By Keith Idec
The Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn welterweight title fight has been rescheduled.
ESPN.com reported Friday that Crawford will challenge Horn for the WBO 147-pound championship June 9 in Las Vegas. The venue for the card headlined by Crawford-Horn, originally scheduled for April 14 at Mandalay Bay Events Center, has changed to MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Crawford-Horn was postponed March 14 due to Crawford’s minor injury to his right hand, according to promoter Bob Arum. Despite the nearly two-month postponement, Crawford reportedly has remained in training camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A hand specialist in Los Angeles reportedly instructed Crawford to avoid using his right hand for two weeks.
Jimmy Pitaro, ESPN’s new president, announced during a meeting with employees that took place the same day Crawford-Horn was postponed that Crawford-Horn will be streamed on the new ESPN+ app. The network’s new streaming service will cost $4.99 per month.
ESPN.com’s story Friday stated that it is still possible Crawford-Horn could air live on ESPN. Initially, Arum indicated Crawford-Horn would headline an ESPN Pay-Per-View show.
Once Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao declined an opportunity to fight Mike Alvarado on the Crawford-Horn card, it became clear it wouldn’t be a pay-per-view event.
The 29-year-old Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is the mandatory challenger for Horn’s 147-pound championship. Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) won the WBO welterweight title by upsetting Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), who lost a controversial unanimous decision to Horn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
This postponement means Crawford, of Omaha, Nebraska, will go nearly 10 months between bouts. The former super lightweight and lightweight champion last fought August 19, when he knocked out Namibia’s Julius Indongo (22-2, 11 KOs) in the third round of their 140-pound championship unification match in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Horn, 30, made the first defense of his title December 13. He stopped England’s Gary Corcoran (17-2, 7 KOs) in the 11th round of that optional title defense in Brisbane.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.