Terence Crawford could be fighting at Madison Square Garden in his first welterweight world title defense of 2019.
According to a report from Boxing Scene, Crawford is close to signing a deal to fight former world champion Luis Collazo in the main event of a Top Rank-promoted card televised on ESPN. The fight, if signed, could take place at the New York venue on March 23, 2019 for Crawford's WBO welterweight world title, although the date and venue has yet to be agreed upon.
Crawford won the WBO title earlier this year with a stoppage victory over Jeff Horn, winning a world title in his third weight class. Crawford would go on to defend his new title with a TKO win over Jose Benavidez Jr. back in October. That fight, which aired on ESPN, would go on to produce the highest ratings for a boxing fight on the network for 2018 up to this point.
The report comes as a surprise as many had tabbed Egidijus Kavaliauskas, another fighter promoted by Top Rank, to be Crawford's next opponent after Kavaliauskas recently won a title eliminator. Kavaliauskas is currently ranked No. 2 by the WBO at 147 pounds while Collazo is not in the WBO's top 15.
Collazo, who fights under for Premier Boxing Champions, previously held the WBA welterweight title in the mid-2000s but lost the belt to Ricky Hatton in 2006. The 37-year-old Collazo sports a 38-7 career record, but has lost fights to Shane Mosley, Amir Khan, Andre Berto and Keith Thurman.