Terence Crawford is taking on the biggest name on his ring resume and a fighter that has never lost at Welterweight.
“I love the enthusiasm [boxing has] in this… kingdom,” said Bob Arum to start the conference.
The historic hotel is around the corner from 221B Baker Street, the supposed address of the world’s most famous mythical detective–Sherlock Holmes. A statue of Sherlock Holmes also stands nearby.
While it isn’t a caper, there was undoubtedly a mystery before Tuesday about where this fight will take place. With Matchroom Boxing co-promoting the fight and Khan a household name in much of the United Kingdom some speculated that the promoters would announce the fight would take place in the United Kingdom.
Crawford is considered pound for pound one of the best in the sport by most boxing commentators. Though hailing from Omaha, Nebraska (population 470,000) has made him difficult to market as his “natural” fan base is quite small.
Bob Arum dispelled any idea that the fight would take place in the United Kingdom, stating emphatically that the event would be at Madison Square Garden in New York or the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sherlock Holmes was a legend but, so is Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum who talked of Terence Crawford in similar mythical terms at multiple points during the press conference when given the opportunity.
“The best Welterweight since Sugar Ray Leonard and he would be a slight favourite against Sugar Ray Leonard…he matches up with his ability with Leonard….of the early 1980s, ” said Arum.
Sherlock Holmes liked to challenge himself, often passing on solving minor challenges to focus on the bigger mystery. Khan has never shirked from a big challenge. That was never more true than when he took on Mexican slugger Canelo Alvarez, a fight he was (arguably) winning before the stoppage in their May 2016 showdown.
“He’s a very dangerous opponent, one of the best pound for pound,” said Khan to Round By Round Boxing when speaking of Crawford. “I want to fight the best out there, and this is going to motivate me because it’s very hard fighting a [Samuel] Vargas or a [Phil] Lo Greco to motivate yourself because you know your going to go in there and win.”
Following the Canelo fight, Khan took some time off before fighting two Canadians last year. He knocked out Phil Lo Greco in the first round in April 2018 with his lightning-fast hands.
That speed was still there but, he looked less impressive against Samuel Vargas who dropped Khan in the second round in a fight that Khan otherwise dominated in September of 2018. The Crawford camp should take note it was the first time Khan was knocked down by a straight shot.
This fight will see Khan reunited with trainer Virgil Hunter under whose stewardship Khan has only lost one fight–against Canelo Alvarez.
Khan had to switch to Joe Goossen for his last two outings due to the illness of long-time trainer Virgil Hunter who has now recovered sufficiently enough to train Khan for this fight.
“A fight like this is going to motivate you and make you train and work hard because you know you are probably the underdog going into this fight,” said Khan.
Crawford-Khan takes place Saturday, April 20, live on ESPN pay-per-view at 9:00 pm ET/ 6:00 pm PT. Details on how fans will be able to access the pay-per-view event will be announced at a later date.