Terence Crawford Headlines Broadway This Saturday – WBC and WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford (30-0) is in New York City this weekend to defend both of his world titles against the challenge of once beaten Felix Diaz (19-1) of the Dominican Republic.
Crawford will be entering the fight a prohibitive favorite. Crawford has held world titles at lightweight and now at super lightweight and he has rarely been challenged in the ring. In July of last year he faced then-undefeated WBO world champion Viktor Postol in a fight that was considered nearly a toss-up at the sports books heading in. That fight saw Crawford dazzle with his technique as he far outdistanced Postol on the judges cards, winning by scores of 118-107, 118-107, 117-108. That performance catapulted Crawford to the top, or near the top, of most of boxing’s pound-for-pound lists. Promoter Bob Arum is not shy about telling the world that Crawford is one of the best fighters on the planet today.
Diaz may be getting underestimated at the sports books, however. A stocky southpaw with an unorthodox style, Diaz has a long amateur resume that includes a 2008 Olympic Gold Medal. He has gone 19-1 so far as a pro, with his lone loss coming at the hands of veteran Lamont Peterson in a fight many thought Diaz won.
Diaz has said all the right things in the build-up to the fight and he does not appear to be intimidated one bit. Everyone is expecting him to lose except for him and his group. He went 2-0 in 2016 after the loss to Peterson and one of those wins was over the highly regarded prospect Sammy “The Who Can Mexican” Vasquez in a fight that saw Vasquez enter favored as well. Could Diaz surprise again?
Terence Crawford Headlines Broadway This Saturday
Crawford and Diaz is the main event of an eight-fight boxing card, produced by Bob Arum and Top Rank Boxing. The co-feature bout sees veteran Raymundo Beltran (37-7-1) defending his regional lightweight titles against Johnathan Maicelo (25-2). Beltran went 3-0 in 2016 to fight his way back into the world title picture at lightweight after going 0-1-1 with a no contest in three world title bids in 2014-2015. Many people felt Beltran’s draw with Ricky Burns was a fight that he should have won. The loss was to Terence Crawford, but it is the no contest that is the true black mark on the Beltran resume as he failed to make the weight, won the fight but not the belt and then had the fight turned to a no contest due to a positive PED test. Beltran has since served the suspension and he has re-focused on earning another world title bid. For his part, Maicelo is riding a four fight winning streak since his January of 2015 loss to Darlys Perez for an interim world belt.
The rest of the card features seven additional fights including part of Top Rank’s roster of former Olympians as Shakur Stevenson (1-0) and Teofimo Lopez (4-0) take to the ring in 6 round under card bouts.
Madison Square Garden – New York City, New York – HBO
Super Lightweight 12 rounds –
Felix Diaz +1400
Terence Crawford -2500
Lightweight 12 rounds –
Jonathan Maicelo +250
Raymundo Beltran -350
Terence Crawford Headlines Broadway This Saturday / Check out more boxing news and features at The Sweet Science, where the best boxing writers write.
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