Terence Crawford vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas predictions — Who will win?

Welterweight world titleholder Terence Crawford puts his WBO belt on the line against Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Teofimo Lopez goes for his first world title against IBF lightweight titlist Richard Commey on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET).

At this point, the only question worth asking is: Who will win?

Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs), who has won nine of his last 10 fights by stoppage, won the title with a TKO victory over Jeff Horn in June, 2018. Crawford, of Omaha, Nebraska, has made two title defenses, a TKO win over Jose Benavidez Jr. in Round 12 in October, 2018 and a sixth-round TKO victory over Amir Khan back in April.

Saturday, 3 a.m. ET on ESPN+: Golden Contract tournament light heavyweight quarterfinals (Liam Conroy, Steven Ward, Hosea Burton, Serge Michel, Bob Asjisafe, Andre Sterling, Ricards Bolotniks, Tommy Philbin)

Saturday, 5:45 p.m. ET on ESPN+: Terence Crawford vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas undercard fights

Saturday, 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes: Terence Crawford vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas, 12 rounds, for Crawford’s WBO welterweight title

Lithuania’s Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs) last fought in March, a majority draw against Ray Robinson on the Oleksandr Gvodzdyk-Doudou Ngumbu undercard in Philadelphia.

After two split decision loses to Robert Easter Jr. and Denis Shafikov in 2016, Commey (29-2, 26 KOs), of Ghana, has won five consecutive fight, including a second-round TKO victory over Isa Chaniev in February to win the title. In June, Commey defended the belt by stopping former lightweight world titleholder Raymundo Beltran in an eighth-round KO win.

Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs), the ESPN 2018 prospect of the year, has had an incredible start of his career. Lopez, of Brooklyn, New York, has won four of his last fights by KO. In July, Lopez, who has already fought three times this year, scored a one-sided unanimous decision victory over Masayoshi Nakatani to set up the title fights against Commey.

Dan RafaelDan Rafael

Crawford by KO
Crawford is a pound-for-pound elite fighter and Kavaliauskas is not. Kavaliauskas will give a great effort I believe but it won’t be nearly enough. Crawford is far superior, much faster and has good power. He will put it all together as usual and stop Kavaliauskas in the second half of the fight in a dominant performance.

Lopez by decision
On paper this is a great match with a lot at stake. Commey is an experienced veteran who doesn’t fight with a lot of fanfare but has a lot of ability and heart. Lopez is the hotshot rising star eager to test himself? Is he ready for a quantum leap in competition? We’ll find out but I’m going with Lopez by tight decision.

Timothy Bradley Jr.Timothy Bradley Jr.
ESPN boxing analyst/former champion

Crawford by KO
Crawford will box circles around Kavaliauskas and he will knock him out before 12 rounds.

Lopez by KO
Lopez’s father has gotten him ready for this moment his whole life. Lopez will put it all together Saturday night and will stop Commey before the sixth round.

Bob Arum details Terence Crawford’s skills in the ring, including his intellect and physicality. Tune in on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET to watch Crawford take on Egidijus Kavaliauskas on ESPN.

Nick ParkinsonNick Parkinson

Crawford by TKO
Crawford’s accuracy and technique will make this a comfortable win for the WBO titleholder. It would be a surprise if Crawford is taken to points for the first time in three and a half years. More likely, Crawford win with a middle rounds stoppage.

Lopez by TKO
Expect a thriller from these knockout artists — and the end could come at any moment. It’s a tough call, but Lopez has made rapid progress in 14 fights, has the backing of his home city fans and his speed could be decisive.

Teddy AtlasTeddy Atlas
ESPN boxing analyst

Crawford by KO
Kavaliauskas is very strong and physical but he’s also a one dimensional fighter which will allow Crawford to control range and time him coming in. Crawford will move well to avoid Kavaliauskas’ power and will stop him inside of five rounds.

