Strictly Business Boxing
Strictly Business Boxing

Crawford vs Khan Weigh-In

Official Weights

Terence Crawford 146.4 vs. Amir Khan 146.6

Teofimo Lopez 135 vs. Edis Tatli 134.8

Shakur Stevenson 125.8 vs. Christopher Diaz 125.6

Felix Verdejo 135 vs. Bryan Vasquez 135.4

 

Venue: Madison Square Garden, New York City

Promoter: Top Rank

TV: PPV

Crawford vs Khan Final Presser!

(April 17th) The time for talking is over. Terence "Bud" Crawford is ready for business.

 

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) will defend his WBO welterweight title against Amir "King" Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) Saturday night at Madison Square Garden on the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN PPV (9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST).

 

The PPV undercard will feature undefeated lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez against Edis Tatli in a 12-rounder, Shakur Stevenson versus Christopher Diaz in a 10-round featherweight showdown and Puerto Rican superstar Felix Verdejo taking on former interim world champion Bryan Vasquez.

 

Three days away from the Garden Party, this is what Crawford, Khan and their trainers had to say.

Terence Crawford

"I don't believe no fight that I fight is just another fight for me. I believe that all fights that I fight from here on out are for my legacy. That's why I want the biggest fights out there. Amir Khan's name came up because he was the next best welterweight in the division. I could've easily took {Luis} Collazo. He could've took another fight with Kell Brook. I could've took Collazo, but that wasn't the job that I really wanted to take. Amir Khan is a great fighter. I can't take nothing away from. He's done a lot in the sport of boxing. He has a big name. He's undefeated at the welterweight division. So why not take another step up?

 

On not getting the credit for beating certain opponents

"Sometimes it bothers me, but that just shows how dominant I am. When you got undefeated gold medalists and world champions, where before the fight a lot of writers and fans think that they're going to steamroll me or they're too big for me, and this is going to be the toughest fight of my career. After the fight, they say, 'He wasn't that good,' or 'he was a stand-up fighter,' or 'he was slow,' or 'we knew you were going to do this, we just had to hype up the fight.' So they discredit me. When you look at the fighters I've fought, most of them haven't been the same after they've fought me."

 

"I just want people to respect me for my talent and the skills that I have, and the willingness to go in there and fight any and everybody that's available."

 

Amir Khan

"This {fight} ranks at the top for me because fighting a world champion, Terence is very high in the pound-for-pound rankings, maybe number one or number two. So, it's just amazing for me to be in this position once again. That itself is a great motivation for me, to know that I'm fighting the best out there once again. And it makes me train harder, work harder and focus on this fight. I know that I can't make any mistakes in this fight because I could be trouble. Terence, I've been watching all the videos of his fights. I see how he breaks down fighters, how he sees openings and stuff, and I can't make those openings {easy for him}. Maybe my last performance got me this fight. To me, that wasn't the best performance. That wasn't the best Amir Khan. I'm now back with my old trainer, Virgil Hunter, where I'm happy and he trained me the best. And he knows me better than any trainer out there. We know we've done everything we have to do for this fight, and I'm going to be more than ready."

 

"I've had some good fights in the welterweight division. We fought {Luis} Collazo. We fought {Devon} Alexander. {Virgil} has brought the best out of me. Even the Canelo fight was going well until I got caught with a shot. So, I mean, whereas this fight I'm fighting someone who is my own weight, which helps. Every fight with Virgil, I've learned something from, win or lose, and he's brought the best out of me. I needed to get back with someone who could bring that respect back for the sport of boxing and also make me work harder."

 

"This is a dream come true, and hopefully on Saturday, a dream will come true, where I get my opportunity to fight for another world title and be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. This just drives me, makes me work harder, train harder, stay focused. I know I have someone in front of me who is up there as number one. You can't deny that. He's a good fighter. I know he's training hard because he doesn't want to lose that unbeaten record, and I don't want to lose this fight because I want to achieve everything I want in the sport of boxing."

