While the word has been out on the streets for weeks, Top Rank officially announced Monday that Terence "Bud" Crawford's next WBO welterweight title defense will take place April 20 in New York City.
The unbeaten three-division champion from Omaha will face British star Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden in a bout to be televised on ESPN pay-per-view. Tickets for the fight go on sale on Wednesday.
Crawford (34-0, 25 knockouts), widely regarded as one of the top fighters in the world, has headlined at the Garden twice previously — once at the venue's theater and once in the main arena. In his last Garden appearance, he recorded a stoppage victory over Felix Diaz in a May 2017 junior welterweight title fight.
"I can't wait to head back to New York City and Madison Square Garden for this fight with Amir Khan," the 31-year-old Crawford said. "The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude. I know that my fans will make the trip up to New York and I'll have a ton of support when I step in to the ring. I expect Khan's British fans to come out as well, and I believe we will have a packed house on April 20."
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Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), who turned 32 in December, hasn't fought at the Garden since making his U.S. debut in May 2010. Then the WBA Super Lightweight champion, he scored an 11th-round technical knockout of Paulie Malignaggi. More recently, Khan appeared at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in 2015.
"New York is undoubtedly one of my most favorite cities in the world, and it's like a second home to me," Khan said. "This is the biggest fight of my career against one of the world's best in Terence Crawford. Madison Square Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude. It's a short flight for my fans from the United Kingdom. They will be coming over in droves to see this fantastic fight."
Khan, who won an Olympic silver medal for Great Britain when he was only 17, unified the WBA and IBF 140-pound titles in 2011. He hasn't been a world champion since 2012, although he's claimed other specialty titles — like the WBC silver welterweight belt. And he challenged for the middleweight crown.
Crawford, meanwhile, had been a world champion continuously since winning the WBO lightweight championship in 2014. He unified all four of the 140-pound titles before moving up to welterweight and has won both of his fights at 147 by knockout. Crawford takes a five-bout KO streak into the April fight.
In his last bout, Crawford finished Jose Benavidez Jr. in the final round of his first welterweight title defense at the CHI Health Center. He won the WBO title in his 147-pound debut last June in Las Vegas.
Crawford has his sights set on unifying the four welterweight belts. The other champions in his division, however, all fight for a rival promoter/manager on competing networks. Khan, a star in the sport for years, was arguably the biggest-name opponent Top Rank could land for Crawford with its ESPN deal.
Details on how to access the pay-per-view event will be released at a later date.
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Boxing has been a lifelong passion for Terence "Bud" Crawford, shown here in 1998 or '99 at age 11 at the C.W. Boxing Club in Omaha.
By 2005, Terence "Bud" Crawford was one of the nation's top amateur boxers in his weight class.
Terence "Bud" Crawford celebrates his victory over Carlos Molina at the 2006 Golden Gloves tournament. Crawford went on to fall in the national championship bout.
One of Terence "Bud" Crawford's first notable professional fights came in March 2013 against Breidis Prescott. Crawford won by unanimous decision.
In June 2013, Terence "Bud" Crawford won the NABO lightweight title with a technical knockout victory over Alejandro Sanabria of Mexico in a fight held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Terence "Bud" Crawford added another belt to his list when he traveled to Scotland in March 2014 for a bout against Ricky Burns, taking home the WBO lightweight title.
Terence "Bud" Crawford received a hero's welcome when he returned to Eppley Airfield from Scotland after winning the WBO lightweight title.
Fighting for the first time as a professional in Omaha, Terence "Bud" Crawford defended his WBO lightweight title with a technical knockout victory over Yuriorkis Gamboa at the CenturyLink Center in June 2014.
Terence "Bud" Crawford's first professional fight in Omaha drew a crowd of nearly 11,000 people to the CenturyLink Center.
Terence "Bud" Crawford again defended his title at the CenturyLink Center in November 2014 with a 12-round unanimous decision over Ray Beltran. It was Crawford's last fight as a lightweight.
Terence "Bud" Crawford made his debut as a junior welterweight in April 2015, winning the vacant WBO title with a technical knockout victory over Thomas Dulorme in Arlington, Texas.
Terence "Bud" Crawford received the Sugar Ray Robinson Memorial Fighter of the Year Award during a ceremony in New York City in April 2015.
Terence "Bud" Crawford's sons — Tyrese, left, then age 2, and Terence III, right, then age 4 — carry their father's title belts during the Native Omaha Days parade in August 2015.
Terence "Bud" Crawford knocked out Dierry Jean at the CenturyLink Center in October 2015 to retain his junior welterweight title.
Terence "Bud" Crawford has represented both Nebraska and Creighton in the ring, often wearing gear from one of the schools before and after fights. He was honored on the field at Memorial Stadium during Nebraska's game against Iowa in November 2015.
This award-winning photo of Terence "Bud" Crawford was taken in February 2016 as the champ trained in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for his upcoming fight against Hank Lundy.
Terence "Bud" Crawford once again defended his junior welterweight title in February 2016 with a technical knockout over Hank Lundy in front of a sellout crowd at the Theater of Madison Square Garden.
Terence "Bud" Crawford added another honor to his impressive résumé in July 2016 when he collected the WBC super lightweight title and the 140-pound lineal crown to go with his WBO junior welterweight championship after winning a unanimous decision over Viktor Postol at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Terence "Bud" Crawford dominated John Molina Jr. in December 2016 at the CenturyLink Center, winning every round on each judge's scorecard before earning a technical knockout victory in the eighth round.
Terence "Bud" Crawford's next title defense took place in the main arena at Madison Square Garden on May 20 against Felix Diaz. "This is where all of the great champions fought, and I want to be a big part of it," he said at a press conference announcing the fight.
Terence "Bud" Crawford, sporting Omaha shorts, lands a punch on Felix Diaz at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Crawford won after the fight was stopped after the 10th round.
Terence Crawford celebrates his third-round knockout win over Julius Indongo at Pinnacle Bank Arena on Saturday, August 19, 2017. The victory made Crawford boxing's only undisputed champion.
Terence "Bud" Crawford knocked out Australian Jeff Horn in the ninth round on June 9, 2018. It was Crawford's first fight in the welterweight division and earned him the WBO title.
Terence "Bud" Crawford scored a knockout win in the 12th round against Jose Benavidez. The event in Omaha drew 13,323 fans and was Crawford's first defense of his WBO welterweight title.
Terence "Bud" Crawford defeated Amir Khan on April 21, 2019, in Madison Square Garden. More than 14,000 fans saw the champ retain his WBO welterweight title.