seven is kind of hard for me, too. I was already talking about moving up in weight and challenging (champion Jermell) Charlo.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.