 

Bob Arum

"I don't have to talk about what the public is going to see from Terence Crawford. Anyone who knows anything in boxing knows a Terence Crawford comes along very seldom in a generation. I look at him {and the closest thing I can recall to him} is Sugar Ray Leonard. Terence reminds me of Sugar Ray Leonard. I'm not going to get into who would win if they fought each other because that ain't gonna happen. Terence is really something special, and I'm so delighted that we've been able to arrange this fight against Khan, who I've always been an admirer of. Tremendous, tremendous fighter. I know Amir remembers the time I spent with his family when he was in Manny Pacquiao's training camp. So I know what he brings to this party, and I am really looking forward to performances by two great fighters. A generational talent in Terence Crawford, and one of the great fighters I've seen in Amir Khan."

 

Frank Smith (Matchroom Boxing CEO)

"Amir had other opportunities he could've gone down, most notably probably the Kell Brook fight. But this is the fight that Amir wanted, and you have respect that and you have to respect a man who has done what he's done in the sport, and I believe on Saturday night he's going to go in there and do a job and become a world champion once again."

 

"I think Amir, when he's in with the best fighters, that's when he looks the best. I think the test of Terence Crawford, taking on one of the best pound-for-pound fighters, one of the most respected fighters in the world, will bring him on. He has come back from those two fights {victories over Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas}... I think as a welterweight, that's the strongest weight for him, and I think it's great having Virgil back in his corner. He had a great time with Joe Goossen, but I think being back with Virgil, who he's been with for a very long time, is important to him."

 

Brian McIntyre (Crawford's trainer)

"It's an honor to be across the ring from Virgil Hunter, and I will tell Virgil and everyone in the world that I'll listen to him, as he {trained} Andre Ward and so many other fighters. As a student of the game, you go back and try to listen to the trainers and see what they tell their fighters in the corner... I'm glad Amir went back with Virgil Hunter because I don't want him to have no excuses when Terence starts touching him."

 

Virgil Hunter (Khan's trainer)

"It's been a pleasure having Amir back. It came at the right time and a good time for a fight of this magnitude, to go up against a great fighter like Terence Crawford. As coaches, we live for these opportunities. Whether we win, whether we come up short, we thrive in these settings. It's a great opportunity, and it's a pleasure to be involved in this event."

 

"He can't have a mental lapse. He has to be focused every second of every round and be able to read the adjustments that a great fighter like Crawford will make. He's {excellent} at making adjustments, and we have to be able to read those adjustments and adjust accordingly to stay competitive and try to win this fight."

 

ESPN PPV, 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST

Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan, Crawford's WBO welterweight world title

Teofimo Lopez vs. Edis Tatli, 12 rounds, Lopez's NABF lightweight title

Shakur Stevenson vs. Christopher Diaz

Felix Verdejo vs. Bryan Vasquez, 10 rounds, lightweight

 

ESPN2, 6 p.m. EST/3 p.m. PST

Carlos Adames vs. Frank Galarza,10 rounds

Edgar Berlanga vs. Samir Barbosa, 8 rounds

Larry Fryers vs. Dakota Polley, 6/4 rounds

Vikas Krishan vs. Noah Kidd, 6 rounds

Lawrence Newton vs. Jonathan Garza

Crawford vs. Khan will be available via all major cable and satellite providers with a suggested retail price of $59.95 (SD) or $69.95 (HD).

 

All undercard bouts will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

 

Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) are on sale now and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.msg.com.

 

About Top Rank

Las Vegas-based Top Rank stands as the country’s premiere boxing promotions company for one reason: We take care of our fighters and our fans. For nearly half a century, Top Rank has nurtured some of the sport’s all-time greats and produced some of its most exciting bouts. It’s a practice we continue to this day, as Top Rank further expands its brand while introducing the sport of boxing to a new generation of fans.

 

From ALI to PACQUIAO

Muhammad Ali. George Foreman. Roberto Duran. Marvin Haggler. Sugar Ray Leonard. Those are just some of the all-time greats we’ve promoted during our more than 50 years in the sport.

 

Indeed, we’ve staged some of the biggest fights in history featuring its biggest stars—names and events that transcend the confines of the ring and reverberate throughout the culture. That’s how we built our global reputation as the gold standard in boxing: by developing talent, creating innovative programming, and orchestrating world-class events.

