Top Rank on ESPN PPV Preview: Crawford vs. Khan, Stevenson vs. Diaz
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the famed Madison Square Garden in New York City will be the host site of Top Rank Promotions’ latest Pay Per View (PPV) offering. Terence “Bud” Crawford, one of the sports pound for pound greats, is slated to face off against international star Amir Khan.
This card will be distributed by Top Rank Promotions in conjunction with ESPN.
The undercard will feature several of Top Rank’s brightest prospects. The co-main event will be between Shakur Stevenson and battle tested veteran Christopher Diaz in the featherweight division. Other Top Rank prospects such as Teofimo Lopez, Felix Verdejo, and Carlos Adames will be featured on Saturday’s card.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Shakur Stevenson (10-0) vs. Christopher Diaz (24-1); Featherweight Division
Shakur Stevenson is probably the best prospect to come out of the United States Olympic team since Errol Spence Jr.
Stevenson is only twenty one years old and has never faced an opponent with a losing record. However, he will be facing the toughest test of his career when he squares off against Christopher Diaz on Saturday night.
Diaz is three years older than Stevenson and is in the midst of his athletic prime. Stevenson will have a two inch height advantage and a four inch reach advantage over Diaz.
Both boxers are known for having some pop in their punches. Stevenson has six stoppage victories and has stopped four of his past five opponents. Diaz has sixteen stoppage victories, and four of his past five fights resulted in a stoppage victory.
Stevenson has never been defeated and has beaten the likes of Jessie Cris Rosales, Viorel Simion, and Carlos Ruiz. He’s also been extremely active. He fought once in 2019, five times in 2018, and four times in 2017.
Diaz has defeated the likes of Braulio Rodriguez, Bryant Cruz, and Angel Luna. His lone loss was to Masayuki Ito in July of 2018. He fought three times in 2018 and three times in 2017.
Stevenson does have a significant edge in amateur experience. Diaz has no notable international amateur accomplishments, while Stevenson was a former US National Amateur Champion as well as a silver medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
This should be a good test for Stevenson. He may be distracted with his latest legal issues with pending assault charges, but he’ll be fighting near his hometown of Newark, New Jersey and hasn’t shown many signs of weakness in the ring since his professional debut.
Stevenson should emerge victorious, but Diaz will likely not get stopped.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
Terence Crawford (34-0) vs. Amir Khan; WBO Welterweight Title (33-4)
Terence Crawford is currently the best pure boxer that Top Rank has under contract. However, it’s his drawing power as a pay per view star is debatable. But Top Rank should have a better idea of his ability to draw pay per view buys after Saturday’s fight.
Crawford is 31 years old and still in his athletic prime, and Amir Khan is only one year older and also still in the middle of his prime. Khan will have a very slight half an inch height advantage over Crawford, while Crawford will have about a three inch reach advantage.
Crawford does have an edge in power over Khan. He has twenty five stoppage victories, and has stopped his past five opponents. Khan has twenty stoppage wins, but he also has three stoppage losses.
Crawford has been fairly active recently. He fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. Khan has not been very active. He fought twice in 2018, but did not fight at all in 2017 and has only fought four times since 2015.
Khan does have an edge in amateur experience. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics, while Crawford has success as an amateur in the US National Circuit, including a US National PAL Championship.
Crawford has beaten the likes of Jose Benavidez Jr., Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo, Felix Diaz, John Molina Jr., Viktor Postol, Henry Lundy, Thomas Dulorme, Raymundo Beltran, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ricky Burns, and Breidis Prescott. Prescott is a common opponent that was able to stop Amir Khan.
Khan has defeated the likes of Samuel Vargas, Phil Lo Greco, Chris Algieri, Devon Alexander, Luis Collazo, Julio Diaz, Carlos Molina, Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana, Paul Malignaggi, Dmitriy Salita, and Marco Antonio Barrera. His losses were to Breids Prescott, Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia, and Saul Alvarez.
Khan’s speed can give many boxers problems, but Crawford is an exceptional counter puncher who’s hand speed can match Khan. Additionally, Crawford’s knockout power will likely give Khan’s questionable chin issues.
This may be the last time we see Amir Khan in a big meaningful pay per view fight. Expect Crawford to emerge victorious with another stoppage victory.