Amir Khan Fight is Perfect for Terence Crawford’s Profile
By Sina Latif
Three-weight world champion, undisputed super-lightweight champion, Welterweight world titlist and pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford facing Olympic silver medallist and former unified super-lightweight champion Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden on April 20th for the WBO welterweight championship is a great fight. This must be stated from the outset.
One must look at the aforementioned introduction of both fighters’ accomplishments to gauge the calibre of both men in the ring.
Granted, Kell Brook v Khan is the fight that British boxing fans have been demanding for years and the fight they all really want to see. However, such is the nature of boxing fans that if we witness a brilliant fight at the ‘mecca of boxing’, it won’t be long before everybody will be happy that they had the privilege of witnessing a classic at MSG.
One man who should be the happiest of all that this fight is official is Crawford.
For a fighter who is one of boxing’s elite and one of the pound-for-pound best, Crawford has still not become the American pay-per-view star that promoter Bob Arum has long strived for him to become.
After Crawford’s underwhelming last attempt at divulging into the pay-per-view market against Viktor Postol in 2016, a fight against Khan, who is a popular name in both the UK and the US, having been involved in extremely entertaining fights in both continents during the past decade, is the perfect fight for Top Rank Boxing’s first PPV event under their deal with ESPN.
Crawford wants to face the other welterweight champions, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr, WBA super champ Keith Thurman and WBC champ Shawn Porter, as well as former WBC champ Danny Garcia. However, the problem is that they are all PBC fighters and tied to PBC’s broadcast partners, Showtime and Fox. Crawford is with Top Rank and is tied to ESPN. This makes a deal for Crawford to fight any of them extremely difficult to make.
Therefore, the move to organise a fight with Khan has been a very smart move by promoter Bob Arum. Crawford v Khan will be the first ever pay-per-view fight on ESPN, and will be against a fighter, in Khan, who has a bigger name than any of the aforementioned fighters.
Khan is a fighter that UK fans seem to love to hate as of late, but nevertheless he is truly entertaining to watch, one of the most entertaining fighters in boxing, and is the first top quality welterweight that Crawford will be facing, following his previous fights at 147 against Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez Jr.
A fight against Khan will give Crawford a bigger profile worldwide, and can be the true break-through fight for the Omaha switch-hitting sensation at 147 if he was to prevail victorious, and the most notable win of his career.
Crawford detractors like to state the lack of any top-quality names on his resume. Comparisons are constantly made between the Omaha native and Spence, with some saying that Spence would be too much for Crawford. Whilst Spence is a special talent who grinds opponents down, particularly with crunching body shots, perhaps this notion is also largely due to Spence’s victory in the UK against Brook, which did wonders for his profile and overall reputation.
Spence fought on away soil to beat the IBF champion, who had become a champion by fighting away from home himself to beat Porter, one of the greatest victories in history on foreign soil by a British fighter. Furthermore, the Texan will be headlining his first pay-per-view fight in March against undefeated four-division champion and lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia, a showdown between two elite fighters. The fight will be on Fox pay-per-view, will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington Dallas, with Spence recently revealing that attempts are being made to sell 70,000 tickets, and is bound to boost Spence’s profile significantly.
Although a Spence v Crawford fight in the future may seem difficult to make due to politics, it may very well happen as the demand will become overwhelming to determine the best welterweight of this generation.
For ‘Bud’, who still perhaps lacks the superstar profile that a boxer with his magnificent talent deserves, a victory against Khan, which is no guarantee, would also do wonders for him in Arum’s quest to make Crawford America’s next pay-per-view star.
A Spence v Crawford showdown in the future could possibly crown the new face of boxing and would be the perfect acid test for Crawford to gain the recognition that his ability has always deserved as he now approaches the final years of his career, at the age of 31.
Time will tell with regards to what the future holds, but for now, this is a great time for Crawford. He just has to produce on the 20th April.
It may be fitting that he truly launches himself into superstardom at the historical Mecca of Boxing, where some of the greatest fighters of all time have endured many iconic moments.