Unbeaten lightweights to face off

Terence Crawford will face Andrey Klimov in a battle of undefeated lightweight contenders on Oct. 5, Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

The scheduled 10-round bout, which Moretti said has been signed, will be the co-feature on the HBO-televised card headlined by the junior middleweight fight between former titleholder Miguel Cotto and former title challenger Delvin Rodriguez at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.

Moretti said if Crawford wins, he likely will become the mandatory challenger for the winner of the fight between 135-pound titleholder Ricky Burns and Raymundo Beltran, who meet Sept. 7 in Glasgow, Scotland.

"Hopefully, Crawford can look good with this guy and keep rising up the rankings in the lightweight division," Moretti said.

Crawford (21-0, 16 KOs), 25, of Omaha, Neb., has risen quickly, coming out of relative obscurity to soundly outpoint big puncher and veteran contender Breidis Prescott in March as a late replacement opponent. Crawford was so impressive against Prescott that HBO invited him back and in June he hammered Alejandro Sanabria in a sixth-round knockout victory.

Klimov (16-0, 8 KOs), 31, of Russia, has been fighting primarily in the United States for the past two years and scored his biggest win on June 7, when he scored a majority decision against former title challenger and longtime contender John Molina.

"The win over Molina on ESPN2 was a good win," Moretti said of the fight that headlined a "Friday Night Fights" card. "The fact that Klimov is undefeated and has a quality amateur background should make this interesting. He'll be there to win and to give Crawford all he wants."