Despite a never-ending build toward an All-England showdown against Kell Brook that has yet to be consummated, welterweight star Amir Khan appears headed toward an April showdown against unbeaten WBO champion Terence Crawford.
According to Friday's report from BoxingScene.com, the former unified 140-pound champion Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) informed promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport of his decision. Hearn then reached out to Crawford promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, with a formal announcement expected later this month.
The fight will reportedly headline the first joint ESPN-Top Rank pay-per-view card on April 20 at New York's Madison Square Garden. The rumors also put to rest a report in recent months that Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) was considering a March return against faded former welterweight titleholder Luis Collazo, which was widely panned.
Khan, 32, took a pair of comeback bouts in 2018 after taking off nearly two full years in the aftermath of his 2016 knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez at middleweight. He stopped an overmatched Phil Lo Greco in Round 1 of their April bout but struggled in his return against Samuel Vargas in September and was forced to get up off the canvas.
The Crawford-Khan news also comes after Top Rank's failed attempt to lure welterweight contender and former champion Danny Garcia over from Premier Boxing Champions with a large guarantee to face Crawford on PPV. Garcia's guarantee was $3 million while reports claim Khan was offered $5 million.
By turning down Brook, who failed to impress in his December junior middleweight return when he outpointed Michael Zerafa, Khan gives up the chance at an eight-figure payday in one of the biggest fights that could be made in the boxing-rabid United Kingdom.
Crawford, a three-division champion who is rated among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, is likely a more difficult fight for Khan yet offers the allure of being heavily promoted in the United States on ESPN. It's also a world title fight against an opponent who is considered by some to be the best in the world, which is consistent with Khan's typical dare-to-be-great mentality.