The 2014 Fighter of the Year returns to the ring before an admiring hometown crowd with a new junior welterweight crown to defend when HBO Boxing presents Terence Crawford vs. Dierry Jean this Saturday, October 24 at 9:30 p.m. from Century Link Center in Omaha, Neb.
Omaha native Terence Crawford (26-0, 18 KOs), who turned 28 on Sept. 28, has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past two years, and was recently honored by the BWAA as 2014’s Fighter of the Year. He overwhelmed Thomas Dulorme in April to earn a new title belt at 140 pounds. Now, he returns to a venue that will be filled with supporters, striving to enhance his standing as one of the sport’s greatest talents.
Dierry Jean (29-1, 20 KOs), 33, a native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti and now based in Montreal, is riding a four-bout winning streak, three of them by knockout. He is looking to score one of the top upsets in a weight class filled with exciting fighters and matchups.
Scheduled for 12 rounds, the Crawford-Jean bout was originally part of a previously announced doubleheader that also included a heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury, which was postponed to Nov. 28 due to injury.
Leading off the telecast will be the exclusive replay of two sensational title bouts that took place last Saturday night at a sold out Madison Square Garden. Middleweight title-holder and 160-pound powerhouse Gennady Golovkin remained undefeated and registered his 21st consecutive ring KO with an eighth-round TKO victory over David Lemieux and flyweight champ Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez scored a thrilling ninth-round TKO against challenger Brian Viloria, reaffirming his standing as the sport’s No. 1 pound-for-pound attraction.
Fight Week Quotes
“Dierry Jean is a good fighter. I am not overlooking him. There is a lot at stake for both of us. One of the secrets to my success has been to never look past an opponent or train less than 110% for a fight. It’s all about focus and keeping the blinders on. If you don’t respect the talents of the man in the opposite corner then you’re asking for trouble.
“It was a great honor being the  Fighter of the Year. It was so big. A lot of great fighters never won it and for me to win it at such an early age is quite humbling.
“This will be MY show on Saturday night. Jean will not dictate the fight to me.
“Who cares if Jean sparred with Manny Pacquiao? That’s sparring.
“Bodywise, I feel comfortable and much stronger at 140 than I did at 135.
“I feel great being home in Omaha. I can’t think of a better place to make the first defense of my junior welterweight world title. It’s going to be a great fight and a great event. I am so Omaha. I wear it on my trunks…on my sleeve…and in my heart.
”Terence Crawford is the HBO darling. But I will hurt him.
“Fighting in Omaha will have no effect on me. No pressure. I’m not here to win over Crawford’s hometown fans. I’m here to beat their champion.
“My training camp lasted eight weeks and I sparred with southpaw and orthodox fighters switching up every two rounds.
“I was a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao in his last camp. He taught me how to fight a southpaw. I even used the shoulder roll on him. Manny was so quick and strong. He threw his whole body into every punch.
“I love being the underdog. I’m always the underdog. I’m used to it. I’m going to show everyone that I’m the top man in the junior welterweight division. I’m going to shock the world! Everything is in my favor.
“I’m dedicating this fight to my big brother who passed away two months ago. I plan to go to Haiti after the fight and visit his grave.
“I learned a lot from my loss to Lamont Peterson when we fought last year. It was my first world title fight. I went full out trying to get the early knockout and by the fourth round I was really gassed. I rallied in the later rounds but then I ran my tank empty.
“This time I’m going to box Crawford and if I catch him with a good punch I will finish him. It’s all about being first…first with the jab and first with the counter punch.”