TERENCE CRAWFORD will defend his WBO welterweight title against Amir Khan on April 20.
The venue for the contest will be in New York or Las Vegas, either at Madison Square Garden or the MGM Grand, to be confirmed shortly. It will also be the first pay-per-view Top Rank will stage with broadcaster ESPN.
The UK broadcaster is still to be decided.
It is a tough ask for Amir Khan. Top Rank’s Bob Arum for instance considers Crawford “certainly the best welterweight that I’ve seen since Sugar Ray Leonard”.
Khan’s British rival Kell Brook will have to wait. “You can’t knock him [Khan], he’s taking on one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world today,” Matchroom’s Frank Smith said. “It’s a very tough fight for Amir but he’s never shied away from huge fights.”
“If I take it lightly I’ll get hurt [but] I can win this fight,” Khan insists. “I feel comfortable at this weight [147lbs]. Styles make fights. He has a great style. He is an unorthodox fighter but I think he’ll gel well against my style.”
Khan will rejoin trainer Virgil Hunter, who had been unwell. “He’s also happy with me taking this fight against Crawford. He knows it’s a dangerous fight but he knows I’m capable of winning this fight,” Amir said.
Crawford said, “I worked very hard to get to where I am right now, to be mentioned in those same categories with those great champions it just tells you where my career is heading.”
“Amir is a great fighter. It’s a tough fight for us,” Crawford continued. “We’re going to see whose style is going to be telling on fight day.
“Everybody knows Amir Khan is fast, he’s a fast puncher, he’s a great boxer. I just think my smartness and my timing and my ability to adjust is going to lead me to victory.
“We shall see.”