On Sunday afternoon, NFL fans were treated to something they aren’t typically accustomed to. It wasn’t Tyson-Holyfield or Canelo-Golovkin, but Crabtree versus Talib was the best football fight in recent memory.
The challenger, Michael “King Crab” Crabtree, stands in at 6’1″, weighing 215 pounds. The defending champion Aqib Talib, who took Crabtree’s chain in the first bout, matches Crabtree’s height but weighs ten pounds less.
The two line up against each other in the first quarter, not wasting any time.
On 2nd and 6, Crabtree throws an aggressive block on Talib. He drives him back six yards, sending Talib staggering towards the sideline. Just before the two take their scuffle out of bounds, Talib once again executes his signature move– snatching the receiver’s chain.
Crabtree continues his block, frustrated that he has to buy a new chain for the second year in a row. Talib clips a camera man as he staggers backwards. Stumbling to the ground, he takes out the legs of yet another innocent bystander. This is where things get messy.
Talib appears to show his strength on the ground, pinning Crabtree on his back. Once he is in a power position, he grabs hold of Crabtree’s collar. Talib throws a punch to the chin before his Denver teammates swarm them.
Denver Broncos players do their best to pull the two apart. Crabtree bounces up, dazed but still jawing at Talib. Talib continues to taunt Crabtree, held back by his teammate. But the fight is far from over.
Crabtree jogs away protected by his bodyguard, 250-pound Jared Cook. Before long, though, the fighters are toe-to-toe to begin round two. Talib steps up, connecting with a straight jab to the head of Crabtree.
But the punch doesn’t come without consequence, however, as Crabtree’s fingers reach through Talib’s facemask to poke him in the eyes.
The fighters separate once again, bobbing and weaving as their teammates close in. With reinforcements a few steps away, Crabtree decides to take a few more swings. He fans on an impetuous right hook and then misses again on a quick jab before Talib is yanked away.
Across two full rounds, Talib looked to be the more polished fighter. Although his striking was not perfect, he showed sound fundamental technique in the ground game. Crabtree, on the other hand, looked very raw and lacking in awareness.
Shaken by the chain removal, he never quite regained his composure.
Final Decision: Aqib Talib, by unanimous decision.