Crawford to Return on May 20

Junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford will return to the ring on May 20, making a fifth defense of his 140-lb championship.

Crawford’s promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, confirmed Crawford’s return with ESPN on Wednesday. 

The pound-for-pound star will likely fight in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska as he did in his last defense. The opponent for Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs) has not yet been confirmed, but there are two likely candidates: Antonio Orozco (25-0, 16 KOs) as he is a mandatory challenger to one of Crawford’s titles, and Felix Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs), who won an Olympic gold medal in 2008 for the Dominican Republic.

Arum told ESPN’s Dan Rafael that he would rather select Diaz for the fight, as he is the more highly regarded boxer and would be more likely to give Crawford a tough fight.

“I want to do the fight with Felix Diaz,” Arum said. “That’s the best fight for us to make. Lou DiBella calls me every day about it. That’s the fight I want to make.”

DiBella told ESPN that he is committed to making the fight happen, and that his fighter Diaz is willing to travel to Crawford’s hometown for a shot at the top junior-welterweight.

"I’m about to call him again today," DiBella told ESPN. "My guy is ready, willing and able to go May 20 and Omaha would be fine with us. I know there are people within Top Rank that like the fight very much and also I know there are people within Top Rank that don’t. That’s the way it usually is with a really good, competitive fight. I’ve been in this business a long time and I gave Bob a number that’s fair and he didn’t balk. I’m going to continue calling him every day until we hopefully close the deal."

Crawford unified the junior welterweight titles against Viktor Postol in July, and then destroyed John Molina Jr. in December in Omaha. While many consider him to be peerless in the junior-welterweight division, and some have called for him to move up to welterweight, a fight with Felix Diaz would at least present some form of a challenge for the Nebraska native.

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