Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford Favored Over Amir Khan Saturday at MSG

Posted on: April 20, 2019, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2019, 02:08h.

World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) is heavily favored to retain his crown against challenger Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) when the two meet at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Terence Crawford Amir Khan
Terence Crawford (left) comes into his welterweight championship defense as a massive favorite over Amir Khan (right). (Image: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

The highly anticipated bout pits one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world against one of the biggest names in the welterweight division in what should be an entertaining – if not ultimately competitive – fight.

Pound-for-Pound King Still Building Star Power

Many today consider Crawford to be the world’s best boxer. The Ring has him ranked second in its pound-for-pound rankings, trailing behind only lightweight Vasiliy Lomachenko, with ESPN also putting him in the same position. BoxRec also has him ranked second, trailing behind middleweight champion Saul Alvarez.

But despite those accolades, Crawford is still not a household name, even if serious boxing fans know exactly how good he is. A decisive win against Khan at one of the world’s most storied arenas could help make him a bigger star, even if it doesn’t give him the opportunity to pick up another world title.

“I believe that all fights that I fight from here on out are for my legacy. That’s why I want the biggest fights out there,” Crawford told reporters at a Wednesday press conference. “Amir Khan’s name came up because he was the next best welterweight [available to fight] in the division.”

Arum: Khan Can Win vs. Crawford

Many believe that Khan’s role in the show is more to provide a big name for Crawford to beat than to actually put up a fight. But while Khan may not be as highly regarded as he once was, the British fighter was once the unified light welterweight world champion and won the lightweight boxing silver medal at the 2004 Olympics.

These days, many point to three brutal knockout losses as evidence of a weak chin and an inability for Khan to truly challenge the top fighters in the world. But fight promotor Bob Arum says that many are discounting just how talented Khan actually is.

“I’ve been around boxing for more than 50 years, and I’ve seen a lot of things and I know what I’m talking about. Amir Khan is a good boxer,” Arum told Yahoo Sports. “He is going to give Crawford a hell of a fight. If he is at his best and Crawford’s at his best, I’m not saying he’s going to win. What I am saying is, if Crawford is looking past him to some other fight, which I don’t think he’s doing, Khan is quite capable of winning this.”

Whether Arum truly believes that or he’s just trying to build hype for the fight, Khan has said that he thinks he has a chance on Saturday night as well.

“For those people…that are thinking it’s going to be an easy fight for him because they’re taking me from the last fight against Vargas, I think I’m going to shock the world,” Khan told Yahoo Sports, speaking of his unanimous decision victory over Samuel Vargas in September. “If they’re thinking I’m going to be the same fighter as that fight, they’ll be in for a big shock.”

But no matter what Khan brings to the table, oddsmakers are regarding Crawford as a simply superior boxer. According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, Crawford is a -1800 favorite to win the fight, while Khan can be backed at +900.