Written By Eric Gomes: Undefeated World Junior Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford nicknamed “Bud” takes on his next assignment. He’ll face No. 3 world-rated contender Felix Diaz in a 12-round World Title fight. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with DiBella Entertainment, Tecate and Madison Square Garden. The Crawford vs. Diaz event will take place on Saturday, May 20, at Madison Square Garden. HBO World Championship Boxing® televises beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.
Furthermore, Terence Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) is already a two-division lineal world champion from Omaha,NE. He has won five of his last seven bouts by stoppage. The consensus Top-Five pound-for-pound fighter and 2014 Fighter of the Year will be now making his second defense. Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs), from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is a 2008 Olympic gold medalist. Diaz has a very hard style to look good against. For example, he is a natural junior welterweight that has campaigned at welterweight just to get fights.
The only blemish on his near perfect record; is a disputed 12-round welterweight majority decision loss to two-division world champion Lamont Peterson in 2015. However, Diaz bounced back from that loss with a dominant unanimous decision victory over previously undefeated contender Sammy Vasquez. Diaz was brought in as a late replacement for Vasquez after Luis Collazo, the original opponent pulled out of the fight with Vasquez after sustaining an injury.
I really admire Crawford’s spirit, this will be the second undefeated Olympic gold medalist he will have faced in the last 3 years. First, as a challenger, he fought and beat Ricky Burns in his hometown of Scotland to become a lightweight champion. At the time there were not many viable bankable names at lightweight, so he did what a true competitor does, HE MOVED UP. Terence Crawford is truly not afraid to scrap with anyone.
Next, after moving up to Junior Welterweight, he fought Thomas Dulorme (now of Floyd Mayweather’s The Money Team) who used to campaign at Welterweight in his very first fight. Stopped Him! Then, he fought a cagey veteran from Philly in Hank Lundy…Stopped Him! Then he fought the “Iceman” Viktor Postol of Ukraine after he became the first to stop power-puncher Lucas Matthysse for the vacant WBC title. I covered the Crawford vs. Postol fight LIVE! from Las Vegas, Crawford dominated Postol who was considered by most boxing purist to be a 50/50 test. Many boxing insiders actually thought Postol with his boxing ability, height, and reach could trouble, if not beat Crawford. That proved to not be the case. Finally, last December Crawford went up against heavy-hitter John Molina Jr. in his hometown of Omaha and pitched a shutdown before stopping Molina in the 8th round.
Crawford vs. Diaz undercard will showcase an IBF eliminator with a former Crawford foe, Ray Beltran. The Main Event Terence Crawford himself faced Beltran in his hometown of Omaha, NE back in 2014. Ray Beltran will take on Jonathan “The Last Inca” Maicelo in this IBF eliminator. In addition, the Beltran-Maicelo winner will become mandatory for “About Billions” Champion Robert Easter Jr’s IBF strap. As previously, reported by boxingego.com, Easter Jr. will have another hometown fight against the dangerous Denis Shafikov on Friday, June 30th. Lastly, the Terence Crawford-Felix Diaz card will showcase 2016 Rio Olympian and Silver Medal Winner, Shakur Stevenson making his 2nd appearance as a pro.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with DiBella Entertainment, Tecate and Madison Square Garden, tickets to the Crawford vs. Diaz world championship event will go on sale Tomorrow! Wednesday, April 5, at 10 a.m. ET / 7:00 a.m. PT. Priced at $250, $150, $100, $75, $50 and $35, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858- 0008), and online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.thegarden.com.
FOLLOW EGO on TWITTER/INSTAGRAM: @Boxingego