Immediately after signing one of the most lucrative deals for an individual boxer in the sport’s history, Terence Crawford’s first WBO welterweight title defense has been announced.
Though rumored for weeks, but now official after an announcement made by Top Rank Boxing, Crawford will defend his WBO title against unbeaten contender Jose Benavidez Jr. on October 13. The fight will take place at the CHI Health Center in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha, Nebraska and headline a Top Rank Boxing card on ESPN.
Benavidez, an unbeaten contender who previously held the interim WBA junior welterweight title, has been calling for a fight against Crawford since February when he got an eighth-round stoppage victory over Matthew Strode. Benavidez is currently ranked in the top 15 by the WBO as well as being the top ranked fighter in the WBA welterweight rankings.
This will be Crawford’s first defense of the title since winning it off of Jeff Horn in Las Vegas earlier this summer on a Top Rank card streamed exclusively on ESPN+, becoming a three-division world champion. Omaha, Nebraska is not only Crawford’s hometown, but it is also the city where Crawford achieved history by becoming the first undisputed champion at 140 pounds when he knocked out Julius Indongo on ESPN.
As part of an expanded effort by ESPN to have more boxing coverage, the weigh-ins for Crawford vs. Benavidez, as well as the co-main event fight that has yet to be announced, will be televised live on ESPN2 on October 12.