The fight between welterweight world titlist Jeff Horn and 2017 ESPN.com fighter of the year Terence Crawford that was due to take place on April 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York is moving west, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN on Wednesday.
Although the fight, long in the works, has not been officially announced, Arum said it is now agreed to on both sides. The site, though, will be Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas as the main event of a pay-per-view card Top Rank is putting on in conjunction with ESPN as part of their long-term deal.
Arum said he decided to move the fight when the Mandalay Bay Events Center became available and because there are a slew of major fights competing for attention in New York this spring, including a Top Rank ESPN card that will feature junior lightweight titlist and pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko moving up to lightweight on May 12 at Madison Square Garden.
"Mandalay Bay is a great venue and we're happy to put this card on there," Arum said. "You've got a lot of boxing in New York coming up, so it made sense to move the fight to Las Vegas when Mandalay Bay became available."
Arum said that he is in the process of finalizing the co-feature between Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion, and former junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado (38-4, 26 KOs), 37, of Denver.
In his last fight, in July, Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), who recently turned 39, lost his welterweight world title by highly controversial decision to Horn in Horn's hometown of Brisbane, Australia. Pacquiao, who is a senator in the Philippines but will train during a recess, said he considered retirement after the loss to Horn but elected to continue his boxing career. A Pacquiao victory over the faded Alvarado could lead to a fall showdown at junior welterweight against Lomachenko or a fight with the Horn-Crawford winner, Arum said.
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), 30, of Omaha, Nebraska, also a former lightweight world champion, knocked out Julius Indongo on Aug. 19 to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion as he unified his two belts with Indongo's pair. Crawford quickly vacated the belts to move up in weight for a mandatory shot at Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs), 30, who retained the 147-pound belt by 11th-round knockout of Gary Corcoran on Dec. 13, also in Brisbane.
Arum said there would also be another world title bout on the card. It will pit junior featherweight world titleholder Jessie Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs), 26, of Las Vegas, in his mandatory defense against hard-hitting Isaac Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs), 23, of Ghana.
Arum said he initially was going to make that fight the main event of his April 28 ESPN card but decided to move it to the April 14 show to beef up the pay-per-view.
"That's going to be a really good fight," Arum said. "It's a 50-50 fight, I think. Both guys can really hit."
Magdaleno will be making his second title defense. Dogboe knocked out Cesar Juarez in the fifth round in an action-packed fight on Jan. 6 in Accra, Ghana, to win the vacant interim title and set himself up for the mandatory shot against Magdaleno.