- Andres Ferrari is ESPN.com’s boxing and MMA editor.
Welterweight champion Terence Crawford and former champion Shawn Porter will face off in a megafight main event of Saturday’s Top Rank card at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas (ESPN+ PPV, 9 p.m. ET, with prelims at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+).
Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), 34, of Omaha, Nebraska, has been looking for a signature fight, and Porter brings that challenge. Porter has fought the best fighters the division has to offer, defeating Paulie Malignaggi, Adrien Broner and Danny Garcia, among others.
Crawford won his belt by defeating Jeff Horn in 2018 and has made four successful defenses. In his most recent fight, in November 2020, Crawford scored a fourth-round TKO victory over Kell Brook.
Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs), 34, of Akron, Ohio, has seen it all and can box or brawl, depending on the opposition. He will have to be aggressive against Crawford if he wants to pull the upset — a performance similar to what he did in a close loss to Errol Spence Jr. when he challenged for the WBC and IBF titles in 2019.
During a news conference in October to officially announce the fight, Crawford said Porter has never been in the ring with a fighter like him and that he’s ready for his aggressive style.
“Unlike other fighters that you fought, I’m different. I believe you know that I’m different,” Crawford said. “The more you push, the more I will push. You hit me hard, and I will hit you even harder if you can last. That’s what makes this fight a great fight.
“A dominating win against Porter will boost my status as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Porter acknowledged Crawford is a tough fighter but believes he knows how to accomplish something nobody else has to so far.
“He is a dominant fighter. Everyone he gets in the ring with, he dominates,” Porter said. “I want to be the one fighter that he can’t dominate. Everything that is required to beat Terence, I got it. It’s time to take on this challenge.
ESPN asked former opponents of Crawford and Porter, plus boxing insiders, for their take on the fight and their predictions.
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