Egidijus Kavaliauskas, who is currently the top-rated contender to Terence Crawford’s WBO welterweight title, will return to the ring on March 30, according to ESPN, facing Ray Robinson on Top Rank’s card from Philadelphia. That card is slated to be headlined by light heavyweight titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk, who likely will face Doudou Ngumbu.
Kavaliauskas (21-0, 17 KO) is a former Olympian from Lithuania, now based in California. The 30-year-old turned pro in 2013 and has stayed unbeaten, including a trio of wins last year over David Avanesyan, Juan Carlos Abreu, and Roberto Arriaza.
As both are promoted by Top Rank, a fight with Crawford (34-0, 25 KO) is easy to make on paper, but it’s not a terribly attractive fight in some respects. Crawford is one of the top stars in the division and one of the best fighters in the sport pound-for-pound, and Kavaliauskas really has no marquee wins; he’s not a proven main event fighter, despite being a highly-ranked contender.
But Crawford, who is scheduled to defend his title on April 20 against Amir Khan, also doesn’t have a lot of great options in general. Being with Top Rank and ESPN, Crawford is likely not going to face any of the top PBC stars in the division — Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, etc.
That leaves a legitimate opening for someone like Kavaliauskas to eventually get his shot, should he keep winning.
Robinson (24-3, 12 KO) shouldn’t be a real threat. The 33-year-old Philadelphia native dropped decisions to Shawn Porter and Brad Solomon back in 2009-10, and is coming off of a seventh round TKO loss to Yordenis Ugas in Feb. 2018. At this point, he’s a journeyman welterweight.