Terence Crawford v Amir Khan Sunday, 04:00 BST Live on BT Sport
The wait is over
We've been looking forward to this bout for what feels like a long time now but in the early hours of Sunday morning fight fans will get the chance to see Amir Khan roll the dice in an attempt to salvage his career. The Brit takes on pound-for-pound king Terence Crawford at Madison Square Garden, New York.
Khan is no stranger to performing on the big stage and fighting in America will certainly offer nothing new to the Bolton born fighter, but traders have the 32-year-old written off as a man without a hope of winning. Khan has his critics, of course, despite being a former world champion, but it's difficult to make a case for him upsetting the odds here.
Bud's unbeaten record
Terence Crawford first came to the attention of British boxing fans when beating Scotland's Ricky Burns on points in Glasgow back in 2014, relieving Rickster of his WBO lightweight world title in the process. That result was considered a bit of a shock at the time, but what followed proved Burns had done extremely well to go the distance with a supremely talented fighter. That was just one of 34 wins on the Nebraska southpaw's unbeaten record, 25 of his victories coming by way of knockout.
Bud was last seen stopping Jose Benavidez Jr in the final round in Omaha in October of last year when successfully defending his WBO welterweight crown, a belt won in a division two higher than the one he faced Burns at. American Benavidez was dropped in the 12th and, well behind on the scorecards at the time, referee Celestino Ruiz had no trouble calling a halt to the action.
Those looking to support Crawford for win number 35 are likely to be forced into the method of victory market with no more than 1.10 available on the Betfair Exchange. Another KO/TKO is sure to be popular with those on the lookout for more of a price, offered as a 4/11 favourite by Betfair traders. The Sportsbook has a points win next in line, 3/1 up for grabs.
Khan deserves respect
Amir Khan goes stateside with a professional record showing 33 wins against four defeats from a career that can be traced back to 2005. It's fair to say Khan isn't the golden boy of British boxing he would've hoped when trading the headguard and vest of amateur boxing for the paid ranks, but he is also under-rated, having won a world title at super lightweight. He has some major names on his card and has worked with a few well-respected trainers over the years, including Freddie Roach at the world-famous Wild Card Boxing Club.
Khan has missed out on big fights in recent times, including the all-British match-up with Kell Brook fans have been crying out for. The Englishman also unsuccessfully targeted a meeting with Manny Pacquiao, which did his reputation little good. Missed opportunities, inactivity and problems outside the ring have hampered Khan's progress and he'll travel to New York knowing this is likely to be his last chance to salvage his career.
It'll be a wasted journey if this bout follows the thinking of punters, however, with backers of the underdog getting a heavyweight 11.50 about a Khan win on the Exchange. With a 54% knockout average from 37 bouts, the KO/TKO is unlikely to attract much support, despite the Betfair traders offering an eye-catching 20/1, which is market best price at the time of writing. The points cheer is thought to be a more likely outcome, 12/1 designed to grab the attention of value hunters.
Follow the form
I'd love to say Khan has a better chance than the betting suggests as I am a fan of the underdog, but we must follow the form, which makes the Brit almost impossible to back. Khan went the distance last time when outpointing Samuel Vargas, but he was down in the second round in Birmingham that night and has been stopped in three of his four defeats.
Keep that in mind when we tell you Crawford hasn't gone the distance since beating Vikor Postol on points in the summer of 2016, a run covering five fights. He has won four of those five after the eighth round, so we're not expecting an early night. Take the favourite to win in the second half of the bout at a decent 7/5 on the Betfair Sportsbook.