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Boxing: Terence Crawford backed to ‘maintain winning run’ at Madison Square Garden

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Boxing returns to Madison Square Garden in the late hours of Saturday evening and the early hours of Sunday morning.

The iconic New York venue plays host to the featherweight clash between Ireland’s Michael Conlan and Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin. Also on the card is the IBF lightweight title bout between Ghana’s Richard Commey and Honduran-American Teofimo Lopez.

But sitting top of the pile is the WBO welterweight title fight between American Terence Crawford and Lithuanian Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

All eyes will be on the much-anticipated affair on Saturday night, with the pair finally coming together for the showdown in the United States.

Crawford heads into the fight undefeated. He boasts 26 wins by knockout from his 35 career victories. He’s heavy favourite at 1/12 to make it another win.

Kavaliauskas meanwhile has 21 wins and one draw to date. 17 of those wins have come by KO. He’s 8/1 to cause an upset and win in MSG.

Crawford will be defending his WBO welterweight world title against the undefeated mandatory challenger. A draw between the pair is currently 28/1.

At 32, Crawford is a year older than his opponent, and boasts a reach of 74 inches to Kavaliauskas’ 71. The Lithuanian stands slightly taller at 5′ 9″ compared to Crawford at 5′ 8″. But the American’s southpaw stance looks set to be key in overcoming his opponent’s orthodox stance.

Earlier on in the evening, Commey will be defending his IBF lightweight title against Lopez, with the latter available at 4/6.

Commey is currently 11/8 to win the bout, with a draw available at 23/1. 

The Ghanaian secured the vacant IBF lightweight title earlier this year by in a second-round technical knockout win over Russian Isa Chaniev. The 32-year-old then defended the belt in June by stopping world champion Ray Beltran in the eighth round.

Lopez meanwhile is 3-0 this year, most recently winning via 12-round decision over Japanese boxer Masayoshi Nakatani.

And a spoiled crowd will also feast their eyes on the highly-anticipated meeting between Conlan and Nikitin. It’s a rematch of the duo’s hugely controversial 2016 Olympic quarter-final bout, and Conlan will be out for revenge.

The popular Irishman is 1/14 to bounce back from that defeat in Rio, where judges ruled unanimously in favour of the Russian. His unbeaten opponent is currently 10/1 to secure another victory. A draw is available at 33/1.

It’s one of the most anticipated evenings in the sport, with three competitive bouts expected between some of boxing’s toughest fighters.

Sports Journalism graduate, Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan. Currently working as a freelance journalist for GOAL, while I am a graduate of the FISU Young Reporters Programme at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Can follow me on Twitter or view my linkdin biography or contact me via my email .

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