Terence Crawford lost his next opponent when Ruslan Provodnikov signed a multi-fight deal with Showtime -- where he'll face John Molina to start on June 11 -- but he's keeping his next fight date, although there's been a big change not just to opponent, but to the fight's broadcast.
Crawford will headline a July 23 HBO pay-per-view, with promoter Bob Arum saying that HBO will have to do more pay-per-view this year because of a reduced budget at the network. Arum also isn't yet sure where the fight will be held, or who Crawford will fight.
"We're definitely going July 23 but we're not sure if it will be still be at the Forum, but that's one of the places we're considering," Arum said. "It depends on the opponent but we may go to Omaha (Nebraska, Crawford's hometown). It may go to Las Vegas, maybe in the new (T-Mobile Arena). But we are doing a pay-per-view card around Crawford."
One possible opponent is fellow 140-pound titleholder Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KO), also a Top Rank fighter. The two are considered the 1-2 fighters in the junior welterweight division right now, with Postol coming off of a dominant win over Lucas Matthysse last October. That matchup would certainly appeal to diehard fans, at the very least, and make the pay-per-view more palatable to at least a niche portion of an already niche audience.
Crawford (28-0, 20 KO) easily defeated Hank Lundy on February 27 via fifth round stoppage. He had previously hoped to face Manny Pacquiao on April 9, but that was squashed when Pacquiao chose to face Tim Bradley for a third time instead.