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Terence Crawford to fight on May 20 in Omaha, Nebraska

Felix Diaz Terence Crawford

By Chris Williams: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford will be defending his titles next on May 20th possibly against welterweight Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Diaz and Antonio Orozco (25-0, 16 KOs) are in the running for Crawford’s next fight.

Of those two, Diaz is the favorite to get the fight Orozco might be moving up to welterweight after he failed recently to make weight for a fight against Fidel Maldonado Jr.

Crawford, 29, is coming off of an 8th round knockout win over John Molina Jr. on December 10 in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a fight that not too many boxing fans were excited about, because Molina came into the fight with three losses in his last five fights. You don’t normally see a poor record like that for title challengers. Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum made the fight anyway, and it turned out to be a very boring fight with Crawford moving around the ring and appearing to carry Molina until stopping him in the 8th.

Diaz wants the fight with Crawford, and that’s at least one positive. Diaz would have to be seen as a considerable step up from the guys that Crawford has been fighting lately. Diaz is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist from the Dominican Republic.

“I want to do the fight with Felix Diaz. That’s the best fight for us to make,” said Arum via “Lou DiBella (Diaz’s promoter) calls me every day about it. That’s the fight I want to make.”

His only loss of his career was a controversial 12 round majority decision two years ago to Lamont Peterson in October 2015. A lot of boxing fans felt that Diaz deserved the victory in that fight, as he outworked Peterson and looked like the better fighter.

Diaz has since won his last two fights in stopping Levis Morales by a 6th round knockout on December 16 and beating Sammy Vasquez by a 10 round unanimous decision on July 16. Diaz also has a past 10 round majority decision win over Adrian Granados on November 21, 2014. That was a good win for Diaz. He also beat Gabriel Bracero by a 10 round unanimous decision on April 11, 2015.

Diaz will be a tough out for Crawford, because he actually knows how to fight and he’ll test his chin. Crawford does not look good when getting hit and pressured.

Crawford wants to stick around the 140lb division long enough for him to unify the entire division. That could take a year or maybe two. Crawford and his promoter Arum wants him to become a PPV star in boxing, but that’s not going to happen if he stays at 140. Crawford is going to need to move up in weight while he’s still relatively young. He’s about to turn 30 this year and he’s not the young fighter he once was. If Crawford wants to compete against the likes of Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman, and Danny Garcia, then he should make the move to 147 sooner rather than later.

Arum wants to match Crawford against Manny Pacquiao in the near future. Whether that fight happens or not will depend largely on Pacquiao. He’s got a fight against Jeff Horn next on April 23 at the Suncorps Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Arum co-promotes Jeff Horn. Besides matching Pacquiao against Horn and Crawford, Arum might also eventually match him against Konstantin Ponomarev and Vasyl Lomachenko. Arum promotes those fighters as well in his Top Rank stable.

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