Crawford vs. Diaz Heads to MSG

Promoter Top Rank Inc. announced Tuesday morning that the card headlined by the Terence Crawford-Felix Diaz fight will take place May 20 at Madison Square Garden.

Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, and the Dominican Republic’s Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) were supposed to fight at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Bob Arum decided, however, to bring the event to the big room at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be officially announced at a press conference April 4 at The Garden.

Crawford headlined an HBO show 13 months ago against Hank Lundy in The Theater at Madison Square Garden, which has a capacity of roughly 5,100 for boxing. His drawing power on the East Coast will be tested, however, by featuring Crawford in an enormous arena that can accommodate 21,000 fans for boxing.

The 29-year-old Crawford continually has drawn hometown crowds in excess of 10,000 to the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha, but prefers not to have back-to-back bouts there.

His last fight, which resulted in an eighth-round stoppage of John Molina Jr. (29-7, 23 KOs), took place at CenturyLink Center on December 10. That marked Crawford’s fourth fight at CenturyLink Center since June 2014, when he stopped Yuriorkis Gamboa (26-1, 17 KOs) in the ninth round.

Arum, whose company promotes Crawford, and Lou DiBella, Diaz’s promoter, finalized an agreement last week for Diaz to challenge Crawford for his WBC and WBO super lightweight championships. Arum also considered Amir Imam (19-1, 16 KOs), the Albany, New York, native who is the mandatory challenger for Crawford’s WBC 140-pound title. Negotiations with Don King, Imam’s promoter, didn’t progress, however, and Arum turned his attention toward finalizing a fight against Diaz.

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