 

More recently, we’ve guided the careers of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, and Manny Pacquiao. Our current stable of champions is similarly poised for success. Vasiliy Lomachenko, Terence Crawford, Oscar Valdez, Gilberto Ramirez, Jose Ramirez: these fighters represent the best the sport has to offer, as well as its global appeal. As we continue to develop new talent, keep a look out for our many exciting young prospects and rising stars.

 

BY THE NUMBERS

9,000 Fights

1,500 Cards

22 Countries

1966 - Top Rank founded when Bob Arum began promoting Muhammad Ali

1972 - Delivered the first live boxing broadcast to HBO

1981 - Developed the first sports series for ESPN

1994 - Promoted George Formeman’s historic win over Roy Moorer

1996 - Launched a Spanish Language series on Univision

2015 - Promoted Mayweather-Pacquiao, the largest-grossing one-night sports event in history

2017 - Signed an exclusive four year programming deal with ESPN to bring free boxing back to the mainstream

 

THE DIGITAL ARENA

In the 1970s and ’80s, Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum was one of the first promoters to harness the power of closed-circuit and pay-per-view models of selling televised fights. He later parlayed this knowledge into ground-breaking deals with HBO, Showtime, ABC and a host of other networks. Now, Top Rank works with ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, to bring boxing back to the masses.

 

True to form, Top Rank now finds itself at the vanguard of the next wave of emerging technologies: web-based and digital marketing. We maintain a robust presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

 

Our ever-evolving website offers a taste of everything writers want and fans yearn for. From fighter bios to breaking news, we provide users with regularly updated content.

Crawford vs. Khan Media Workout Notes & Quotes!

(April 16th) WBO welterweight champion Terence "Bud" Crawford and Amir "King" Khan hosted a media workout today at EverybodyFights, as the pair prepares for Saturday evening's Top Rank on ESPN PPV showdown at Madison Square Garden.

 

The stacked undercard will feature a pair of highly anticipated co-features: Lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez will fight Edis Tatli in a 12-rounder, while featherweight phenom Shakur Stevenson will face former world title challenger Christopher Diaz in a 10-rounder.

 

In the 10-round televised opener, Felix Verdejo seeks to return to lightweight contention versus former interim world champion Bryan Vasquez.

 

Here is what the PPV fighters had to say.

Terence Crawford

"I feel like I'm already the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Beating Amir Khan would only solidify my place in the sport. Amir Khan is undefeated as a welterweight and can't be underestimated. He has great hand speed, movement, and some power as well. I want to showcase all of my talents in this fight."

 

"I don't worry about the bigger names. My focus is on Amir Khan. He is the task at hand. I've never overlooked an opponent."

 

"I feel like a lot of times people don't give me credit for who I've beaten. I've defeated gold medalists, undefeated fighters, world champions. It doesn't matter. Before my fights, people talk about how it's going to be the hardest fight of my career. Then I beat them, and people make them seem like they were nothing. I am going to keep doing what I'm doing and keep being victorious."

 

"I am on a high level right now, and the way I beat people makes it seem like they don't belong in the ring with me. Against Khan, I will show everyone again why I'm the best fighter in the world."

 

Amir Khan

“I wanted this fight because I wanted to fight the best. Terence Crawford presented the greatest challenge to me at this point in my career. Listen, the Kell Brook fight was there, but fighting Terence gives me the opportunity to show I am a pound-for-pound fighter.”

 

"I'm not going to be giving all that weight away when I fight Crawford. When I fought Canelo, he was a much bigger man. This is a fairer fight in terms of weight. I am confident I can win this fight because he has never fought anyone like me. I have power, speed, and movement, and he has certainly never fought a welterweight like me. I've grown into my weight. I'm not just another number on Crawford's record."

 

"When I lose focus is when I get in trouble. Against Samuel Vargas, it wasn't even a great punch that put me down. I lost focus for a second and got caught. I've sparred with strong, heavy-handed guys this camp, and I know I can take a big welterweight punch."

 

Teofimo Lopez

"Training camp has been great. It's been a long time since someone has gone the distance with me, and that's not changing come Saturday night. We're working on new things in the gym, focusing on power and changing things up. I've shown people some of my arsenal, but no one has seen what I am capable of yet. Against Tatli, I will put on a show. I will steal the show."

