In his first appearance on ESPN, Terence "Bud" Crawford made boxing history by knocking out fellow unified titlist Julius Indongo to become the undisputed champion of the junior welterweight division.
More recently, the unbeaten fighter from Omaha helped launch the network's new ESPN+ app with a one-sided demolition of then-welterweight belt holder Jeff Horn that made him a three-division champ.
Crawford (33-0, 24 knockouts) has seen his stardom within the sport grow since his promoter, Las Vegas-based Top Rank Boxing, signed an exclusive contract with ESPN last summer. He'll continue to fight on the network moving forward thanks to a new deal that was announced Thursday morning.
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Top Rank and Crawford have entered a new multiyear agreement that will continue a relationship that began in 2011. Specific terms were not disclosed, but the deal reportedly will be financially substantial.
"Without a doubt, this is one of the most lucrative deals for an individual fighter in the history of boxing," Crawford's trainer and manger Brian "BoMac" McIntyre said in a press release. "The deal that I helped put together with Top Rank and ESPN is unprecedented in the modern boxing landscape."
Crawford, who is expected to defend his new welterweight title in Omaha this fall, is considered by most to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The new deal with Top Rank will allow him to continue to perform on a network that will maximize his exposure to the boxing world and beyond.
"I am the best fighter in the world, hands down. ESPN is the biggest brand in sports, and Top Rank is the biggest promotional company in boxing," Crawford said. "This was a no-brainer for me and my team. All of the superfights that the world wants to see will happen. Mark my words. Like I've said before, I want all of the champions in the welterweight division."
The 147-pound weight class is the most talent-rich division in boxing, but nearly all of the other welterweight champions belong to manager Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions stable. The PBC recently entered a long-term deal to televise its fights on Showtime and Fox. Top Rank, meanwhile, inked a new seven-year contract with ESPN to have its fighters compete exclusively on the network.
Crawford is expected to face unbeaten challenger Jose Benavidez in his first WBO title defense in his next bout. Potential showdowns against WBA super champion Keith Thurman, WBA regular titlist Manny Pacquiao, IBF beltholder Errol Spence Jr. or the winner of Saturday's WBC title fight between Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter will have to wait. Deals between rival promoters and networks will face obstacles.
Top Rank, however, is committed to keeping Crawford busy and at the top of the sport.
"Terence 'Bud' Crawford is the world’s best boxer," Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum said. "We will continue our ongoing campaign to establish him as one of the world’s most recognizable athletes."
Photos: Terence 'Bud' Crawford's path to world champion
Over the last decade, Omaha native Terence "Bud" Crawford has developed into one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet. Check out these pictures following Crawford from his time as an amateur to his current position as world champion.