Terence Crawford's move up to welterweight will have to wait.
Crawford, the 2017 ESPN.com fighter of the year, was due to move up to welterweight to challenge Jeff Horn for his world title on April 14 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in the main event of an ESPN Top Rank card. However, the card was postponed on Wednesday because Crawford suffered a right hand injury in a recent sparring session, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.
"He hurt his hand hitting a guy on top of the head gear," Arum said. "We've gotten him treated by the best hand doctors. He had an MRI, and there is no ligament tear, thank God. The doctor prescribed two weeks of rest, and then he should be ready to go. We'll put the fight sometime in late May or early June, but that depends on how Terence's hand is feeling."
Arum said whenever the fight is rescheduled, the plan is to keep it in Las Vegas.
Crawford, a former lightweight champion and the former undisputed junior welterweight champion, has been training in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and suffered the injury last Thursday, Brian McIntyre, Crawford's manager and trainer, told ESPN.
After hurting his hand, Crawford and McIntyre flew to Los Angeles, where they attended last Saturday's Oscar Valdez-Scott Quigg featherweight title fight but also saw a hand specialist in Los Angeles.
"The hand is in the process of healing and one thing with Terence is he loves to train so he's been training and running and doing what he can do without using the hand," McIntyre said. "This is a little road bump. We're gonna stay out here in Colorado Springs and once we get word from the doctor we'll be ready to go. We'll see how Terence feels and we'll talk to Top Rank about a new date, but we're definitely going to stay in camp and keep training. The guy he was sparring with has a hard head. When we do come back we'll come back stronger and more determined."
Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), 30, of Omaha, Nebraska, knocked out Julius Indongo in the third round on Aug. 19 to become the undisputed junior welterweight champion, unifying his two belts with Indongo's two. Then Crawford vacated all of the titles to move up for a mandatory shot at Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs), 30, who had controversially outpointed Manny Pacquiao to win the title last July. Horn defended it by 11th-round knockout of Gary Corcoran on Dec. 13 to set the stage for the fight with Crawford.
"This is his first injury," Arum said of Crawford. "He was disappointed but he didn't want to take a risk and go in without having a bad wing."
The April 14 card was due to have two other world title fights, both of which will move to other shows.
Arum said the fight between junior featherweight world titleholder Jessie Magdaleno (25-0, 18 KOs), 26, of Las Vegas, and interim titlist Isaac Dogboe (18-0, 12 KOs), 23, of Ghana, will shift to Top Rank's April 28 ESPN card at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia.
That card will also include two other televised fights, former super middleweight world title challenger Jesse Hart (23-1, 19 KOs), 28, of Philadelphia, facing Demond Nicholson (18-2-1, 17 KOs), 25, of Laurel, Maryland, and an all-Philadelphia heavyweight bout between former world title challenger Bryant Jennings (22-2, 13 KOs), 33, and Joey Dawejko (19-4-4, 11 KOs), 27.
The other title fight slated for April 14 was supposed to junior bantamweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs), 26, of the Philippines, making his fifth defense against mandatory challenger and countryman Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs), 26. Arum said that bout would either move to the May 12 Jorge Linares-Vasiliy Lomachenko card at Madison Square Garden in New York or go on the new date for Horn-Crawford.