Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan Pick

Terence Crawford vs. Amir Khan Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, April 20, 2019
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
TV: ESPN PPV
Weight Class: Welterweight
Titles: WBO Welterweight Championship
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Terence Crawford, 34-0 (25 KOs), Omaha, Nebraska
Vs.
Amir Khan, 33-4 (20 KOs), Bolton, England

Betting Odds: Terence Crawford (-1500), Amir Khan (+1000)
Over/Under: Over 9.5 (+180), Under 9.5 (-220)

Terence Crawford defends his WBO Welterweight Title against former 140-pound champion Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 20. Crawford, a champion at 135, 140, and now 147 pounds is considered one of the best in the business at 31. Just a year older at 32, Khan has taken some high-profile defeats in his day, but is a massive talent, albeit one with some drawbacks. Can Crawford continue his ascent up the pound-for-pound ladder or can Khan finally realize his potential and score that career-defining win?

Crawford brings a lot to the table. A decorated amateur, he hit his stride in the pros. He won a title at lightweight and showed his wares, before taking over at 140 pounds and unifying the belts. Wins over Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez, Jr. have solidified his reputation at welterweight. He’s very slick in the ring, switching seamlessly between orthodox and southpaw, with good speed, power, and accuracy. There isn’t much you can say to impugn his resume, as he stands perfect through 34 fights.

Rightfully, Crawford is heavily favored to beat Khan. Crawford is as solid as they come. He always delivers and doesn’t deviate from the best path to victory. At this level that counts for a lot. He is simply a very professional package in the ring. He doesn’t let anything slide, dotting his Is and crossing his Ts. Khan, on the other hand, is a less-reliable property in the prize ring. An immense talent, his career is characterized more by its setbacks than triumphs.

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It has been a long road with a lot of twists and turns for Khan. An Olympic silver medal winner in the 2004 Olympics at the tender age of 17, his future seemed limitless. A few KO losses, however, put a major dent in his upward rise. There was that scary early-career loss to Breidis Prescott, where Khan crumpled like cheap lawn furniture. Subsequent losses to Danny Garcia and Canelo Alvarez were also memorable in their brutality. But maybe there is a different way of looking at things.

While it’s true that Khan has tasted defeat several times in eye-popping fashion, perhaps the bottom-line has been overstated a tad as a result. Once you get past his loss to Garcia in 2012, he has lost just once in the last 7 years. That doesn’t sound so bad, especially when that loss was to a fighter a good two weight classes over Khan’s best weight in Alvarez. Let’s also point out that against Garcia and Alvarez, he was stopped in two fights he was winning up to that point. A shot at Canelo’s middleweight belt was perhaps a bit over-optimistic and he paid the price. But is it enough to write off his chances in a spot like this?

The view on Khan is that he is superbly-talented, but betrayed by a weak chin that undermines all his efforts. And his physique and long neck, combined with his previous KO losses, makes that a definite issue. It’s not just his chin, however, but what leads up to it getting clipped. A fighter with a chip on his shoulder, Khan sometimes foolishly neglects to move and box, choosing instead to stand and slug with a guy. That hasn’t worked out at the highest levels. But when he’s on the move and moving his hands, he is really something to behold.

Khan is in many ways an enigma. Again, his head is just sticking up a lot of the time—unprotected by the way he positions himself. While lightning-fast, there isn’t a ton of variance to his game. He can be a bit one-dimensional in the predictability of his approach. While he has scored some nice wins, at the top levels, his opponents go from confused to dialed-in pretty quick. One second, Khan is running circles around a guy and the next thing you know, he’s on his face taking a count. There is no dispute, however, when it comes to his sheer talent, which makes him a threat regardless of what the odds indicate.

Another source of daylight for potential Khan backers is the fact that Crawford has gotten to a pretty high peak on the boxing mountain without really beating a special fighter. He has beaten a slew of very good fighters. But the idea that his road to this spot has been a smooth one isn’t without merit. It’s not worth discussing whose fault it is. Sure, he has been avoided. At the end of the day, his best wins have come against guys with far less talent than Khan. Let’s also point out, though, that he has knocked out fighters who are more-durable than Khan.

The drawbacks for Khan are numerous, as one would expect to see on a double-digit underdog. It’s just hard to avoid at this level of underdog. The items in the minus-column will be daunting. And they are for Khan—make no mistake. That chin is a constant liability, with his ring IQ another issue that leads to chins getting cracked. He can’t always visualize the best route to victory, no matter how obvious it seems. And all that talent, which is considerable, never seems to manifest properly, whether it be from a tactical, mental, or motivational standpoint.

By the same token, I feel the bleakness of Khan’s winning case is being overstated here to a fairly-substantial degree. I won’t pretend the utter professionalism of Crawford and his simple ability to cultivate a win doesn’t put a crimp in Khan’s case. But at these odds for Crawford, you want a pretty open-and-shut case. And I think Amir Khan falls a bit short of that level of certainty. I think Khan is worth a tickle at these odds, while also liking the “under,” as a back-up plan.

Loot’s Pick to Win the Fight: I’m betting on Amir Khan to win at +1000 odds, with a bet on “under” 9.5 rounds at -220. Did you know… that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There’s a better than good chance that you’re laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to BetAnySports Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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