By Jake Donovan
With confirmation of Terence Crawford and Dierry Jean finalizing terms for their upcoming super lightweight fight, HBO now has a potent one-two punch for its October 24 telecast. The super lightweight title fight serves as the tail end of a split site day/night doubleheader, which includes World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in a mandatory title defense versus unbeaten challenger Tyson Fury.
Both bouts will air live, beginning with Klitschko-Fury headlining a special matinee edition of HBO World Championship Boxing. The heavyweight championship bout airs at 5:00 p.m. ET, live from Dusseldorf, Germany.
HBO will replay the bout later in evening, with a second edition of World Championship Boxing kicking off at 9:30 p.m. ET. Immediately following the replay, Crawford will make the first defense of his super lightweight title versus Jean, live from CenturyLink Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
A press conference is set for Monday, August 24 in Omaha to formally announce Crawford-Jean. The bout will mark the third time Crawford (26-0, 18KO) will fight at home, all coming within the span of his past four fights.
His hometown debut also marked the first time HBO presented a live broadcast from the region, producing one of the best fights of 2014 and also serving as the centerpiece for Crawford's Fighter of the Year-level campaign. A thrilling 9th round knockout of previously unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa played to a sold-out crowd at CenturyLink Center, also producing the highest-rated HBO Boxing After Dark telecast on the year.
Crawford returned to Omaha five months later, scoring a 12-round decision over Raymundo Beltran, earning recognition as the World (lineal) lightweight champion. The two fights drew more than 22,000 fans total to the venue, providing motivation for an eventual return.
Jean (29-1, 20KOs) has won four straight since the lone loss of his career, coming up short in a super lightweight title bid versus Lamont Peterson last January. The Haitian-Canadian was forced to overcome personal demons in his career prior to his ring return, and announced his intention to compete in the lightweight division. where his past four fights have taken place.
A 10-round win over Jerry Belmontes in June came with a regional belt, putting Jean on path to eventually challenge for a major title in the near future. However, with most of the lightweight champs tied up with other business at the moment, his team decided to jump at the opportunity to face Crawford given what's at stake and the stage on which the event is presented.
Crawford is coming off of a 6th round knockout of Thomas Dulorme this past April in Arlington, Texas. The win came with a vacant title at stake, making the fighting pride of Omaha a two-division champ, with the feat coming six days before being honored as 2014 Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.
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