Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions reached a deal hours ahead of a scheduled purse bid for a WBO welterweight title fight between champion Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter on Nov. 20 at the Michelob Ultra Center at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Porter, a former WBC champion, represents the biggest challenge of the unbeaten Crawford’s career.
“Porter is without a doubt Crawford’s toughest fight at welterweight, and I think Crawford may be Porter’s toughest fight,” Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti, who was in Puerto Rico for the purse bid, told Yahoo Sports. “This fight … wow. It’s going to be something.”
Top Rank president Todd duBoef said the event would be for certain on ESPN+ pay-per-view. Negotiations are ongoing, duBoef said, to determine if it will be available on cable and satellite systems.
Crawford, who is 37-0 with 28 KOs, is ranked second behind Saul "Canelo" Alvarez on the Yahoo Sports pound-for-pound list. In Porter, he’s going to face a challenge like he hasn’t previously, given Porter’s ability to effectively pressure his opponents.
Top Rank and Crawford had been frustrated at the inability to land a marquee welterweight opponent for him, most of whom had been with the PBC. The fight that was most talked about was one between Crawford and Errol Spence, the WBC-IBF champion and another top pound-for-pound contender.
But Spence has missed considerable time in recent years because of a fiery automobile accident he was involved in and now because he recently had surgery to repair a detached retina.
When Spence came back from the auto accident, he fought Danny Garcia and then signed to fight then-WBA champion Manny Pacquiao. His detached retina was discovered during a required examination prior to the Pacquiao fight.
Porter is 31-3-1 with 17 KOs. He’s faced more stout competition at welterweight than Crawford, 33. He lost a unification fight to Spence in Los Angeles on Sept. 28, 2019, dropping a split decision.
Porter, 33, won a split decision over now-WBA champion Yordenis Ugas, defeated Garcia and lost to Keith Thurman.
Porter is 5-foot-7 to Crawford’s 5-8, but Crawford will have a nearly five-inch advantage in reach.