Omaha’s Crawford signs deal with Top Rank
Welterweight world titlist Terence Crawford of Omaha, one of boxing’s pound-for-pound elite fighters, signed a contract extension with promoter Top Rank today, the same day the company announced details of his first defense.
The first fight of Crawford’s new promotional deal will take place against unbeaten contender Jose Benavidez Jr. in Crawford’s hometown of Omaha at the CHI Health Center on Oct. 13 at 9:30 PM. The 30-year-old Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), who has been with Top Rank since 2011, still had about two years remaining on his deal with Top Rank but both sides were happy to do a new one. His new contract comes a month after the announcement of the agreement between Top Rank and ESPN on new seven-year rights deal that runs until August 2025. Terms were not announced, but Crawford’s minimum purses are more than the $3 million he earned for his last fight, a source with knowledge of the deal told ESPN. Benavidez (27-0, 18 KOs), 26, of Phoenix, Arizona, who used to hold an interim junior welterweight belt before giving it up to go up in weight, nearly saw his career end when he was shot in the leg in August 2016 while out for a walk in his neighborhood. Benavidez, the older brother of super middleweight world titlist David Benavidez, returned from a 17-month layoff in February and has won two fights, including a first-round knockout of then-unbeaten Frank Rojas on the Crawford-Horn undercard.