Fight Week: Terence Crawford, Teofimo Lopez, Josh Warrington, Manny Pacquaio in action on busy Saturday

FIGHT WEEK

Terence Crawford will face David Avanesyan, Teofimo Lopez will take on Sandor Martin, Josh Warrington will fight Luis Alberto Lopez and Manny Pacquiao will take part in an exhibition on a stacked Saturday.

TERENCE CRAWFORD (38-0, 29 KOs) vs. DAVID AVANESYAN (29-3-1, 17 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Dec. 10

  • Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: CHI Health Center, Omaha, Nebraska

  • TV/Stream: Pay-per-view

  • Division: Welterweight (147 pounds)

  • At stake: Crawford’s WBO title

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: Crawford No. 1

  • Odds: Crawford 10-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Arnold Khegai vs. Eduardo Baez, featherweights; Cris Cyborg vs. Gabrielle Holloway, junior middleweights

  • Prediction: Crawford KO 8

  • Background: Everyone expected Crawford to fight Errol Spence Jr. for the undisputed championship but, sadly, talks fell apart. Instead, Crawford, 35, will face the rugged, but limited Avanesyan in what amounts to a stay-busy fight. Crawford is coming off the most important victory of his career, a 10th-round knockout of former champion Shawn Porter in November of last year that proved he is still near the top of his game in his mid-30s. “Bud” has indicated that he still wants to fight Spence next year in what would be one of the best-possible matchups in the sport. Fans have their fingers crossed that the sides can come to terms. Of course, Avanesyan intends to spoil the plans. The U.K.-based Russian is a capable, gritty boxer-puncher who has been a contender for seven, eight years and has some notable victories. He retired Shane Mosley by a unanimous decision in 2016, which earned him an “interim” title. He then lost to Lamont Peterson (UD) and Egidijus Kavaliauskas (TKO 6) in a span of three fights but bounced back to score six consecutive knockouts against mixed opposition going into his biggest challenge on Saturday.

 

TEOFIMO LOPEZ (17-1, 13 KOs) vs. SANDOR MARTIN (40-2, 13 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Dec. 10

  • Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York City

  • TV/Stream: ESPN+

  • Division: Junior welterweight (140 pounds)

  • At stake: No major title (WBC title eliminator)

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: Lopez 5½-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Jared Anderson vs. Jerry Forrest, heavyweights; Xander Zayas vs. Alexis Salazar, junior middleweights; Keyshawn Davis vs. Juan Carlos Burgos, lightweights

  • Prediction: Lopez UD

  • Background: Lopez continues the rebuilding process after he lost his undisputed 135-pound champion to George Kambosos Jr. by a split decision in a stunning upset in November of last year. The talented 25-year-old New Yorker moved up to 140 and stopped Pedro Campa in seven rounds this past August. He’s now ranked in the Top 7 by all four major sanctioning bodies, an obvious nod to his past accomplishments. Next up is Martin on Saturday. The slick 29-year-old Spaniard took the fight on two weeks notice after original opponent Jose Pedraza became ill. Martin delivered a breakthrough performance when he upset Mikey Garcia by a majority decision in October of last year in Fresno, California, Martin’s first fight outside Europe. He followed that with a unanimous-decision victory over Mexican Jose Felix in April in Martin’s hometown of Barcelona. Martin also is ranked by all four alphabet organizations, as high as No. 5 by the WBC. An upset of Lopez would make him a prime candidate to fight for a major title for the first time. Hot young heavyweight contender Jared Anderson (12-0, 12 KOs) will be featured on the undercard. He will take on Jerry Forrest (26-5-2, 20 KOs).

 

JOSH WARRINGTON (31-1-1, 8 KOs) vs. LUIS ALBERTO LOPEZ (26-2, 15 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Dec. 10

  • Time: 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: First Direct Arena, Leeds, England

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Featherweights (126 pounds)

  • At stake: Warrington’s IBF title

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: Warrington 1½-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Ebanie Bridges vs. Shannon O’Connell, bantamweights (for Bridges’ IBF title); James Metcalf vs. Courtney Pennington, junior middleweights

  • Prediction: Warrington UD

  • Background: Warrington had a rough year last year, getting stopped by Mauricio Lara in the ninth round in a major upset in February of last year in London and then settling for a technical draw after two rounds in the rematch after the Mexican suffered a massive cut in September. in Warrington’s hometown of Leeds. The 32-year-old bounced back by taking Spanish veteran Kiko Martinez’s title by a seventh-round knockout in a rematch this past March in Leeds, making him a two-time 126-pound beltholder. He’ll make his first defense against another Mexican, who is known to British fans. Lopez made a splash when he stopped previously unbeaten Isaac Lowe in seven rounds last December in London. The 29-year-old from Mexicali has won nine consecutive fights since he was outpointed by Ruben Villa in 2019, including a second-round knockout of Yeison Vargas this past August. This will be Lopez’s first shot at a major title.

 

MANNY PACQUIAO vs. DK YOO (EXHIBITION)

  • When: Saturday, Dec. 10 (Dec. 11 in South Korea)

  • Time: 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Korean International Exhibition Center, Seoul, South Korea

  • TV/Stream: Pay-per-view ($29.99)

  • Format: Exhibition (six two-minute rounds)

  • Background: Pacquiao is joining the long list of retired superstars to take part in an exhibition. The 43-year-old future Hall of Famer last fought in a sanctioned bout in August of last year, when he lost his welterweight title to Yordenis Ugas by a unanimous decision. One of the faces of boxing retired shortly afterward. He’ll face the 43-year-old martial artist and Korean YouTuber Yoo, who will be making his boxing debut. Proceeds from the event reportedly will go to charity. Pacquiao failed in his bid to become the president of his native Philippines in May.

 

ALSO FIGHTING THIS WEEK

FRIDAY

  • Sam Soliman vs. Joel Camilleri, middleweights, Flemington, Australia (FITE)

SATURDAY

  • Michael Conlan vs. Karim Guerfi, featherweights, Belfast, Northern Ireland (ESPN+)

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie