NEW YORK — Terence "Bud" Crawford was brought to New York to expand his marketability.

Consider a sold-out crowd of 5,092 at the Madison Square Garden Theater now in his corner.

Crawford didn't disappoint in his East Coast debut, stopping brash challenger "Hammerin" Hank Lundy at 2:09 of the fifth round to successfully defend his WBO junior welterweight title for the second time.

The two-time champion from Omaha fought almost exclusively from a southpaw stance, staggering the challenger midway through the final round and dropping him with a left hand to the top of the head.

Lundy struggled back to his feet, but Crawford pounced on him immediately. His relentless follow-up flurry in the corner prompted referee Steve Willis to jump in between the fighters and halt the bout.

Crawford moved to 28-0 with 20 knockouts and improved to 6-0 in world title fights. The champ was smiling ear to ear as he came the press table after a convincing win over the trash-talking challenger.

"It was real satisfying, being that all the talk and all the hype leading up to the fight," Crawford said. "I'm glad I got the job done, glad I got him out of there and got my respect. Now, we're on to the next."

Crawford was expected to win the bout. The Philadelphia fighter entered the night with five losses.

Lundy, rated 10th by the WBO, did done nothing to earn the title shot other than to be available. He had lost two of his last three fights — and four of his previous eight — prior to Saturday. Two of those defeats came to boxers Crawford has recently beaten decisively, Raymundo Beltran and Thomas Dulorme.

Still, Lundy was the best option available for what Top Rank was willing to pay, said Crawford's co-manager Cameron Dunkin. Other boxers either turned the fight down or priced themselves out of it.

"There's so many things to making a fight," he said. "You know why Lundy got this fight? Because he fought for the right price. They paid him $190,000, including his promoter. If there was somebody we really wanted to fight, I would've went for it. But I asked them, and they said we're OK with Lundy."

The challenger did keep the promotion interesting, verbally needling the champion at every turn. It only served as added motivation to a self-driven champion, whose competitive drive is always in high gear.

Crawford had won his two previous championship bouts at 140 by knockout. He stopped Dulorme in the sixth round last April in Arlington, Texas, to claim the WBO title after vacating his lineal lightweight crown. He finished Dierry Jean in the 10th round of his first defense at 140 in Omaha in October.

The champ came into Saturday's bout — the first for a Nebraska fighter in NYC with a title on the line since Perry "Kid" Graves claimed the welterweight belt in 1914 - with three knockouts in his five previous fights. He made it four out of six by taking it to Lundy after the challenger also started fighting as a southpaw.

"I was picking up momentum anyway," Crawford said. "But the southpaw (stance) kept us from tangling up each other's feet and jabbing over each other's jab. It was just a straight shot when he turned southpaw. ... He was going backwards and I hit him with a looping left from the southpaw stance. I'd seen that it hurt him real bad, so I jumped on him. When he got back up, I could see his legs were real wobbly. I knew he was really hurt."

And as he did against Dulorme and Jean in his previous title fights at 140, Crawford finished the job.

Lundy, who fell to 26-6-1, gave the champion his due afterward. But he didn't agree with the stoppage.

"He hit me with a good shot, but I don't feel as though they should've stopped it," he said. "I'm a warrior. They'd seen I was causing problems for Terence, too. He couldn't do the things he wanted to do. I ain't taking nothing away from him. He caught me with a good shot. But don't stop the fight like that."

It was only the second time in Lundy's career that he'd been knocked out.

Crawford said he was pleased with his performance and the backing he got from the Garden fans.

"You see the pro-Team Crawford crowd," he said. "Everybody was rooting for me, and we put on a great show."

Contact the writer: 402-444-1027, tony.boone@owh.com twitter.com/BooneOWH

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