Thu, Oct 11, 12:16pm by Staff Writer
WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) will defend his title this weekend at the CMI Health Center in his home town of Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday AEST.
His opponent Jose Benavidez Jr (27-0, 18 KOs) will look to take the crown of the number two Ring Magazine rated pound for pound boxer Crawford a prohibitive underdog.
Crawford will enter the contest a staggering $1.04 favourite with Benavidez Jr at $9.50, in odds which would be considered near the highest paying for a world title boxing fight this year.
This will mark the first title defence for Crawford after absolutely destroying Australian Jeff Horn over nine rounds to claim the belt in June.
Whilst Crawford and Benavidez are scheduled to do battle, on the surface, this fight acts as a mere appetiser for other fights in the reckoning, potential unification bouts for the Nebraskan against fellow Americans and world champions Keith Thurman (WBA) and Errol Spence Jr (IBF).
Despite being at near unbackable odds, Crawford is only making his second appearance at the 147lb welterweight division having formerly ruled the 140lb junior welterweight weight class where he held all four major world titles simultaneously.
Benavidez will enter the ring with a decided height and reach advantage. At 188cm he is the tallest fighter among the major contenders in the 147lb division and possesses a 73 inch reach. In comparison, the 173cm and 70 inch reach Crawford will concede a 15 cm’s in height and 3 inches reach to the Arizonan.
Despite both being undefeated, Benavidez will undoubtedly be entering the ring with his most difficult opponent to date in his career, with the major knock on his credentials being the lack of top flight opposition on his fight resume.
His back to back wins over Mauricio Herrera and Jorge Paez Jr in December 2014 and May 2015 respectively for the interim WBA super lightweight (junior welterweight) title would be impressive, while he defeated the 22-0 Frank Rojas by first round KO on the Horn-Crawford undercard to earn himself the title shot here.
The co-main event for the event will see 2016 olympic bantamweight silver medallist Shakur Stevenson (8-0, 4 KOs) of the US do battle with Romanian Viorel Simon (21-2, 9 KOs) for the vacant WBC Continental Americas featherweight title.
Also featuring on the card is unbeaten super welterweight (junior middleweight) Carlos Adames (14-0, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic take on American Joshua Conley (14-2-1, 9 KOs) for the vacant NABF super welterweight title.
In other fight news, a heavyweight mega clash between WBC champion Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) of the US and Ireland’s Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) has been announced for December 1, with the bout taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
WIlder has opened a decisive $1.55 favourite in early markets with Fury rated a $2.35 chance for victory.
Terence Crawford vs Jose Benavidez Jr promises to be an exciting contest for as long as it lasts with the boxing world keen to see Crawford back in action in the highly stacked 147lb welterweight division.
Expect Crawford to start the fight cautiously as he finds his positioning against the taller, longer Benavidez Jr, before working his combinations and showcasing his ability to swtich stances between orthodox and southpaw.
Benavidez Jr may seem to have been a perfect opponent to showcase Crawford in his homecoming bout, however will be keen to play spoiler here and utilise his quality body punching and ability to connect cleanly from distance.
That being said, Crawford should be able to make the necessary adjustments and win via stoppage in the sixth round.
Suggested Bet: Terence Crawford to win via 6th round KO/TKO (market not yet available)
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