By Jake Donovan
Terence Crawford and Dierry Jean both hit the 140 lb. super lightweight mark for Saturday's title fight at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank.
Crawford makes the first defense of his super lightweight title; Jean chases his second attempt at a world title. Their bout airs live on HBO, as part of a televised tripleheader (Saturday, 8:30pm ET).
Preceding the live action, the American cable giant offers the exclusive broadcast of Gennady Golovkin's 8th round knockout of David Lemieux and Roman Gonzalez's 9th round stoppage of Brian Viloria, both of which aired one week ago on HBO Pay-Per-View.
Crawford (26-0, 18KOs) looks to make the most of what has been a water-treading 2015 campaign following a breakout run in 2014 that earned the unbeaten two-division champ Fighter of the Year honors. Saturday night marks his third fight at home, having twice played to a sold-out crowd at the venue.
The initial homecoming came versus Yuriorkis Gamboa last June. The bout marked the first title fight in Omaha in more than 40 years, and also the first time ever that HBO took its cameras to the city. Crawford was making the first defense of the lightweight title he won on the road in Scotland versus Ricky Burns, but it was his thrilling 9th round knockout of Gamboa that saw his stock skyrocket.
His subsequent win over Raymundo Beltran last November brought the second consecutive sold-out crowd to CenturyLink, also earning Crawford the World lineal lightweight championship and - in many circles - clinching Fighter of the Year honors.
Jean (29-1, 20KOs) rose to super lightweight contention on the heels of a knockout win over Cleotis Pendarvis in May '13. His eventual title shot, however, produced the lone loss of his career in dropping a 12-round decision to Lamont Peterson last January on the road in Washington D.C.
The setback was followed by a drop down to the lightweight division, where Jean has won four straight. The hope was to land a title shot against Jorge Linares, but the opportunity to fight Crawford prompted a rise back up in weight and another road trip in pursuit of his career-long dream.
Terence Crawford, 140 lbs. vs. Dierry Jean, 140 lbs - 12 rds, super lightweight
Michael Zewski, 149.2 lbs. vs. Ayi Bruce, 148 lbs. - 10 rds, welterweight
Andy Ruiz Jr., 248.8 lbs. vs. Raphael Zumbrano, 245.8 lbs. - 8 rds, heavyweight
Evgeny Gradovich, 127.8 lbs. vs. Aldimar Silva, 127 lbs. - 8 rds, featherweight
Julian Rodriguez, 143.2 lbs. vs. Alvaro Ortiz, 140 lbs. - 6 rds, super lightweight
Alex Saucedo, 142.2 lbs. vs. Angel Martinez, 141.6 lbs. - 6 rds, super lightweight
Alfredo Martinez, 142 lbs. vs. Darin Hampton, 143.8 lbs. - 4 rds, super lightweight
Zsolt Daranyi, 153 lbs. vs. Sean Wilson, 153.8 lbs. - 4 rds, super welterweight
* Zewski is slightly over the contract limit of 149 lbs.; Bruce and team agreed to forgive the overage and proceed with the fight as scheduled.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox