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.

Porter vs Diaz II, Williams vs Centeno Kick off #TheOne Weekend Thursday, September 12

LAS VEGAS, NEV. (August 22, 2013) -It’s boxing’s biggest week, an opportunity for the stars of entertainment and sports to descend on Las Vegas for “THE” fight of 2013, the championship showdown between unbeaten icons Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez. However, before the world turns its eyes to the MGM Grand Garden Arena to watch these two warriors collide Saturday, Sept. 14, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions kick off festivities two days earlier, on Thursday, Sept. 12, with a special three-and-a-half hour, action-packed broadcast on FOX Sports 2 and FOX Deportes from MGM Grand Las Vegas’ Premier Ballroom.

It’s the rematch fight fans have demanded, as unbeaten Shawn “Showtime” Porter faces former World Champion Julio “The Kidd” Diaz in the 10-round welterweight bout as the main event of the tripleheader. The co-featured bout showcases Las Vegas up and comer Badou Jack as he takes on Mexico’s Marco Antonio Periban and in the opener boxing’s top prospects Julian “J-Rock” Williams faces Hugo “The Boss” Centeno Jr. in a 10-round junior middleweight clash.

Porter vs. Diaz II will take place on Thursday, September 12 at MGM Grand Las Vegas’ Premier Ballroom located in the MGM Grand Conference Center on the third level. The event is presented by Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona and O’Reilly Auto Parts. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. PT on fight night and the first bell rings at 6:00 p.m. PT. The FOX Sports 2/FOX Deportes broadcast airs live at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.

Tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25, not including applicable service charges and taxes are on sale now. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also will be available for purchase a www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Additionally, with the purchase of a ticket, fans will be given a reserved seat for the “THE ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo” Official Weigh-In taking place Friday, September 13 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Fans will also receive a 10 percent discount on tickets for closed circuit viewing of the Mayweather vs. Canelo mega-event on Saturday, September 14.

“Two days before boxing’s biggest night, this is the kind of event that will get things started off in the right way,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “There are three exciting and evenly matched fights on this card that will give fans another opportunity to enjoy an exciting night of boxing while they anticipate the outcome of who “The One” will be in Mayweather vs. Canelo.”

“This is the perfect way to kick off the festivities for Mayweather vs. Canelo and I know all boxing fans will love this card,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Shawn Porter vs. Julio Diaz is a rematch the fighters and the fans demanded and as good as their first fight was, I think this one will be even better. In addition, we’ve got Marco Antonio Periban facing Badou Jack in an important super middleweight bout with title implications and there will definitely be fireworks between two of the sport’s top prospects, Hugo Centeno Jr. and Julian Williams.”

“Getting a full card of quality fights on FOX Sports 2 and FOX Deportes, tapping into the energy being created by the Mayweather vs. Canelo bout later in the week, is a strong offering,” said FOX Sports SVP Programming & Research Patrick Crakes. “We will continue to work with our partners at Golden Boy Promotions to put together packages for fight fans across the country.”

“When I was approached with this rematch, there was no question in my mind about taking it,” Porter said. “We had a great fight the first time, but this time around I want a knockout. I’m looking to make a statement on September 12 and I will.”

“I think I won the first fight and I’m not the only one who feels that way,” Diaz said. “But I give Porter credit for agreeing to this rematch so we can settle things. He’s a good fighter, but on September 12, I’m going to prove that I’m better.”

“Marco Antonio Periban is one of the top super middleweights in the world, and I respect him for his accomplishments,” said Jack. “This is the big fight I’ve wanted though, and I won’t let this opportunity pass me by because when I win, I’ll be one step closer to becoming a world champion.”

“I believe I should be the super middleweight champion right now, but this is boxing,” Periban said. “So to get back to a title fight, I have to make sure I leave no doubts in my fights.” “Badou Jack is a good fighter with a bright future, but he’s in my way and I have to remove him on September 12.”

“This is the kind of fight that boxing needs, two undefeated fighters putting it all on the line and having the confidence to back up their talent,” said Williams. “Centeno’s a tough guy and I know he’s going to bring it on September 12, but I have more tools than he does and more ways to win and he’s going to find that out once we’re in the ring.”

“I’m really excited about this fight and this event, because the world is going to be watching,” Centeno Jr. said. “We’re both unbeaten and rising up the ladder, and this fight will prove who’s going to keep going forward. I expect it to be me.”

On December 15, 2012, Akron, Ohio’s Shawn “Showtime” Porter (21-0-1, 14 KO’s) looked to add the name of former World Champion Julio Diaz (40-8-1, 29 KO’s) to his list of accomplishments, but the veteran from Coachella had other plans and the two went to battle for 10 exciting rounds before a draw verdict was rendered. Since then, the 25-year-old Porter scored a dominant win over previously unbeaten Phil LoGreco and the 33-year-old Diaz gave Amir Khan all he could handle before losing a close decision, setting up the rematch the fighters and the fans wanted.

