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The men who are widely regarded as the best two pound-for-pound fighters in boxing will compete in back-to-back weeks. On Tuesday, Top Rank president Todd duBoef told Yahoo Sports that WBA-WBO lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko will make his mandatory defense against Ant Crolla on April 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The bout will be streamed live on ESPN+, the streaming service’s first anniversary.
Eight days later, on April 20, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford will defend his belt on pay-per-view against Amir “King” Khan in the main event of a card at Madison Square Garden.
Lomachenko’s fight with Crolla is essentially about getting his mandatory out of the way, as Crolla isn’t expected to provide much of a challenge. Crolla is 34-6-3 with just 13 KOs and is just 3-2 in his last five.
He doesn’t appear to have either the speed, power or athletic ability of Lomachenko, the Ukrainian who has vaulted to the top of so many pound-for-pound lists.
There was some discussion about putting 21-year-old wunderkind Teofimo Lopez in against Lomachenko on April 12. But Lomachenko and his father/trainer, Anatoly, prefer Lopez to have a title before they met. Lopez will fight an opponent to be named on April 20 underneath Crawford-Khan.
If he is successful, he’ll likely face IBF champion Richard Commey later in the summer, with a goal of a fight with Lomachenko late in the year.
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