Terence Crawford will defend his WBO welterweight championship against former light-welterweight champion and British boxing star Amir Khan on April 20, 2019, at the fabled Madison Square Garden in New York.
Crawford won the WBO 147-pound belt when he scored a rousing 9th round TKO win over Australian Jeff Horn in June 2018. Crawford went on to defend the belt successfully against Jose Benavidez Jr. four months later. Bud was looking at a big name for his next fight but with the likes of Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter all under the PBC banner, Crawford was left empty-handed and had to settle for an unlikely opponent.
Khan meanwhile, took a huge risk in taking this bout. The former Olympian was eyeing a showdown with fellow Brit Kell Brook in a long-awaited showdown but Khan walked away from an additional $5M to face Crawford. Khan was supposed to have an “easier” fight with an over the hill Brook but chose legacy over money when he signed to fight Crawford.
Terence “Bud” Crawford
Terence Crawford’s star has risen since his career-defining win over Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014. Since then, Bud has captured world titles in three weight classes. Prior to his move to the 147-pound division in 2017, Crawford became the undisputed light welterweight champion, the first in the division since Kostya Tszyu in 2004 and the first in the sport since Jermain Taylor in 2005. With no more challenge at 140 pounds, Crawford moved up to welterweight and beat Horn to win the WBO 147-pound belt.
Bud may be the best technical boxer in the world today, pound for pound. He’s also one of the most complete fighters in the game as he can fight on the inside and outside, switch hit from orthodox to southpaw, box or brawl, you name it. Crawford also doesn’t just have elite offense but he also has excellent defense as well. He frustrated his opponents by making them miss and would take advantage with perfectly-timed counters.
The 31-year old Crawford stands 5-8 with a reach of 70 inches and is an orthodox fighter who could switch hit. He has an unblemished record of 34-0 with 25 knockouts. Bud has won nine of his last 11 bouts by stoppage, beginning with the Gamboa fight. In his last bout, Crawford methodically destroyed Jose Benavidez Jr. in nine rounds.
Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan Odds
Odds from bet365 as of 3/15/19
Amir Khan is one of the biggest names in British boxing in the last two decades. Since winning the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics as a 17-year old, Khan has been the darling of the U.K. fanbase. King Khan was a former unified 140-pound champion before moving up to the welterweight division in search of big money fights. Khan has seen his career fade in the last several years but he remains a big draw both in the U.K. and around the world. He left a lot of money on the table in a showdown with Kell Brook to make this fight.
Khan’s hand speed and footwork are legendary. Although he lack the one-punch knockout power, he breaks down his opponents round by round. His laser jabs and hard straight right hands keep his opponents on their toes, making him a tough opponent for any boxer. However, Khan has always been hounded by his glass jaw which has failed him more often than not in big fights.
King Khan is already 32 years of age. He stands 5-8 ½ with a reach of 71 inches. Khan has a record of 33-4 with 25 wins by knockout. Three of his four losses were by knockout while his fourth loss was a close split decision verdict against Lamont Peterson. In his last bout, Khan won a 12 round decision over Samuel Vargas.
Crawford is one of the most cerebral fighters in the game. He makes adjustments on the fly and can win the fight in any way. While Khan has faced many elite boxers in his colorful career, he has not seen a fighter as complete as Crawford. Khan is the naturally bigger man here but unless he can pin Crawford in a corner, I don’t think he will have much of a chance.
Crawford has impressive defense as well. He doesn’t get caught in many uncompromising situations and is always on top of his fights. He doesn’t waste too much energy in avoiding punches but he frustrates his opponents by making them miss a lot. While Khan is bigger here, the Brit isn’t powerful enough for Crawford not to engage.
Bud is going to box early to test Khan’s power. Once he realizes that it’s not going to hurt him, then Crawford will start to open up. It doesn’t take long for Bud Crawford to get started, he will pile up the points against Khan and will stop the Briton in the middle rounds.
I’m picking Terence Crawford to beat Amir Khan on 4/20/19.
Other Bets To Make
Crawford comes at a costly -1000 in the moneyline odds. There are other bets for this fight that have better value. Of course, the risks are bigger but some are worth taking.
As we said earlier, nine out of Crawford’s last 11 bouts have ended in a knockout so don’t say that Bud doesn’t have the pop in his punches because he does. Of Crawford’s last six wins, only one came before round 9 and that was Julius Indongo. Crawford has fought twice at 147 pounds and both of his knockouts came after round 9.
O 9.5 +125
U 9.5 -175
Odds from bet365 as of 3/15/19
Crawford has carried his punching power to the welterweight division. However, since moving up to welterweight, he’s gone 9 rounds against Horn and 12 against Benavidez. I like the +9.5 here because Crawford is fighting in his new weight class. But I’ll make an exception against the glass-jawed Khan. I think Amir Khan boxes well but will get caught in the middle rounds.
Prediction: Under 9.5
Odds from bet365 as of 3/15/19
Crawford is one of the best boxers in the business but he also has the knockout power to stop his opponents. Khan meanwhile has decent power. With a knockout as his best chance of winning, I think Khan will go for broke here.
However, I think that glass jaw breaks first. Prediction: No
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