Boxing: Aggressive Porter to test Crawford
Terence Crawford will put his unbeaten record and WBO welterweight title on the line this Saturday when he takes on Shawn Porter in Las Vegas.
It will be one of the toughest opponents of Crawford’s career, with Porter a two-time former world champion.
Crawford is 1.11 to take his record to 38 wins without defeat, while Porter is 6.50 to cause the upset and the draw is priced up at 23.00.
Case for the defence
Crawford comes into this fight almost a year to the day after his last bout, a fourth round knockout of Kell Brook. Before that, the American recorded wins over Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Amir Khan in 2019, also by way of knockout.
In fact, of Crawford's 37 wins, just nine have gone to the judges' scorecards.
Bud, as he is known, has held multiple world championships in three different weight classes - lightweight, light welterweight and his current, welterweight.
Crawford was undisputed light welterweight champion in 2017 before moving up to his current weight class. The 34-year-old is also one of just six male boxers in history to hold all four major world titles in boxing at once.
However, Crawford has faced some criticism for not facing elite level opponents in their prime throughout his career.
This fight also sees Crawford at a crossroads, as it will be his last fight on his Top Rank contract, and he may choose to fight for a different promotion afterwards.
The other two welterweight champions, Errol Spence Jr and Yordenis Ugas fight for PBC and the relationship between Top Rank and Crawford has deteriorated recently.
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Crawford's opponent this time around is Shawn Porter, who has a professional record of 31 wins, three losses and a draw.
Porter is a two-time world champion, having held the IBF title from 2013 to 2014 and the WBC crown from 2018 to 2019.
Showtime's last bout was a unanimous decision victory over German Sebastian Formella in August last year.
Before that, the 34-year-old lost a thriller to Errol Spence Jr by split decision in September 2019.
Porter has recorded wins over the likes of Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner throughout his career.
The Cleveland native will certainly be a more aggressive challenger than Crawford has faced before. In his last five bouts, Crawford's opponents have averaged 36 punches per round, while Porter averages 54 every three-minute spell.
However, Crawford has an inch height advantage and a four and a half inch reach advantage over his opponent.
Judges scorecards may be needed
Despite the majority of both men's wins coming by way of knockout, this fight looks more likely to go the distance. The bout is 1.57 to go to the judges' scorecards and 2.25 to be ended before then.
Porter will certainly pressure Crawford more than his recent opponents and the undefeated fighter will have to stay switched on throughout the fight.
However, sometimes a fighter's aggressiveness can be used against them and Crawford will be looking to do just that.
With this being his last fight for Top Rank, Crawford will also be looking to demonstrate to a potential new promoter that he can be the main attraction in the welterweight division now that Manny Pacquiao has retired.
The fighter may also have his eyes on securing the long-awaited clash between him and Errol Spence Jr next year.