Crawford vs. Postol Breakdown

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By Seamus McNally

On Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, undefeated fighters Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol clash in match-up of the top-two 140 pounders to determine who is the undisputed king of the junior welterweight division.

Terence Crawford burst onto the scene as a superstar in 2014. In March of that year, Crawford went into Ricky Burn’s backyard of Glasgow, Scotland and came out of the lion’s den with an impressive unanimous decision win. In June, Crawford fought in front of his adoring fans in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska for the first time since he was an amateur. He made the wait worthwhile, sending them into a frenzy with a ninth round knockout of previously unbeaten Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa. Crawford capped off the year in November with a fight in front of another raucous Omaha crowd. He captured the lineal lightweight world championship against Mexico’s Raymundo Beltran with a workmanlike unanimous decision victory. For his efforts, Crawford was named the 2014 Fighter of the Year by ESPN and the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Crawford carried his momentum into 2015, moving up to 140 pounds and scoring knockout wins over previously once beaten contenders Thomas Dulorme and Dierry Jean. In February of this year, Crawford took his assault on the junior welterweight division to the Big Apple. Under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden, Crawford stopped rugged Philadelphia native Hank Lundy in five rounds to set up the big fight with Postol.

Postol’s rise to stardom came much more recently. Postol made his HBO debut in May 2014, scoring a devastating one punch knockout of contender Selcuk Aydin in the eleventh round. Having trouble securing a big fight, Postol did not fight for nearly a year. He took a stay busy fight in April 2015 in Brooklyn. The patience payed off six months later with a breakthrough victory over feared Argentine slugger Lucas Matthysse in October. Postol knocked him out in the tenth round to stake his claim as one of the best junior welterweights in the world.

Both fighters will come into the ring with matching 28–0 records, Crawford with 20 KOs, and Postol with 12 KOs. We should be in for a treat as the pair combine for 6 KOs in their last 8 fights. It is a true 50/50 contest between the two clear-cut best fighters in their division, that is unfortunately the exception and not the rule in an era of boxing with far too many mismatches. We will find out which fighter will be able to impose their style and make the claim as the undisputed junior welterweight champion of the world. Will it be Crawford’s unorthodox style of fighting from both the right and left side with equal effectiveness, or will it be Postol making effective use of his 3” height and 3.5” reach advantages with his Eastern European fighting style and new-found punching power under the tutelage of legendary trainer Freddy Roach?

While Postol is a very good fighter and worthy of his slot as a top fighter in the 140 pound division, Crawford seems to be on another level and on his way to rocketing up pound-for-pound lists and becoming the next American boxing superstar in the wake of Floyd Mayweather’s retirement last September. Our prediction is that Crawford will have some trouble with Postol’s length early in the fight and get buzzed a few times. But he will begin to figure him out by the middle rounds and separate himself in the late stages of the fight. Crawford will win a competitive decision, 116-112, and capture his second division crown in a span of 20 months.

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