Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol are both champions. Both are undefeated. However, one of these men will leave the ring tonight with their first professional loss, and no title belt.
Crawford, the WBO World Junior Welterweight Champion, will face Postol, who holds the WBC version of the junior welterweight title. Terence Crawford comes into this bout with a 28-0 record, with 20 knockouts to his credit. Postol boasts an identical 28-0 mark, but has gone the distance much more often than his opponent (12 wins by way of knockout).
According to ESPN, both fighters appeared to be in great condition and ready for their clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Crawford took the opportunity to hype what he says will be a great fight against Postol.
Crawford vs. Postol: Is this fight worth $59.99 on PPV? https://t.co/LYGcImcPqM
— Boxing News 24 (@boxingnews24) July 23, 2016
“I’m ready to put on a show,” Crawford said after Friday’s weigh-in. “It’s going to be action all night. Two top fighters, two world champions, two undefeated fighters in the primes. I’m ready. Don’t blink. That’s all I have to say.”
Viktor Postal’s comments were straight and to the point as he expects to come out on top in his match-up with Crawford.
“On Saturday I will prove that I am not an underdog once and for all,” Postol said through translator and manager Vadim Kornilov.
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This bout is considered a crossroads fight for both Crawford and Postol. Despite being undefeated and holding world titles, neither is considered a household name. A victory in Las Vegas on July 23 could change all that for the winner, and lead to bigger and better things down the road.
One of those things could be a bout against one of the sport’s all-time greats, Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao announced his retirement after an impressive performance against Timothy Bradley in April, but he has already decided to make a comeback and is scheduled to fight again in November. The only thing missing? An opponent. USA Today reports that the winner of Crawford-Postol could be in line for a big payday against Manny Pacquiao when he returns to the ring later this year.
Terence Crawford is considered a strong favorite in this bout against Viktor Postol, with recent odds showing Crawford at (-600) and Postol at (+400), which amounts to Crawford being an approximate 5-1 favorite over Postol.
Terence Crawford won his first world title in 2014 by defeating Ricky Burns by unanimous decision. Crawford went on to defend the WBO World Lightweight Championship two times that year in impressive fashion, earning the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Year award in 2014. Crawford went on to win the vacant WBO junior welterweight title by knocking out Thomas Dulorme in 2015. The match-up with Viktor Postol will be Crawford’s third title defense as a junior welterweight.
— BlackSportsOnline (@BSO) July 23, 2016
Viktor Postol is somewhat of a mystery to American boxing fans, since he has mostly fought in his native Ukraine. He did begin to get some notice after scoring quality wins over Henry Lundy and Selcuk Aydin, which set him up for a shot at the vacant WBC World Junior Welterweight Championship in late 2015 against Lucas Matthysse.
Matthysse came into that fight highly regarded, and was expected to have little difficulty with Postol. However, Postol had other ideas, knocking out the powerful Argentinian in the 10th round to claim the WBC belt. Postol will be defending his title for the first time when he meets Terence Crawford at the MGM Grand.
Terence Crawford appears to be on the brink of stardom, but Viktor Postol has already shown the ability to overcome long odds to win. Who do think will come out on top in this battle of undefeated champions?
[Photo by John Peterson/AP Images]