It’s official. WBO welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) has his next assignment and he’ll be taking on challenger Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0, 18 KOs) in Crawford’s hometown of Ohama, Nebraska. The main televised card will air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes starting at 10:30 p.m. ET with the full complete card streaming on ESPN+ starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Crawford and Benavidez have been jawing at one another in interviews and on social media for a while now, so this fight was probably a natural to make — especially considering that Top Rank doesn’t have a lot of big welterweight “names” at this point.
“The Crawford-Benavidez fight is an old-time grudge match,” Arum said. “These are two elite fighters who don’t care for each other, to put it mildly. They will battle each other at a fever pitch.”
Crawford, 30, is most recently coming off his welterweight debut where he lifted the WBO title off of Jeff Horn in June, in rather dominant fashion. He says he’s still targeting all of the other welterweight titleholders.
Meanwhile Benavidez, 26, is an undefeated prospect who will be stepping up in competition big time in this outing. He’s most recently coming off a stoppage win over Frank Rojas in June as well and says this is the opportunity he’s long been waiting for.
“I’ve been wanting this fight for three years. I know I have what it takes to beat him, and I am going to beat him,” Benavidez said. “Crawford has been running his mouth and saying I’m a nobody. I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity.”
Crawford will obviously be the favorite heading into this fight, but with a little bad blood mixed in we could be in for a good scrap.