As Terence Crawford continues his journey down the path of the welterweight, his second fight, and first as the WBO champion, will have him return to his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
Crawford is defending his welterweight title against undefeated challenger Jose Benavidez Jr., headlining a boxing card on ESPN on October 13.
The fight is the culmination of months of animosity between the two boxers, starting with Benavidez calling out Crawford all the way back in February. Benavidez, a former interim champion at 140 pounds, claims that Crawford has been avoiding him for a long time. After winning two fights at welterweight earlier this year, Benavidez put himself atop of the list of contenders for Crawford's first title defense.
The 31-year-old Crawford has constantly made his case as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world for years, having won a world title at 135 pounds and then later becoming the undisputed 140-pound champion. Crawford then went up to welterweight to seek new challenges and made easy work of then-WBO titleholder Jeff Horn in June to become a three-division champion.
While Crawford may be a big favorite to win the fight, Benavidez is literally the biggest opponent Crawford has ever faced and is looking to become this year's surprise welterweight champion after Horn shocked the world and beat Manny Pacquiao last year to win his first world title.
The card itself features many of Top Rank's brightest prospects as they continue climbing the ranks to become a world champion someday. Some of these prospects include the likes of Shakur Stevenson, Carlos Adames and Mikaela Mayer.
Below is the full card, which will be streamed on ESPN+ with the main card being televised on ESPN:
- Terence Crawford (c) vs. Jose Benavidez Jr.: WBO welterweight title
- Shakur Stevenson vs. Viorel Simion
- Carlos Adames vs. Josh Conley
- Mike Alvarado vs. Robbie Cannon
- Ismail Muwendo vs. Andre Wilson
- Steve Nelson vs. Oscar Riojas
- Mikaela Mayer vs. Vanessa Bradford
- Jose Valenzuela vs. Hugo Rodriguez
- Keeshawn Williams vs. Ramel Snegur
Tale of the Tape:
Record: 33-0 (24 KO)
Notable Wins: Jeff Horn, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo, Raymundo Beltran, Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa
Titles Won: WBO Welterweight World, WBA Junior Welterweight World, WBO Junior Welterweight World, IBF Junior Welterweight World, WBC Junior Welterweight World, WBO Lightweight World Titles
Jose Benavidez Jr.:
Record: 27-0 (18 KO)
Notable Wins: Frank Rojas, Mauricio Herrera
Titles Won: Interim WBA Junior Welterweight Title
Betting Odds (Provided By PaddyPower.com):
Terence Crawford Win: 1/25 (Favorite)
Jose Benavidez Jr. Win: 10/1 (Underdog)
Fight Ends In A Draw: 33/1
Crawford recently spoke to Fightful on how he has felt physically at welterweight and potentially unifying the 147-pound division. You can read that article at this link.