By Jake Donovan
Terence 'Bud' Crawford enjoys hometown advantage for the first defense of his lightweight title. The unbeaten titlist will face Yuriorkis Gamboa on June 28 at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska, as confirmed by Top Rank's press agents Tuesday morning.
The bout - which will air live on HBO - marks the first major title fight in Omaha since 1972, when the late Joe Frazier defended the lineal heavyweight championship with a 5th round knockout of Ron Stander. The win was Frazier's last successful defense of the heavyweight crown, suffering a 2nd round knockout to George Foreman in his next fight.
Crawford (23-0, 16KO) has fought just once in his home state of Nebraska, a 1st round knockout of Anthony Mora in Feb. 2011. The bout, his 13th as a pro, served in chief support to a title defense by then-lightweight titlist Antonio DeMarco.
The showdown with Gamboa (23-0, 16KO) comes less than four months after Crawford valiantly hit the road to win the title, taking a well-earned decision over Ricky Burns this past March in Glasgow, Scotland.
Gamboa fights for the first time since positioning himself for a lightweight title shot, which came in the form of a decision win over Darleys Perez last June.
The unbeaten Cuban export is considered one of the more naturally gifted fighters in the sport, which was evident in his ambitious rise through the ranks early in his career. Much of his potential has been squandered in recent years due to inactivity, promotional disputes and questionable dedication to his craft.
A press conference will be held in Omaha on Thursday, May 8. The session will be made open to the public.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox