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Battle of champions: Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol

(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)
(Photo © Chris Farina / Top Rank)

By John J. Raspanti


Is there anything better than a meeting between two reigning undefeated world champions? Not for a boxing fan.
 
Tonight at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV., WBO super lightweight champion Terence Crawford meets WBC titleholder Viktor Postol in a unification bout to determine superiority in the 140-pound division. 
 
In 2014, Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) captured the lightweight championship by beating on Ricky Burns for 12 rounds. A few months later(,) he stopped previously undefeated Yuriokis Gamboa in a hellacious battle held in his hometown of Omaha, Neb. A year after winning the lightweight title, Crawford moved up a weight class and added the super lightweight belt to his resume by knocking out Thomas Dulorme in Texas. 

Postol, (28-0, 12 KOs) a former amateur star from the Ukraine, skated under the boxing radar until he met Lucas Matthysse at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA. last year. Matthysse entered the fight favored. He was expected to meet Manny Pacquio later in the year. All seemed well when Matthysse wobbled Postol in Round seven, but the reality was different. Postol was jabbing Matthysse silly. He was also holding too much. 

Warned by the referee, Postol, listening the advice of trainer Freddie Roach, started landing inside hooks on the frustrated Matthysse.  A clean right hand in Round 10 knocked Matthysse to his knees--where he stayed while the referee counted him out. Postol was a world champion.  
 
Crawford, 28, has defended his title twice--by knocking out Dierry Jean and Hank Lundy. 
 
Postol, 32, will be returning the ring for the first time since defeating Matthysse. 
 
Crawford is versatile. He can box or slug. "The pride of Omaha" is an intelligent fighter--who knows how to make adjustments on the fly. He’s prone to getting off to slow starts--only to warm up like a percolating tea kettle.  
 
Postol has a good jab, and likes to use lateral movement. He has a tendency to drop his hands. 
 
Crawford continues to improve. He’s a natural in the ring. 
 
Postol has shown more power in recent matches. 
 
Crawford has more pure boxing ability than Postol. I expect him to be behind on the scorecards entering the fourth round, but by the seventh(,) he’ll be pasting Postol with wicked head shots. 

I see him stopping Postol late or earning a unanimous decision victory.
 


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