Lopez by KO
Commey is an experienced game fighter who likes to engage, and that will be his downfall against the quick and explosive Lopez. Teofimo will close the gap with a sudden burst and throw his left hook to KO Commey in three.


Teofimo Lopez has heard comparisons from Mike Tyson to Floyd Mayweather, but would prefer to stand on his own. Tune in on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET to watch Lopez take on Richard Commey on ESPN.

Nigel CollinsNigel Collins

Crawford by KO
Kavaliauskas appears to be in over his head. He was lucky to get a draw with Ray Robinson in his most recent fight. Crawford will take a couple of rounds to study his challenger and then proceed to dismantle him piece by piece, stopping the Lithuanian midway into the bout.

Lopez by decision
Commey is by far the best opponent Lopez has fought to date. Both of the Ghanaian’s losses came via split decision and his 83.87 knockout percentage is impressive. It should be a reasonably competitive match, but Lopez is 10 years younger and talented enough to prevail on points and claim his first major title.

Steve KimSteve Kim

Crawford by KO
Crawford is a cut above “The Mean Machine”, who is solid but unspectacular. Look for Crawford to slowly and methodically pick him apart and stop him in the late rounds.

Lopez by decision
It seems as though Lopez has had a focused camp in New Jersey and is well-prepared for his first title opportunity. Commey is strong and sturdy but Lopez is too quick and will find counter-punching opportunities as the fight goes on.

Eric RaskinEric Raskin
Showtime Boxing

Crawford by KO5
Nothing personal against Kavaliauskas, but this fight is everything that’s wrong with alphabet groups and their rankings. “Mean Machine” has beaten nobody to deserve to be ranked No. 1 and he’s nowhere close to Crawford’s level. This ends whenever Bud decides he wants to end it.

Lopez by decision
I suspect Teofimo’s last fight was an aberration that he’ll learn from, and his talent should pull him through here. We’ll find out what he’s made of, though. I fully expect Commey to be right in the fight entering the championship rounds.

Charles MoynihanCharles Moynihan
ESPN bureau producer

Crawford by KO5
Crawford cleaned out the 140-pound division and looks to do the same at 147 pounds. Easy work here against an underwhelming Kavaliauskas. With his full arsenal on display, Crawford wins by fifth round KO.

Lopez by unanimous decision
This will be a tough test for Lopez who many pundits believe will crack the top 10 pound-for-pound list in 2020. The battle tested Commey has far more experience. Lopez has far more skills. Skills over experience. Lopez takes it.

Salvador RodriguezSalvador Rodriguez

Crawford by unanimous decision
This fight is interesting because Kavaliauskas is one of the stronger challengers than Terence has had, but Crawford’s quality is undeniable and that will lead him to a clear unanimous decision victory.

Lopez by decision
This is going to be the toughest fight of their careers, for Commey and Lopez. It’s going to be very competitive but Lopez has passed every test it’s been put in front of him and is now ready to take the next step and win a world title in a very, very close fight.

Bernardo PilattiBernardo Pilatti
Boxing analyst

Crawford by KO
Crawford shouldn’t have any trouble dispatching Egidijus Kavaliauskas, even though “Mean machine” is a dangerous opponent with a lot of power. Kavaliauskas uses the jab very well as a way to get inside. His problem is defense. He’s also slower than Crawford and that will make him an easy prey. Crawford’s speed and power will overwhelm Kavaliauskas in a fight that shouldn’t go longer than the sixth round.

Commey by TKO
Commey is a fast fighter, who generally imposes his rhythm, likes to put pressure on his opponents quickly and throws three and four-punch combinations. Teofimo does not match him in mobility, but he’s very effective with his punches. On paper Teofimo should win, but reality can lower those expectations. Commey is in the best moment of his career and at his peak, while Lopez is just getting to the first level. To that is added the lack of a necessary renovation of its corner to reach the next level. Commey will throw more punches and his experience will guide him to a late TKO win.


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