By Keith Idec
Madison Square Garden has won one over Las Vegas.
Multiple sources have confirmed to BoxingScene.com that the Terence Crawford-Amir Khan welterweight title fight will take place at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” on April 20. Crawford-Khan will headline an ESPN Pay-Per-View card that night from the iconic New York venue.
Promoter Bob Arum chose Madison Square Garden over MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as the site for Crawford-Khan.
The 31-year-old Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), who’s promoted by Arum’s Top Rank Inc., has headlined a card apiece at Madison Square Garden and The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The three-division champion from Omaha, Nebraska, also has performed twice in main events at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
England’s Khan, a star in the United Kingdom, will make his debut in Madison Square Garden’s main arena when he challenges Crawford for the WBO welterweight title.
The Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire first reported Tuesday that Crawford-Khan is headed to Madison Square Garden.
An official announcement of Madison Square Garden as the site for Crawford-Khan will be made as soon as pricing for tickets is established.
As first reported by BoxingScene.com, Khan decided three weeks ago to challenge Crawford over what would’ve been a lucrative domestic showdown with Kell Brook. Eddie Hearn, Khan’s promoter had hoped to make the Khan-Brook bout as the final fight of the three-match contract Khan signed with Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in January 2018.
Boxing Brook might’ve earned Khan more money than he’ll make for facing Crawford. The 32-year-old Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) accepted Arum’s $5 million guarantee in part because he intensely dislikes Brook (38-2, 26 KOs).
Khan wasn’t Arum’s first choice for Crawford, either.
Top Rank first offered this fight to former WBA welterweight champ Luis Collazo. Brooklyn’s Collazo, 37, accepted Top Rank’s offer, but Crawford wanted a better opponent once fans reacted negatively to him facing Collazo (38-7, 20 KOs).
Khan has suffered three knockout or technical-knockout losses, but he owns a decisive victory over Collazo. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist dropped Collazo three times on his way to a 12-round, unanimous-decision win in May 2014 in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.