Terence Crawford's next fight is set, as the former lightweight titleholder will move up to 140 pounds on April 18, part of a split-site doubleheader on HBO. Dan Rafael reports that Crawford's fight with Thomas Dulorme is headed to the College Park Center at the University of Texas at Arlington, after attempts to put the fight in New York, southern California, and Chicago fell through.
Crawford (25-0, 17 KO) was recently named the 2014 Fighter of the Year by the BWAA, something he earned with wins over Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Ray Beltran. He lifted the WBO lightweight title from Burns in Scotland in March, and then returned home to Omaha for his title defenses, a pair of exciting bouts in front of a rabid home fan base that welcomed him back to his city as a king.
Now Crawford will look for a title in a second division, as he'll face Puerto Rico's Dulorme (22-1, 14 KO) for the WBO junior welterweight title, which the sanctioning body oddly stripped from Chris Algieri late last year. Algieri won the belt from Ruslan Provodnikov in June, and was stripped ahead of his welterweight title challenge against Manny Pacquiao in November. Similar situations in the past have not seen the sanctioning body vacate a title like that, but there were several possibilities in play at the time, one of which was Pacquiao potentially moving down to 140 pounds after that fight, and if they'd wanted to have Manny fight for their belt, it would have been a rematch with Algieri. All of that was in theory, but better safe than sorry, as they say.
Dulorme, 25, has won six straight fights since a loss to Luis Carlos Abregu on HBO in October 2012, where he was overpowered in what turned out to be his final fight (for now, at least) as a full-fledged welterweight. He returned to HBO last year for wins over Karim Mayfield and Hank Lundy, solid victories that have put him in the mix at 140. This is obviously a big opportunity for Dulorme, and he'll be the significant underdog against Crawford, who has been quickly moving into pound-for-pound consideration.
The other half of the HBO show that night will see Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse fighting from Verona, New York, in another 140-pound bout.