Just hours before a planned purse bid, Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter worked out a deal to make a fight happen. The bout, which will be for Crawford’s WBO title, will take place on Nov. 20 at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, as first reported by Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. Mike Coppinger of ESPN later confirmed the report.
The WBO originally ordered the bout to take place in late July, allowing both Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions 30 days to work out a promotional deal or the fight would go to a purse bid. As that deadline crept closer, the two parties asked for an extension with Tuesday being the new deadline. Carl Moretti, vice president of boxing operations at Top Rank, told Yahoo Sports the deal had been reached just before the scheduled noon purse bid.
The fight is a big step forward in Crawford’s career. Despite being recognized as arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, he has struggled to find top-tier opponents. This is largely a function of Crawford being under the Top Rank promotional umbrella. Most of the sport’s top welterweights are a part of Premier Boxing Champions, leaving Crawford to fight all five of his championship bouts in the division against less impressive opponents than Errol Spence Jr., the man who holds the WBC and IBF titles.
Porter is one of the men who is promoted by PBC and has fought a much more impressive slate of opponents than Crawford. Porter has twice held welterweight world championships, winning the IBF title from Devon Alexander in 2013 and the then-vacant WBC belt against Danny Garcia in 2018. That most recent title reign came to an end against Spence in one of the best fights of 2019.
The fight is set to be broadcast as an ESPN+ pay-per-view, continuing Crawford and Top Rank’s close ties with ESPN and its streaming service.
Many are hoping this bout leads to a Spence vs. Crawford showdown in the near future. Spence was supposed to fight in one of the biggest clashes of the summer, but an eye injury forced him out of his bout with Manny Pacquiao, who instead lost a clear decision to Yordenis Ugas as the Cuban retained the WBA title.