The long-awaited WBO welterweight title fight between Jeff Horn and mandatory challenger Terence Crawford is official.
The fight will take place on April 14 at the Mandalay Bay Events Centre in Las Vegas, according to Duco Events's Dean Lonergan, who confirmed the news to AAP. Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, confirmed the date and location to Fightful.
“I’m really happy it’s done," Lonergan said. "This is the most significant fight, I think, in the history of Australian boxing. When was the last time an Australian boxer came up against an all-time legend in Manny Pacquiao and, less than a year later, fight the pound-for-pound king?”
According to the contract, there are two clauses for the fight. The first is that both Crawford and Horn agreed to undergo blood and urine drug tests before and after the fight. The second one, perhaps the more interesting one, is the selection of judges. The contract said that the fight will have a judge from Nevada, Europe and Australia, where Horn is born.
Judging became a point of heavy criticism in Horn's upset win over Manny Pacquiao last summer. Horn won the WBO title off of Pacquiao with a unanimous decision win on ESPN that had many in the boxing community calling the fight a robbery and an act of faulty judging.
A rematch between Horn and Pacquiao had been in the works for last year, but talks fell through and Horn would then defend his title against Gary Corcoran last December. Pacquiao was planned to fight on the undercard of the April 14 card, but had rejected an offer to fight Mike Alvarado. The undercard has not been set, but IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, who has been ordered to fight mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan, had been tabbed as a featured fighter in case Pacquiao does not fight on April 14.
The fight will be Horn's second defense of the title while for Crawford, this will be his welterweight debut. Crawford previously held all major world titles at junior welterweight, but vacated the titles in order to move up in weight. As a result of him vacating the WBO junior welterweight title when he did so last year, Crawford was automatically inserted as the mandatory challenger to the governing body's welterweight title.