 

"My last fight {Feb. 2 against Diego Magdaleno} showed some people can withstand my power, but at the end of the day, they all fall."

 

"There's no bad blood with Tatli and me, but I'm still going to kick his ass. I'm still going to beat him up. That I can guarantee. They bumped this fight to a 12-rounder to get me ready for a world title shot. That's coming soon."

 

"All of the hard work that my father and I have put in is starting to pay off. Fans and media have recognized my talents, but I am focused solely on what's in front of me this Saturday. Every time I fight at MSG, I take over the show, and that's the plan. I will steal the show."

 

"I don't need a Lomachenko fight to be a superstar. But I want to be the best and I want to fight the best. This is my last year at lightweight, so after I get that world title, let's make it happen!"

 

Edis Tatli

"I came a long way for this fight because I know I can win. I have been in with the better fighters, and my talent will show on Saturday night."

 

"All fighters dream of fighting in America. To fight at Madison Square Garden on a card like this is a dream come true."

 

Shakur Stevenson

 

"I was ready to take the next step in my career. This is a fight I wanted. I want to show everyone I am a top fighter. The time was now to step up."

 

"My team and I know we can beat Diaz, which is why we took this fight. This is my time. This is what I've wanted since I turned pro following the Olympics."

 

"I want all the champions, but first, I have to beat Christopher Diaz."

 

Christopher Diaz

"Shakur made a mistake when he accepted this fight. I'm sure he's going to be a world champion one day. He's a very good fighter, but his team made a terrible error in judgment."

 

"All fighters say this, but this was truly the best training camp of my career. This is my first fight with Freddie Roach, and we had perfect chemistry from day one. I've been sacrificing and training hard for three months. I am going to take his undefeated record. I am going to win this for my family and for Puerto Rico."

 

"I am a different fighter since moving down from 130 pounds. This is the new and improved Christopher Diaz."

 

Felix Verdejo

"I know this is a very important fight for my career. I'm going against a former world champion and a great fighter. But I am ready to show the world that I'm still an elite fighter."

 

"Having my baby last year changed my life. I fight for her now. It puts things in perspective."

 

"For me, this fight is about redemption. After beating Vasquez, I want to fight for a world title."

 

Bryan Vasquez

"This fight means everything to me. I am going to give it my all in this ring. One thing I know is that Felix Verdejo has never faced anyone with my skills or my toughness. I want a world title shot, and beating Felix is my way to get there."

 

"To fight on a card like this is a great honor. Since signing with Top Rank last year, I have been active and improving with every fight. I am ready to put the lightweight division on notice. Felix isn't ready for me."

 

"You haven't seen the best of Bryan Vasquez. I have been in there with elite fighters, and that experience will show on Saturday night."

Virgil Hunter, Amir Khan's Coach,

Breaks Down His Training for Terence Crawford!

Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan April 20th

Top Rank on ESPN Pay-Per-View Details Revealed!

(April 12th) The undefeated pound-for-pound king, three-division world champion and reigning WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford will headline the inaugural Top Rank on ESPN pay-per-view broadcast against former unified super lightweight world champion Amir “King” Khan Saturday, April 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Madison Square Garden.

 

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), the fighting pride of Omaha, Nebraska, unified all four super lightweight titles in August 2017 and moved up to the welterweight division intent on doing the same. In June 2018, he won the WBO welterweight title with a dominant ninth-round stoppage over Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. Four months later, in front of a packed hometown house at the CHI Health Center Omaha, he stopped bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in the 12th round.

 

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), who captured an Olympic silver medal in 2004 for Great Britain at the age of 17, has long been one of boxing’s most captivating performers. He won his first world title in 2009 and has victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander. He is undefeated as a welterweight and is once again attempting to prove his greatness against boxing’s best.

 

In other action on the pay-per-view broadcast:

Lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) will face former world title challenger and two-time European lightweight champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) in a 12-round co-feature. Lopez is ranked in the top five by all four major sanctioning organizations and is coming off a savage seventh-round knockout over Diego Magdaleno.

