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On Saturday, April 20, one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year is set to take place, as reigning WBO Welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) is set to put his title on the line against former 140-pound titleholder Amir “King” Khan (33-4, 20 KOs).
The fight is set to take place at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York and will be broadcast live on ESPN pay-per-view.
Crawford, a man many consider to be the very best pound-for-pound boxer alive, moved up to 147 pounds last year after unifying all four major titles at 140 pounds. Since making the jump up in weight, he’s picked up back-to-back victories over Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez Jr.
Stylistically, Bud is without question one of the most dynamic fighters in the sport. Blending a rare combination of speed and power, he’s not only shown the ability to fight out of both stances, but he’s shown the ability to fight successfully out of both stances.
Often switching back-and-forth between orthodox and southpaw throughout the duration of a fight, Crawford has a knack for reading his opponents and quickly adapting on the fly.
And despite his right hand being his dominant hand, the Omaha native has proven to possess power in both hands as evidenced by his 25 career stoppage victories. That paired with his incredibly fast hand speed and devastating body attack make him a dangerous out for any fighter.
In addition, it’s also to important to note that although he possesses a tremendous killer instinct, Crawford is also an intelligent and patient fighter, which only adds to his well-rounded skill set.
Moving onto Khan, the 32-year-old from Bolton, England has long campaigned for fights against boxing’s best and with this fight, he has gotten what he’s always asked for. On the contrary, however, it’s also likely that he represents Crawford’s toughest test to date.
Most recently, Khan has picked up back-to-back victories over Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas, rebounding from a brutal knockout loss suffered against unified Middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in 2016. Khan moved up two weight classes for the opportunity to challenge Alvarez.
Stylistically, Khan rose to prominence due to his incredibly fast hands and his formidable power. Winning a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, Khan has shown to be a highly skilled boxer, possessing strong accuracy and the ability to mix together quick combinations.
What’s always drawn concern about Khan, however, is his defense, as he has, at times, seemed to leave himself a bit too open. Many have also questioned his chin, the impact the loss to Canelo had on him and if he can truly compete against the best in the world.
With this fight, all of those questions remain at the forefront of discussions. It is, however, also important to remember that Khan is a legitimate Welterweight and could be more acclimated to the weight class as opposed to Crawford who remains relatively new to fighting at 147 pounds.
Ultimately, I feel as if Khan certainly represents a tough test for Crawford. I feel as if the Brit may find some success boxing early on and could potentially make things difficult for Bud in the opening rounds.
As many have said before, however, there are levels in boxing and in my opinion, Crawford is on a different level than Khan. I expect the champion’s speed, power, and varied attack to simply be too much for Khan and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pick apart the challenger on his way to a late stoppage or a one-sided decision victory.