WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford set to face Shawn Porter in November

·Combat columnist
·2 min read

Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions reached a deal hours ahead of a scheduled purse bid for a WBO welterweight title fight between champion Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter on Nov. 20 at the Michelob Ultra Center at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Porter, a former WBC champion, represents the biggest challenge of the unbeaten Crawford’s career.

“Porter is without a doubt Crawford’s toughest fight at welterweight, and I think Crawford may be Porter’s toughest fight,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti, who was in Puerto Rico for the purse bid, told Yahoo Sports. “This fight … wow. It’s going to be something.”

Top Rank president Todd duBoef said the event would be for certain on ESPN+ pay-per-view. Negotiations are ongoing, duBoef said, to determine if it will be available on cable and satellite systems.

Crawford, who is 37-0 with 28 KOs, is ranked second behind Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on the Yahoo Sports pound-for-pound list. In Porter, he’s going to face a challenge like he hasn’t previously, given Porter’s ability to effectively pressure his opponents.

Top Rank and Crawford had been frustrated at the inability to land a marquee welterweight opponent for him, most of whom had been with the PBC. The fight that was most talked about was one between Crawford and Errol Spence, the WBC-IBF champion and another top pound-for-pound contender.

But Spence has missed considerable time in recent years because of a fiery automobile accident he was involved in and now because he recently had surgery to repair a detached retina.

When Spence came back from the auto accident, he fought Danny Garcia and then signed to fight then-WBA champion Manny Pacquiao. His detached retina was discovered during a required examination prior to the Pacquiao fight.

Porter is 31-3-1 with 17 KOs. He’s faced more stout competition at welterweight than Crawford, 33. He lost a unification fight to Spence in Los Angeles on Sept. 28, 2019, dropping a split decision.

Porter, 33, won a split decision over now-WBA champion Yordenis Ugas, defeated Garcia and lost to Keith Thurman.

Porter is 5-foot-7 to Crawford’s 5-8, but Crawford will have a nearly five-inch advantage in reach.

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 14: Terence Crawford post fight after his victory over Kell Brook for the WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand Conference Center on November 14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)
Terence Crawford walks away after his victory over Kell Brook for the WBO welterweight title at the MGM Grand Conference Center on Nov. 14, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)