 

In the other co-feature attraction, Shakur Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs), the 21-year-old featherweight phenom who earned a silver medal for the United States at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will face former world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs) in a 10-rounder.

 

Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), one of Puerto Rico’s most popular fistic attractions, will fight former interim world champion Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight duel with potential world title implications.

 

In other action on the ESPN2 broadcast:

Former Indian amateur standout Vikas “The Indian Tank” Krishan (1-0, 1 KO) will take the next step in his professional journey against Noah Kidd (3-1-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight fight. Krishan was a two-time Olympian for his home country and is the only Indian fighter to have won both the Asian and Commonwealth Games.

 

“As I continue my pro journey, it’s an honor to fight on such a significant card,” Krishan said. “There is a large Indian population in New York and New Jersey, and I can’t wait to see the support from my Indian people. It’s going to be a special night.”

 

Puerto Rican middleweight sensation Edgar Berlanga (9-0, 9 KOs) has scored nine consecutive first-round stoppages to begin his pro career. He will look to make it 10 for 10 versus Brazilian veteran Samir Dos Santos (37-15-3, 26 KOs) in an eight-rounder. The Brooklyn-born Berlanga has fought four times in New York City as a pro and will be making his Top Rank debut.

 

Bantamweight prospect Lawrence “BT” Newton (11-0, 7 KOs), a stablemate of Crawford’s, will face Jonathan Garza (7-2, 2 KOs), in a six-round showdown.

 

Larry Fryers (9-1, 3 KOs), a native of Ireland who now lives in New York, will look to make it four wins in a row against Dakota Polley (5-2, 2 KOs) in a super lightweight bout scheduled for six or four rounds.

 

To read Crawford vs Khan Conference Call Transcript (click here).

Carlos Adames vs Frank Galarza Headlines Packed Crawford vs Khan Undercard Show April 20th on ESPN2!

(April 3rd)  One of the 154-pound division’s biggest punchers — Dominican sensation Carlos “El Caballo Bronco” Adames — is set to make a thunderous statement April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

 

NABF champion Adames will defend his belt against Brooklyn native Frank Galarza in the 10-round featured bout on the Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan undercard broadcast, which will begin at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT on ESPN2 and in Spanish on the ESPN app. Adames vs. Galarza will also be contested for the vacant NABO 154-pound belt.

 

Adames vs. Galarza will headline a scheduled five-fight broadcast, which will lead into the Crawford vs. Khan pay-per-view extravaganza at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.

 

Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

 

"I am thrilled and proud to fight at Madison Square Garden once again. It is a great honor to be in action on such a big stage and on an important card like this one,” Adames said. “I have a new trainer, Robert Garcia, and we are working on a lot of new things. This will be the new era of 'Caballo Bronco.' Frank Galarza is a good, experienced fighter. I know he has faced good opposition and that he is training hard for this fight. It will be a very interesting fight because he will be battling against someone that wants to be one of the greats in the sport. I'm coming to make noise in the 154-pound division."

 

“There is no better place for this fight to be than at The Garden,” Galarza said. “It’s a dream come true for me. I’m ready to show the world what I’m really made of. Carlos and I both are ranked in the top 15 in the WBO. He is coming to my backyard, and it's going to be a great fight.”

 

Adames (16-0, 13 KOs) is 3-0 since signing with Top Rank in early 2018. He turned pro in 2015 after a nearly 300-fight amateur career and showed he belonged at the world-class level in July 2017, knocking down and scoring a shutout decision over former world champion Carlos Molina. His last two fights have lasted a total of five rounds, and he is coming off a third-round knockout over Juan Ruiz on Jan. 18 in Verona, N.Y.

 

Galarza (20-2-2, 12 KOs), from the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, overcame a troubled childhood and a brief 11-fight amateur career to become a longtime contender in the paid ranks. He began his career 17-0-2 before a sixth-round TKO loss to Jarrett Hurd, who is currently the unified 154-pound world champion. A close decision loss to Ishe Smith followed in September 2016, but Galarza has since resurrected his career, winning a trio of fights to set up this opportunity versus Adames.

