There are still final details to work out, like ticket prices and when they'll go on sale, and the full undercard matchups.
But the buzz surrounding Pinnacle Bank Arena on a summer Friday is all about Terence "Bud" Crawford fighting to unify four junior welterweight belts in his home state on Aug. 19.
Pinnacle Bank Arena general manager Tom Lorenz confirmed the fight on Friday and said the arena had been working with promoter Top Rank — which is partnering with ESPN to televise the fight live — for a couple of years about possibilities and dates to host a fight.
"To be able to bring the fight over here is just outstanding," Lorenz said. "It's a great opportunity."
Lorenz said PBA was waiting on Top Rank to announce the fight, but ESPN jumped the story a bit by first reporting the details late Thursday evening. Top Rank is currently in Brisbane, Australia, preparing for Saturday's fight between welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn, which will also be shown live on ESPN.
Crawford (31-0, 22 knockouts), an Omaha native, will face Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) of Namibia, with the winner crowned the undefeated and undisputed champion at 140 pounds. ESPN reported that the fight will be just the fourth in the four-belt era in which all four major titles will be on the line in one fight.
"The fact that we were able to secure this for all four belts is truly history-making," Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank, told ESPN.
Action on the undercard would start at 9 p.m. Central and be available on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN app. Light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk (13-0, 11 KOs) of Ukraine will fight an opponent to be determined as the co-feature, ESPN reported.
But the buzz around PBA has been palatable since Thursday's late news. While Pinnacle has hosted mixed-martial arts before, this would be its first boxing event. Lorenz said the arena has seen the excitement through social media and people calling to ask about the fight even with details still being finalized.
"It really says a lot that a major fight like this is in the Midwest and in Nebraska, whether it's Omaha or Lincoln," Lorenz said.
Crawford defended his WBO junior welterweight title in October 2015 at CenturyLink Center Omaha. PBA had been looking at the date of Aug. 19 for some time, Lorenz said, and he thinks a sports-minded city like Lincoln will embrace the big fight.
Adding in the Haymarket and Railyard scenes will only aid the atmosphere surrounding the fight.
"We know that people are going to travel from a long way to see this fight," Lorenz said. "(Lincoln)'s going to showcase this very well."
— Clint Robus