Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter reach deal for Nov. 20 showdown

·2 min read

Finally.

Terence Crawford will face his first significant test at 147 pounds when he defends his WBO title against former champ Shawn Porter on Nov. 20 at Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, ESPN has reported.

Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) is one of best fighters in the world – he’s No. 1 on Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list – and will be making the fight defense of his title.

However, he hasn’t faced a serious threat since he took the title from Jeff Horn by a ninth-round knockout form Jeff Horn in June 2018. He has beaten Jose Benavidez, Amir Khan, Egidijus Kavaliasuskas and Kell Brook since then.

Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) is a level above those fighters. He most-recently shut out limited Sebastian Formella in August of last year but pushed IBF and WBC titleholder Errol Spence Jr. to his limits 11 months before that, losing a split decision and his WBC belt.

Porter also has victories over Danny Garcia and Yordenis Ugas, high-level triumphs Crawford can’t match. Crawford’s most significant victory might be his decision over Viktor Postol at 140 in 2016.

Thus, a victory over Porter would add legitimacy to his welterweight resume. He also was a former 140-pound champion.

“I’m very excited,” Crawford told ESPN. “Now I can show my talent and maybe I can show something for the general public, something that they’ve never seen before. Because I don’t believe that I’ve showed them my best yet.”

Porter also sees the fight as a significant opportunity.

“It’s extremely big,” he told ESPN. “… Experience means nothing if you don’t use it, but my record speaks for itself. Everyone’s seen what I’ve done, every experience that I’ve had, I’ve held onto them and I’ve used them to my advantage.

“When you consider the experience in this fight and me having more experience than Terence Crawford, that is a fact. … When I say the fight between me and Terence Crawford is going to be great, it’s gonna be great.

“When I say I have what it takes to beat him, don’t sleep on that, believe that. I do.”

Crawford had been unable to reach a deal with the other top welterweights in part because of promotional and managerial affiliation. Crawford is handled by Top Rank, Spence, Porter and others by Premier Boxing Champions.

The WBO ordered the fight between Crawford and Porter, which evidently was the catalyst to Crawford finally getting such a matchup. And it happened none too soon: Crawford, 33, could be in the latter stages of his peak period. Porter also is 33.

The Nov. 20 fight reportedly is the last under Crawford’s contract with Top Rank.