Amir Khan Meets the Golden State Warriors

Khan Will Challenge Terence Crawford for His

WBO Welterweight Title April 20th MSG Live on ESPN PPV!

 (photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)

(April 2nd) The "King" of boxing in the United Kingdom met the kings of the NBA.

 

Before continuing his preparation for his April 20 world title showdown against pound-for-pound kingpin Terence "Bud" Crawford, former world champion Amir "King" Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) made a pit stop Monday at the Golden State Warriors practice facility to meet the players and staff of the two-time defending NBA champions.

 

During his visit, Khan posed for photos and gifted signed gloves for DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and head coach Steve Kerr.

 

Immediately following the Warriors practice, Khan returned to the gym as he prepares to challenge Crawford for his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at Madison Square Garden.

Crawford vs. Khan Undercard:

Teofimo Lopez, Shakur Stevenson and Felix Verdejo

Ready to Crash Garden Party April 20th

On Inaugural ESPN PPV!

(March 5th) Before pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford enters the ring to defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan, a pair of 21-year-old wunderkinds — Teofimo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson — will look to steal the show in their respective co-feature bouts on ESPN PPV Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

 

Stevenson, the 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, will tangle with former 130-pound world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz in a 10-round featherweight bout. Lopez, the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year and top lightweight contender, will face two-time European lightweight champion and former world title challenger Edis Tatli in a 10-rounder. Tatli is ranked No. 3 by the IBF and No. 10 by the WBC.

 

And, in a special attraction that will open the broadcast, Puerto Rican star Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo will fight former two-time interim super featherweight world champion Bryan Vasquez in a 10-round lightweight bout that will thrust the winner into the world title picture.

 

Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view broadcast, which will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, will be announced at a later date.

 

The entire undercard will stream live beginning at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+, the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

 

“This terrific undercard accompanying the Crawford-Khan main event will be extremely entertaining and exciting,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Shakur Stevenson and Teofimo Lopez are two of the brightest young lights in boxing and are facing seasoned opponents in Diaz and Tatli. Felix Verdejo is on the comeback trail, and Bryan Vasquez is a tough veteran who won’t give in.”

 

Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) catapulted from prospect to contender in 2018 and early 2019 with a slew of headline-grabbing wins, including sensational knockout victories over Mason Menard and Diego Magdaleno in his last two fights. A 2016 Olympian for his parents’ native Honduras, the Brooklyn-born puncher last fought at Madison Square Garden’s big arena on May 12 of last year, punctuating his first-round knockout of Vitor Jones Freitas with a Fortnite dance that went viral. Tatli (31-2, 10 KOs) has never been stopped as a pro and has wins over current European lightweight champion Francesco Patera, top contender Yvan Mendy and former 130-pound world champion Mzonke Fana. A celebrity in his native Finland, Tatli recently took home the first prize on “Tanssii tähtien kanss,” the Finnish version of the popular BBC program, “Strictly Come Dancing.”

 

“Every time I fight in my hometown, I take over the show, and that’s what I plan on doing again,” Lopez said. “This is the year I become a world champion, and whoever stands in my way is going to get knocked out. If you think you’ve seen the best version of Teofimo Lopez, think again. The Takeover is coming to Madison Square Garden and ESPN pay-per-view.

 

“One thing I know for sure: Tatli will be dancing with the real star of The Takeover on April 20. This ain't reality TV. This is a real fight.”

 

"This is a great matchup, and I can't wait to get the job done," Tatli said. "Lopez is a skilled fighter, and he is in for a real treat on April 20. My goal has been clear for a long time — to win a world title — and Lopez is not going to stop me reaching it."

 

Stevenson (10-0, 6 KOs) followed up a 5-0 campaign in 2018 with a spectacular fourth-round TKO over Jessie Cris Rosales on Jan. 18 in Verona, N.Y. A native of Newark, N.J. — a short train ride from Madison Square Garden — Stevenson hopes to move closer to a world title opportunity in front of his home fans. Diaz (24-1, 16 KOs), from Barranquitas, Puerto Rico, moved down to featherweight following his July 2018 decision loss to Masayuki Ito for the vacant WBO junior lightweight world title. He knocked out David Berna in the first round on Nov. 24 to set up the Stevenson showdown.

