With the likes of Errol Spence Jr, Shawn Porter, and Danny Garcia all booked through March, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) doesn’t exactly have a lot of great options for his next title defense. While there have been discussions to book Crawford against Luis Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs), it’s far from a done deal, and a surprise opponent has now emerged.
Top Rank Boxing, Crawford’s promoter, is negotiating with former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) for a March 23rd pay-per-view event at Madison Square Garden in New York. Khan confirmed talks were ongoing to the Daily Mail, while BoxingScene and ESPN both revealed that Top Rank has offered Khan a $5 million guarantee to challenge one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. The Englishman has been expected to take on Kell Brook in a big domestic bout in 2019 for arguably more money, but the allure of becoming a world champion is quite tempting.
“Fighting for a pound for pound title would be amazing. To win it would be even better so Ii think I’m in a position where I can get that fight with the pound for pound champion at the moment,” Khan told the Daily Mail.
“The Brook fight is always going to be there, it’s for no title whereas I’m getting offered a world title and the pound for pound title so why not?”
Khan took the whole of 2017 off after being viciously knocked out by Canelo Alvarez in an audacious attempt to win the middleweight title (albeit at a 155 lbs catchweight), and signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing. He’s since won a couple of tune-up fights this year against Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas, although the latter was able to drop Khan and hurt him multiple times. At welterweight, Khan has notable wins over Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, and in fact Luis Collazo back in 2014.
Crawford is coming off a 12th round KO of Jose Benavidez Jr in the most-watched boxing or MMA match on American cable TV this year. “Bud” earned a career-high $3.625 million purse along the way. The former undisputed 140 lbs champion won the WBO welterweight title by stopping Jeff Horn this past April. There have been loud calls for him to fight Errol Spence Jr, but that’s easier said than done, and at a minimum we know Spence is fighting Mikey Garcia in March on his own PPV.
Of note is that it was previously reported by Ring Magazine that Top Rank had offered Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) $3 million for a Crawford fight, but that they never got a response back, and Garcia will face Adrien Granados in a FOX main event in April. Presumably Khan was offered more money based on his notoriety and as a means of luring him away from the Brook matchup.
So either Crawford vs. Collazo on regular ESPN, or Crawford vs. Khan on ESPN PPV. One fight is clearly better than the other, but will come at an extra cost.