Coachella’s Julio “The Kidd” Diaz (40-8-1, 29 KO’s) may have initially made his mark in the lightweight division, where he won the IBF World Championship twice and defeated fighters like Javier Jauregui, Jesus Chavez and Ricky Quiles, but it appears that at welterweight, Diaz is even more dangerous. After a yearlong layoff, Diaz is winner of two fights by knockout with the only blemishes coming in controversial bouts against Amir Khan and Shawn Porter. Now, he looks to avenge his draw with Porter by defeating his unbeaten foe on September 12.

A 2008 Olympian for Gambia, Swedish-born Las Vegas resident Badou “The Ripper” Jack (15-0, 10 KO’s) has become an international boxing sensation in recent years and the 29-year-old is just approaching his fighting prime. A pro since 2009, Jack scored a third round knockout over Michael Gbenga on the undercard of his promoter Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Robert Guerrero. After his July 19 victory against Farah Ennis, “The Ripper” is looking for another quick finish on September 12.

Mexico City’s Marco Antonio Periban (20-1, 13 KO’s) looks to bounce back from his controversial majority decision loss to Sakio Bika in their June battle for the vacant WBC Super Middleweight Title by taking on undefeated young warrior Jack in a 10-round clash at 168 pounds. The 28-year-old Periban is a crowd-pleasing battler who can do it all in the ring.

Opening the night of fights will be a rare meeting of undefeated top junior middleweight talents is another proud graduate of Philadelphia boxing’s School of Hard Knocks, 23-year-old Julian “J-Rock” Williams (13-0-1, 7 KO’s). Having already faced a stellar level of competition thus far in his career, Williams stepped up even more in June when he faced former World Champion Joachim Alcine, dropping him three times en route to a unanimous decision victory. On September 12, he meets fellow unbeaten Hugo Centeno Jr.

Oxnard, California’s Hugo Centeno Jr. (19-0, 10 KO’s) has spent time making his name known among 154-rising stars, with the 22-year-old scoring a near shutout of fellow prospect KeAndrae Leatherwood in March. Now Centeno Jr. has the opportunity to make his record 20-0 when he faces Julian Williams on September 12.

Undercard Announced For ‘Las Vegas in Panama II’, August 10

Promoters Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing and Carlos Gonzalez of Best Boxing have announced the undercard for their blockbuster “LAS VEGAS IN PANAMA II” show at the beautiful Megapolis Convention Center in the Hard Rock Hotel in Panama City, Panama, on Saturday, August 10.

Fighting in support of the three world-title fights that top the bill, including the return of superb Panamanian WBA Bantamweight Super Champion Anselmo “Chemito” Moreno (33-2-1, 12 KOs) making the eleventh defense of his 118-lb belt against Colombian southpaw William Urina (24-2, 20 KOs) in a 12-round battle; future boxing superstar Oscar Escandon (22-0, 15 KOs) vying for the interim WBA World super bantamweight championship against Panama’s former world champion Nehomar Cermeno (21-5-1, 13 KOs), and Venezuela’s WBA female featherweight Champion Ogleidis Suarez in the first defense of her title in a rematch against Colombia’s Liliana “La Tigresa” Palmera (21-10-3, 15 KOs) will be several intriguing bouts between tough South American warriors.

The main supporting bout will be an intriguing 10-round welterweight duel between two solid contenders in Azael “Turbo” Cosio (16-2-2, 13 KOs) of Santa Marta, Panama,and Devis “El Felino” Caceres (13-2, 9 KOs).

Remaining seats for “LAS VEGAS IN PANAMA II” are priced at $100, $200 and $300 USD ringside and are available at all Ticket Plus outlets as well as the Hard Rock Hotel.

Cosio was last seen winning the interim WBC Latino welterweight title with an impressive TKO 9 over respectable Colombian contender Jose David Mosquera in March. Since losing his pro debut in 2009, Caceres has only lost one fight and won his last four by way of brutal knockout.

Also scheduled for appearances on this stacked night of world-class boxing will be multiple world champion Roberto “La Araña” Vasquez (32-5-2, 22 KOs) from San Francisco, Panama, who will stay busy in a dangerous eight-round bantamweight battle against power-punching veteran Walberto Ramos (18-6-2, 12 KOs) of Monitos, Colombia.

Also scheduled are an eight-round super flyweight bout between Julio “El Kirikiki” Escudero (14-3, 10 KOs) of San Francisco, Panama and Stiven “Huesito” Monterrosa (10-2-2, 9 KOs) of Barranquilla, Colombia; a super featherweight eight-rounder between Jose “El Tigre” Forero (9-2, 7 KOs) of San Francisco, Panama and Luis Zambrano (10-3, 9 KOs) of Cordoba, Colombia; a four-round super middleweight bout pitting Israel “Arma Letal” Duffus (5-1, 4 KOs) of San Miguelito, Panama, against Manuel Banquez (7-2-2, 5 KOs) of Tolu, Colombia; and an eight-round, crosstown lightweight bout between undefeated Juan Huertas (3-0, 3 KOs) of Panama City, Panama and more experienced veteran Daniel “La Esperanza Negra” Mulgrave (4-8-2, 1 KO) of Panama City, Panama.