{{featured_button_text}}

There were questions for promoter Top Rank Boxing going into the Crawford vs. Indongo fight.

"It's always a question mark when you go to a new venue and how you're going to draw," said Brad Jacobs, a Top Rank executive event producer. "Even something that's close to (Crawford's) hometown, where he's been proven."

Pinnacle Bank Arena gave Top Rank one big answer on Saturday: 12,121.

That was the final attendance number. And the initial reported attendance of 11,670 would've been Terence "Bud" Crawford's biggest fight in his home state as well.

For context, Crawford's last in-state fight was against John Molina, Jr. in December 2016. That fight drew a CenturyLink Center Omaha arena boxing match record of 11,270. The other three fights in Omaha drew 11,020, 11,127 and 10,943.

So Saturday was the biggest professional boxing match held in Lincoln, by far, and it may have set the record for the biggest boxing match in the state. It also addressed some of the hopes for Pinnacle Bank Arena general manager Tom Lorenz about doing another fight at PBA in the future.

"As far as the future, I hope that Lincoln, and I hope the building has showed up enough, that they'll think about coming back here again," Lorenz said.

Lorenz said there haven't been any preliminary talks as of yet. Both sides said let's put this show on and see how it turns out. But Lorenz said PBA's work with Top Rank over the past 24 hours was very positive. And Jacobs said their side was thrilled with how the night turned out.

Jacobs said Top Rank would absolutely be interested in coming back, and Lorenz said the arena lays out well for a boxing match, with a good layout and good sight lines. But as far as another fight, Jacobs said Crawford would most likely have to be involved.

"It's hard, because to come to location like this you need a local attraction," Jacobs.

But Lincoln and PBA proved Saturday it can be a destination spot for boxing, UFC and other big ticket events.

"And the audience in Lincoln and Omaha have shown that they're willing to be here and travel and support the fighters," Lorenz said.

Moving on up?: Bob Arum, CEO and founder of Top Rank, was asked what's next for Crawford. He said they'll see but did know the following.

"I know he's going to go with me to Australia in November for the Horn-Pacquio rematch and hopefully we'll match him with the winner," Arum said.

What did Crawford think of those plans?

"I'm all for it," Crawford said.

When he was later asked if Saturday was his last fight at 140 pounds, he gave an unequivocal yes. But when mention of vacating the belts was discussed, Crawford changed his tune a bit.

"We might play around and stick around for one more 140-pound fight," he said.

If and when he moves up to 147, what fighters does he want in the welterweight division?

"All of them. All of them."

More volume: Compared to the undercard fights, when Crawford entered the ring and was introduced, the decibel level at PBA multiplied by about 1,000 percent (we're not mathematicians). And when Crawford knocked Indongo down in the second round and then for good in the third, the lid almost popped off PBA.

Crawford noticed.

"It was loud," he said.

But was it the loudest?

"Gamboa that was probably the loudest."

Just a kid from Jersey: During Thursday's news conference Shakur Stevenson was sporting a t-shirt that read "Just a kid from Newark, New Jersey."

So you'll have to cut the 2016 Olympic silver medalist a little slack when he mixed up Omaha and Lincoln, especially with most of the early fight week activities held in Omaha. After his unanimous decision over David Paz of Argentina, Stevenson was asked what he thought of the crowd and atmosphere. He said initially said Omaha felt like a second home, then corrected himself when gently reminded that he was indeed in Lincoln

"I loved the atmosphere," said Stevenson, fighting in just his third professional fight. "Terence's people really showed a lot of love."

Was the win better than taking $100 off Crawford playing basketball (Stevenson bragged about the feat on Thursday)?

"Most definitely," Stevenson said.

"At cornerback for your Nebraska Cornhuskers, No. 140 Terence 'Buuuuuud' Crawford!!!": The biggest early cheer of the night came when the video board cut to a shot of Crawford warming up in the wings of PBA.

Crawford was sporting a red Nebraska No. 140 jersey, which was exactly what he weighed in at on Friday and the maximum allowed weight at the junior welterweight division. Crawford also wore the jersey into the ring.

Hello, Clarice: Steve Nelson, a light heavyweight from Omaha, was wheeled onto the arena floor on cart, in a straight jacket and wearing a leather mask (a la Hannibal Lecter from "Silence of the Lambs").

His opponent Cesar Ruiz, on the other hand, entered wearing just his boxing shorts and gloves.

Nelson returned to ringside after his fight to offer encouragement to fellow Omaha fighter, super featherweight Kevin Ventura. Nelson got especially vocal during the second round when Ventura unleased a flury of rights on Baltazar Ramirez. Ventura knocked Ramirez to his knees in the third round and earned the knockout win.

Overheard: Following the national anthem, ESPN boxing writer Dan Rafael asked Top Rank vice president Todd duBoef where the Namibian anthem was. Indongo is from Namibia.

"They couldn't find it," duBoef said.

Seen: ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard, sitting ringside.

Reach the writer at crobus@journalstar.com or 402-473-2646. On Twitter @ClintRobus.

5
0
0
1
0

Digital sports editor

Clint Robus is the digital and assistant sports editor at the Journal Star.

Load comments