Khan vs Crawford Live: WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford makes his 2019 debut on Saturday, putting his title on the line against Amir Khan at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Khan, 32, has chosen to snub the advances of Kell Brook and instead takes aim at one of boxing’s modern greats as he looks to head Stateside and come home with the world strap.
But Crawford is 34-0 and has his eye on an all-American unification bout against IBF champion Errol Spence Jr if he comes through this test.
Crawford, 31, is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the sport, if not the best. This is his third fight at welterweight, arguably boxing’s most talent-laden division, and the one in which he aims to stake his claim as an all-time great. He ran out of opponents in the lightweight and junior welterweight ranks, unifying all four major titles in the latter division in 2017.
Before he had a chance to win a world title at 147 pounds, he moved up to middleweight to challenge Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2016, a fight that saw him knocked out in devastating fashion in the sixth round.
For Crawford, it’s a chance to bring his impeccable craft to a much wider audience. For Khan, it’s an opportunity to breathe new life into his career.
Crawford might lack the wider name recognition of a pay-per-view star, but he has the talent. A complete fighter, the Omaha, Nebraska, native has power in both hands, impeccable footwork—he can box out of both stances but favors southpaw these days—and is masterful at disrupting his opponent’s rhythm and timing.
He tends to starts out slow, but what he’s doing is gathering information, figuring out his opponent’s strategy, tactics and what punches they want to establish. Once he has the other boxer figured out, he pummels them into submission.
Khan is far removed from his glory days, when he was beating up on the likes of Zab Judah and Marcos Maidana at junior welterweight. Back-to-back losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia derailed his run at 140 pounds, leading to him to move up to 147 pounds.
The 32-year-old found some success there, winning the WBA international welterweight title and the WBC Silver welterweight strap, but it all went out the window when he lost to Alvarez.
Khan’s speed has always given fighters trouble. Alvarez was not immune to this, with the Englishman buzzing him for a few rounds and making life difficult. Once Canelo locked in, his size and strength advantage took over, though, leading to one of the cleanest knockouts you will ever see.
That led to some time away from the sport, but Khan has come back with a vengeance. He destroyed Phil Lo Greco last year in his return bout, beating him in 39 seconds. He then dominated Samuel Vargas in September, winning by unanimous decision despite suffering an early knockdown.