Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan Preview
By Sina Latif
On Saturday, Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) will defend his WBO welterweight title against Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on ESPN Pay-Per-View and BT Sport Box Office.
The most iconic fighting stage in the world is the perfect location for this fight, for both fighters.
For Crawford, he states that he is the best fighter in the world, and now he must literally follow in the same footsteps as legends to prove that he deserves such a title.
The 31-year-old turned professional in 2008, is unbeaten in 34 fights and is a three-weight division champion, winning titles at lightweight, super lightweight (undisputed) and welterweight, but must still prove many doubters wrong, who question the level of his opponents thus far.
It has been promoter politics that has prevented Crawford from fighting the likes of IBF champion Errol Spence Jr and WBA champ Keith Thurman.
He is considered a great fighter, but even for a man who is a three-division and undisputed champion, he can only reach greatness when he gets a signature win.
Although Khan is Crawford’s toughest opponent to this point in Crawford’s career, as a huge favourite in this upcoming fight, Crawford must not only beat Khan, but beat him in style.
Khan has always sought legacy rather than money and is rolling the dice yet again, against one of the very best fighters in the world, someone in Crawford who is considered pound-for-pound best in the world by many.
Khan won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics and has had an excellent professional career, becoming a unified super-lightweight title holder prior to moving up to welterweight.
As a welterweight, Khan has beaten the likes of Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri, and has yet to taste defeat at 147lbs. Khan can be a bigger obstacle to Crawford’s quest for greatness than many may give him credit for.
One thing that Khan has experienced which Crawford hasn’t, is defeat. Not just defeat, but being knocked out. This is a possibility when one enters the ring against Danny Garcia, and then moves up two weight divisions to fight Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Some may say this is miles on the clock for Khan. Others may state that this is unparalleled experience when compared to Crawford’s level of opposition so far, which can undoubtedly favour Khan. The 32-year-old has proved that he can get in the ring and compete against the very best.
Legendary fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Frazier and Rocky Marciano have fought at Madison Square Garden. True boxing greatness has took place at MSG and when iconic moments occur in history, the venue is always attached to the fight.
Crawford has still not become the pay-per-view star that his talent deserves and this PPV in both the US and the UK, taking place at MSG, is the Omaha man’s opportunity to kick-start the next chapter in his career.
A great win over Khan at the ‘home of boxing’ can lead Crawford to fights which can elevate him to make them strides towards lasting greatness.
He is part of one of the deepest and most entertaining divisions in boxing and to unify this division would call for some massively entertaining and historic nights. A rivalry between Crawford and Spence is one which would fit well into any welterweight era in history, the sort of rivalry which enables the transition to greatness.
For Khan, this fight provides the opportunity to right so many wrongs, and have a clean slate. He has tasted defeat and been knocked unconscious before, and received so much criticism over the years even in victory.
One of his greatest victories over Paulie Malignaggi on his US debut nearly a decade ago was at the Garden’s theatre, and after so many ensuing ups and downs, this fight, now at the Garden’s big arena against a great fighter, is Khan’s chance to cause a huge upset, redeem himself for the lows and bow out on an almighty high.
At 32 years old, with his experience, Khan is now a veteran in boxing and is nearing the end. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. He has the chance to obtain something at MSG that every boxer and person strives for… peace of mind.
A legendary venue hosting a potentially legacy-defining fight.