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Crawford vs Jean odds: Terence Crawford another huge favorite for HBO fight

It's a world of big fights featuring big favorites, and Terence Crawford is just the latest coming up this weekend.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Terence Crawford, who broke out as a top fighter in 2014 and was considered the Fighter of the Year, returns to action on Saturday night at home in Omaha, Nebraska, where he'll defend his WBO junior welterweight title against Dierry Jean in an HBO main event.

The 28-year-old Crawford, nicknamed "Bud," has drawn big, vocal crowds when fighting in world title bouts in his hometown, and his skillful but exciting style has made him a breakout star on the premium cable network. A switch hitter who is effective from both orthodox and southpaw stances, Crawford (26-0, 18 KO) won his first world title at lightweight in 2014, beating Ricky Burns on the road in Scotland, and returned to Omaha for wins against Yuriorkis Gamboa and Ray Beltran to close out 2014. This past April, he went to Arlington, Texas, and won the vacant WBO junior welterweight belt against Thomas Dulorme.

Now he faces Jean, a 33-year-old Haitian fighter based in Montreal, a former title challenger who was widely outpointed by Lamont Peterson in January 2014 and dropped down to lightweight after that bout. But a world title opportunity against Crawford was just too good for Jean (29-1, 20 KO) to pass up. That said, it comes with the odds heavily against him.

Crawford opened at around -1400 with Jean at +700, but that gap has widened even further on various books.

In all reality, this is not the sort of matchup anyone would really have hoped for Crawford to have to close out 2015, but there aren't many actual viable options available to him right now, as the bulk of higher end talent at 140 is with Al Haymon and PBC, while Crawford is a Top Rank fighter. In order to get bigger fights with more notable names, it appears Crawford will have to work his way up to 147 pounds, which could happen next year.

Even then the biggest names are mostly with Haymon, but he would at least have fellow Top Rank fighters like Tim Bradley, Brandon Rios, and maybe even Manny Pacquiao available at that weight. The biggest fight at 140 for Crawford is Viktor Postol, which is a very intriguing matchup and doable since Postol is also with Top Rank, but the idea of that being a marquee matchup just began when Postol beat Lucas Matthysse on October 3. Hopefully that fight doesn't get left to "marinate" too long.

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