WBO light-welterweight champion Terence Crawford moved one step closer to a potential bout with Manny Pacquiao next year after stopping Dierry Jean in front of a hometown crowd on 24 October. The 28-year-old American has been touted alongside the likes of Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez and even long-time rival Floyd Mayweather as a potential last opponent for 'Pacman' as he seeks to hang up his gloves in 2016 in order to focus his attention on securing a national senate seat in his native Philippines.
Going up against a tricky fighter in the experienced Jean whose only loss in his 30-fight professional career to date had been delivered by Lamont Peterson two years ago, Crawford provided a timely reminder of his quality at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska as he successfully defended the belt he won with victory over Thomas Dulorme back in April courtesy of 10th-round knockdown.
"I'm ready. Bob, make it happen," he signalled to Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, after maintaining his 100% record. "I'm ready. I'm gonna let my handlers, [co-managers] Cameron Dunkin and Brian McIntyre, talk to Bob Arum and Team Pacquiao, and let's see if we can make it happen."
In response, Arum added: "It would be one hell of a fight. The next step is for Manny to review the tapes from tonight's fight, and we also have to wait for the result of November 7 [Timothy Bradley v Brandon Rios], then we'll regroup after that."
Elsewhere on a busy night of boxing, Chris Eubank Jr debuted for Matchroom with an easy win against 39-year-old Tony Jeter at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield. The British middleweight, who became WBA champion in February after stopping Dmitry Chudinov, was not challenged as he retained his title inside two rounds. Next on the horizon for Eubank Jr is a final world middleweight title eliminator against Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan at London's O2 Arena on 12 December.
"This was the warm-up fight, this is the fight that's getting me ready, this was getting rid of the ring rust and ready for 12 December against a man called Spike O'Sullivan," he told Sky Sports after his latest win. "It's going to be one hell of a fight, he's been talking a lot of mess and it's time for some punishment. [It's going to be] all-out war, I'm going to be going in there an absolute animal; I hope he's ready for it."
On the undercard of Eubank Jr v Jeter, a bill that was originally supposed to be headlined by Kell Brook's showdown with Diego Chaves before the former was forced to postpone the bout due to a muscle injury, Gavin McDonnell retained his EBU super-bantamweight title via a unanimous decision victory over Jeremy Parodi.