Pound-for-pound king and WBO welterweight world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford returns to Madison Square Garden Saturday evening (9 p.m. ET, ESPN) as the headliner for the card of the year, a three-headed monster that will follow the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) will make the third defense of his welterweight crown against No. 1 contender Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KOs), Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) will defend his IBF lightweight world title against unbeaten sensation Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs) and Michael Conlan (12-0, 7 KOs) hopes to gain revenge on former 2016 Russian Olympic nemesis Vladimir Nikitin (3-0, 0 KOs).
The ESPN+ undercard (5:45 p.m. ET) will feature Bronx-born super lightweight Josue Vargas (15-1, 9 KOs) against Noel Murphy (14-1-1, 2 KOs) and Brooklyn-born knockout artist Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga (12-0, 12 KOs), who has never seen the second round as a pro, against the durable Cesar Nunez (16-1-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round super middleweight showdown.
At Tuesday’s media workout, this is what Mean Machine had to say.
“This is a great opportunity for me against the world’s best fighter. When I win, I will be considered one of the world’s best fighters.”
“Terence Crawford is a great fighter, which is why I wanted this fight. I am ranked number one for a reason. I am here for a reason, and I can’t wait for Saturday night.”
“The way to win a title is to fight the best, and Terence is the best welterweight in the world. I want that title, and I will be the first Lithuanian-born boxer ever to win a world title.”