NEW YORK — Undefeated World Junior Welterweight Champion and top pound for pound fighter TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD will make his 2017 debut, Saturday, May 20, at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden. This will also be his debut headlining in the big room — a testament both to his talent and his growing popularity. Photos by Ed Mulholland.
Crawford will be defending his unified World Boxing Organization (WBO) / World Boxing Council (WBC) / Ring magazine titles against former Olympic gold medalist and top-rated contender FÉLIX DÍAZ in a marquee all-action fight. It will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT.
“Crawford vs. Díaz was made for The Garden and I anticipate a battle between these two warriors worthy of its moniker as the Mecca of Boxing,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum.
“Come May 20, I will be ready for whatever Félix Díaz brings to the ring that night,” said Crawford. “It’s going to be a great experience fighting at Madison Square Garden in the big arena where all the greats have fought. I’m looking forward to that night.”
“We’ve got our work cut out for us fighting against another Olympic gold medalist,” said Brian McIntyre, Crawford’s trainer and co-manager. “It’s an honor to fight in the arena at Madison Square Garden. It’s a step up going from The Theater into the big room.”
“First, I would like to thank the man upstairs for making my dream come true. I would also like to thank Lou DiBella, Al Haymon, HBO and my manager Jose Nuñez for working around the clock to get me to this point,” said Díaz. “The time has finally come. I will share a ring with one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and I tip my hat to Crawford for accepting me as an opponent on May 20 because I am no pushover. I’m coming to bring my A-game and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to showcase my skills on HBO and at Madison Square Garden, which is just 15 minutes from where I live. I will take full advantage of this opportunity. I respect Crawford and believe he is a great fighter, but every king can be dethroned.”
“Félix Díaz is an Olympic gold medalist, a seasoned professional and the best fighter Terence Crawford has ever fought. We have been chasing this fight for a year because Felix and our team believe we can win. The fans will win when they see a terrific, competitive fight on May 20th,” said Lou DiBella, the promoter of Díaz.
“On May 20, unified champ Terence Crawford faces gold medalist Félix Díaz in a fight to light up Madison Square Garden,” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “Holding two belts and a place on any top pound for pound list, Terence Crawford looks to have his 2017 debut make a big statement in the Big Apple. Fans will see both fighters’ mettle tested at the Mecca of Boxing.”