FORMER undisputed welterweight champion and Boxing News pound-for-pound number one Terence Crawford will make his return to the ring on August 3.

The 36-year-old steps up from 147lbs to 154lbs to face WBA super-welterweight champion Israil Madrimov, 10-0-1 (7), at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, is behind the event with Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn handling promotional duties. Alalshikh has become one of the most powerful men in boxing and has played a pivotal rule in bringing the heavyweight division out of the doldrums in recent months. The culmination of which sees Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury clash for the undisputed heavyweight title on May 18 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Crawford, 40-0 (31), has been absent from the ring since his career defining night on July 29, 2023, when he was crowned welterweight king after dominating long-time rival Errol Spence Jr. One of the most anticipated bouts in recent history proved to be a one-sided drubbing with Spence dropped three times before being stopped in the ninth round. The triumph made Crawford a two-time undisputed champion – having achieved the feat at super-lightweight in 2017 three years after winning his first world title at lightweight.

Having cleaned up at welterweight Crawford hinted at a move to 154lbs with his sights on a showdown with undisputed champion Jermell Charlo. However, Charlo lost that chance when he jumped two weight classes to challenge Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed super-middleweight champion, last September. The Mexican won a wide unanimous decision in a fight that never caught fire.

The belts at 154lbs are now in the hands of Sebastian Fundora (WBC and WBO), Bakhram Murtazaliev (IBF) and Madrimov (WBA). Last month on the Anthony Joshua-Francis Ngannou undercard Madrimov won the vacant title with a comprehensive beating of Magomed Kurbanov which ended in the fifth round. The talented Kazakh, promoted by Eddie Hearn, has not had the active career he may have hoped for having only fought 11 times in five-and-a-half-years. Against Kurbanov, however, he showcased his world-class skillset which Kurbanov was no match for.

Elsewhere on the all-star August 3 card former unified heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr will look to kickstart his career once again when he faces friend Jarrell Miller. Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz will make the first defence of his WBA super-lightweight title against Jose Valenzuela while the highly-regarded David Morrell takes on Radivoje Kaljdzic for the “Regular” WBA light-heavyweight strap. And lightweight sensation Andy Cruz faces Antonio Moran with Eddie Hearn backing his man [Cruz] to fight for a world title in 2024.

A potential Fight of the Year contender between super-welterweights Tim Tszyu and Vergil Ortiz Jr could also feature if Ortiz Jr comes through unscathed against Thomas Dulorme this Saturday (April 27).