 

“Newark is going to be in the building on April 20 as I show Christopher Diaz what I’m all about,” Stevenson said. “After I get done with him, Diaz will wish he’d stayed at 130 pounds. Soon enough, the featherweight division is going to run through me.”

 

"I feel super motivated and focused as always for another big fight in another big event,” Diaz said. “I like these kinds of challenges. I'm fighting against a silver medalist of the 2016 Rio Olympics who is also a great prospect with a lot of potential. He needs to demonstrate that he has what nobody can teach him. He needs to show that he has heart and gallantry. We'll see on April 20 when he faces his first real tough test. I will come prepared as I always do. On that night, he will understand that you can't teach cojones and that I was born with very big ones."

 

Verdejo (24-1, 16 KOs), a former amateur superstar for his native Puerto Rico, hopes to graduate to contender status with a victory over Vasquez. He suffered his first loss last March via 10th-round stoppage to Antonio Lozada Jr. in a fight he was leading. Verdejo was victorious in his comeback bout on Nov. 10 in Puerto Rico, knocking out Yardley Armenta Cruz in the second round. Vasquez (37-3, 20 KOs) has won two in a row since a tight majority decision loss to Ray Beltran in August 2017.

 

"I'm going into this new challenge ready to demonstrate my skills against a world-class fighter,” Verdejo said. “I hope that this fight will open the doors to big fights. I want to bring a world championship to Puerto Rico, and this is the year."

 

“In order for me to lose to Verdejo, he’s going to have to kill me,” Vasquez said. “In order for him to kill me, he’s going to have to be willing to die with me. And he’s already shown that he’s not willing to die in there.”

Crawford / Khan Lands at Madison Square Garden

(February 11th) Start spreading the news. The year’s most anticipated welterweight showdown is headed to The World’s Most Famous Arena.

 

Terence “Bud” Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight world title against Amir “King” Khan on Saturday, April 20 at Madison Square Garden.

 

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets for this world championship event go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 12 p.m. ET/9a.m. PT. Tickets priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

 

Undercard bouts and details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

 

“I can’t wait to head back to New York City and Madison Square Garden for this fight with Amir Khan. The Garden is the perfect venue for a fight of this magnitude,” Crawford said. “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. It’s going to be a great fight so make sure to get your tickets early.”

 

“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, and 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, and they will be coming over in droves to see this fantastic fight. I want to become a three-time world champion, and that is my primary motivation to win this fight.”

 

"Terence Crawford is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, he always puts on a show at Madison Square Garden, and we're excited New York fight fans will be able to see him fight again at The Garden on April 20," said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Marquee Events. "This will be an action-packed fight between Crawford and Amir Khan, and The Garden is excited to host this great night of boxing."

 

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), widely regarded as the world’s best fighter, is a three-weight world champion who has knocked out five consecutive opponents. A former undisputed 140-pound world champion, Crawford won the WBO welterweight title in June 2018 with a ninth-round stoppage of Jeff “The Hornet” Horn. He defended the belt in October with a 12th-round TKO over bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This will be Crawford’s second headlining appearance at the big arena at Madison Square Garden. In May 2017, he knocked out 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz in 10 rounds.

 

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), a former unified world champion at 140 pounds, has won two in a row since his 2016 knockout loss to middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez. He is 4-0 in his career when fighting as a welterweight, including wins over former world champions Devon Alexander, Chris Algieri, and Luis Collazo. Khan headlined at Madison Square Garden once before when he defended his WBA 140-pound world title against Paulie Malignaggi at The Theater on May 15, 2010.

Opening Presser As Terrance Crawford and Amir Khan

Are Set to Battle for Welterweight Supremacy

On Inaugural PPV Under ESPN / Top Rank Banner!

(January 15th) ESPN and Top Rank today announced their first pay-per-view event under the Top Rank on ESPN banner. Two kings are set for the year’s most anticipated welterweight showdown when pound-for-pound king Terence “Bud” Crawford puts his WBO welterweight world title on the line against former unified 140-pound champion and the pride of Bolton, England, Amir “King” Khan, on Saturday, April 20, live on pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT. Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, ticket and venue information will be revealed shortly. Details on the undercard will be announced soon.

