While rising up and through the rankings in the Lightweight division, beating the likes of Anthony Mora and David Rodela before moving up in class to defeat Breidis Prescott, Alejandro Sanabria and Andrey Klimov, very few could have imagined that Terence Crawford – three years later – would be the main attraction in a Las Vegas Pay-Per-View event.
Indeed, the Terence Crawford story is an inspiring one.
Since dominating Klimov in October 2013 on the undercard of Miguel Cotto’s destruction of Delvin Rodriguez, ‘Bud’ Crawford’s career has taken off.
But in the immediate aftermath of that display, some labelled Crawford as boring, but there has been nothing boring about his last half dozen performances – culminating in 4 knockouts in 6 world title fights in 2 different weight classes.
Now the former WBO Lightweight ruler and current WBO Light Welterweight king – Super Lightweight as it is now officially known – will ready himself to take Manny Pacquiao’s place as the darling of HBO Boxing.
It is fitting that Crawford’s first PPV event would be a unification with WBC champion Viktor Postol. The pair share near identical records, Crawford is 28-0(20KO’s), while Postol comes in at 28-0(12KO’s).
This fight will determine the number 1 fighter in the 140lbs division, and may well lead the winner to their potential crowning moment in the fall, with the returning Manny Pacquiao.
Known as the ‘Iceman’, Postol froze the boxing world last October when he forced the excellent Lucas Matthysse to stay down in the 10th round of their tight vacant WBC title fight.
Postol was considered a threat to Matthysse following prior wins over Henry ‘Hank’ Lundy (UD 12) and Selcuk Aydin (KO 11), but most observers had the Argentinian as the favourite.
Not considered a huge puncher, but Postol has landed two definitive knockouts, against both Aydin – a highlight reel uppercut – and Matthysse – a chopping right cross.
It was later noted that the punch – or a culmination of punches across the fight – had resulted in a fractured orbital bone for Matthysse.
Highlights of Postol vs Matthysse via HBO YouTube:
What we have established in both fighter’s recent rise in form is that they both grow stronger as the fight wears on.
So the victor may be the man who starts the quickest, the fighter who takes control in the early goings before growing stronger, denying his opponent the chance to forge a comeback.
We have all seen just how dominant Crawford can be against the decent level of opponent he has been facing since surfacing at Light Welterweight.
But as for Postol, we are still in the dark as to how good he can be on his best night.
Postol was involved in a close, hard-fought boxing match with Matthysse, which doesn’t enable us to differentiate whether or not Postol is at that next level – which is how most would now distinguish Crawford.
Postol has a height and reach advantage over Crawford, and can be considered as the naturally bigger man. He possesses a fantastic chin, and can operate well on the inside as well as the outside.
His ability to just chop opponents down as they attempt to get up close is the reason he has such great success in the later stages, when he is fresher than his foe.
But what will be the outcome in the later stages when Postol is faced with a fighter still throwing punches with the same energy as he is?
And how will the WBC champion react to a fighter that can counteract that length disadvantage with speed and timing?
Crawford has become accustomed to bossing his fights, especially since moving up in weight. But the level of opposition he has faced at 140 is not comparable to level in which Postol is believed to be at.
Crawford was forced into a more competitive than expected affair with Yuriokis Gamboa in his first Lightweight title defence, but one can point to the fact that it was the unpredictable nature of Gamboa’s bursts that took Crawford off stride that night.
Highlights of Crawford vs Gamboa via Top Rank YouTube:
While not a robotic fighter, Postol is far more predictable than Gamboa has ever been, and that air of predictability will likely suit Crawford about as much of the Cuban did not.
The feeling is that while the opening exchanges will be quiet, it will be Crawford making the statement of intent with exaggerated bursts of energy to close the opening rounds.
With this tactic of firing off assaults in the final 20-30 seconds, ‘Bud’ Crawford can take many of the close rounds, and even nab a few in which Postol looks to be edging.
Postol will prove the better of the two when it comes to the simpler techniques, but Crawford’s speed will ultimately counteract those advantages.
Every time that Viktor begins to feel comfortable with the jab from centre ring, Crawford will burst the bubble with a long left hook or right cross over Postol’s guard.
The furious exchanges will become more of a regularity as the fight enters the second half, but once again Crawford can come out on top, maybe even stunning Postol on the odd occasion.
Crawford’s greater experience at this level will enable him to control the tempo of the fight and subsequently dictate proceedings.
Being behind may suit Postol, who can snatch some sessions as the fight enters the championship rounds, which may leave him wishing he had let his hands go more in the first half of the contest.
But the strong finish from Postol will not be enough as Crawford’s early dominance pays off with a clear unanimous decision win.
A victory that will put the man from Omaha, Nebraska at the top of the fans’ list of Pacquiao’s final opponent.
The post Terence Crawford vs Viktor Postol Predictions, Don’t Blink appeared first on %%Boxing News and Views/%%.