 

“The Crawford-Khan showdown is a very interesting matchup of two elite fighters,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Khan, when fighting at welterweight, is as good as there is, but he is fighting the division’s best fighter and a pound-for-pound great. It will be an entertaining and competitive fight. We are also excited to join forces with ESPN on our first pay-per-view venture under the Top Rank on ESPN agreement.”

 

“It’s always been my goal to fight the best fighters out there, and I look at Amir Khan as one of the top fighters in my division,” Crawford said. “I know some people are writing him off, but I am by no means overlooking him. He’s a former unified world champion, and come April 20, I’ll be looking to go out there to seek and destroy. I’m excited about this fight because I believe it can push my career to another level.”

 

“I’m delighted to announce a much-anticipated world title fight with Terence Crawford, the current WBO welterweight world champion,” Khan said. “The decision as to fighting Kell Brook or Crawford has been one of the most difficult decisions of my career to date. Clearly, the UK fans want to see Khan vs. Brook, but I could not turn down the opportunity to fight for the WBO title. That is not to say that the Brook fight won’t happen, as I want that fight to happen as soon as possible. Fighting a world champion won’t be easy, but this is exactly the challenge I need at this stage of my career. I am fully motivated and ready for the best training camp of my life. Crawford is beatable, and I want that WBO title. It’s going to be one hell of a fight.”

 

“There has been a lot of speculation regarding Amir’s next fight, but the lure to trying to win another world title was too much to turn down, and now he faces arguably the number one welterweight in the world in Terence Crawford,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “It’s a fight he believes he can win, and on his night, Amir has all the speed and skills to beat the very best. I believe it will be a fascinating and dramatic matchup.”

 

“Showcasing Crawford-Khan as the first pay-per-view event under the Top Rank on ESPN banner is truly a cause for celebration. Crawford is a world champion, a global phenomenon and perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and Khan is a fighter that everyone wants to see every time he steps in the ring. This is what boxing needs, more big-name showdowns, and this fight is a perfect example of the vision that we had when we teamed up with Top Rank,” added ESPN Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling, Burke Magnus.

 

Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), from Omaha, Neb., is ranked by many experts as the world’s best fighter, a switch-hitting dynamo who has reigned supreme in three weight classes. He won the WBO lightweight world title on March 1, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland, dethroning hometown hero Ricky Burns via unanimous decision. Crawford proved his lightweight supremacy that year with a thrilling ninth-round TKO win over then-undefeated Yuriorkis Gamboa and a near-shutout decision victory over Ray Beltran.

 

Crawford made history when he unified all four 140-pound titles, punctuating his dominance over the division with a third-round knockout against Julius Indongo on Aug. 19, 2017. With nothing left to prove at 140 pounds, Crawford moved up to welterweight. In his first bout at the weight, he knocked out Manny Pacquiao conqueror Jeff “The Hornet” Horn in the ninth round to win the WBO crown. For his first welterweight title defense, Crawford returned home to the CHI Health Center Omaha and knocked out bitter rival Jose Benavidez Jr. in the 12th round in front of 13,323 passionate fans.

 

Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) burst into the public consciousness at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens when, at 17 years of age, he captured a silver medal for Great Britain. He won the WBA super lightweight world title on July 18, 2009, outclassing Andreas Kotelnik to win a unanimous decision. He made five successful title defenses at 140 pounds and became unified champion when he knocked out IBF ruler Zab Judah in five rounds in 2011.

 

Khan has won seven of eight bouts since December 2012, the lone blemish coming when he moved up in weight to fight middleweight world champion Canelo Álvarez. After boxing well in the early rounds, Khan was knocked out with an overhand right in the sixth round. Following the Álvarez defeat, Khan took a nearly two-year sabbatical from the ring, returning in 2018 with a vengeance. In April, he blasted out Phil Lo Greco in 39 seconds, and in September, he notched a wide 12-round points victory over perennial contender Samuel Vargas. More than 13 years since turning professional, Khan will take on the pound-for-pound king in a legacy-defining superfight.

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