Crawford collides with Postol in light-welterweight unification battle
Lee Gormley | July 22, 2016
Terence Crawford v Viktor Postol
- WBC and WBO light-welterweight title fight
- Sunday, July 24th
- Scheduled for: 03:00 BST
- MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas
- Live on BoxNation
Crawford and Postol collide in unification clash
WBO light-welterweight champion Terence Crawford will face WBC title holder Viktor Postol this weekend, as the undefeated pair collide at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas for a unification showdown.
In this battle between two so far unbeaten fighters, both men will aim to exert their dominance in the division by prevailing in this 140lbs match-up in Nevada, with somebody’s flawless record set to go in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Both American champion Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) and his Ukrainian rival Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) currently hold unblemished 28-0 career records, though it’s the Nebraska-born WBO kingpin that boasts superior stoppage success.
The technically gifted Ohama fighter will enter weekend proceedings as the favourite, and he is 6/4 with Coral to add Postol to his growing list of knockout victims in their awaited unification bout.
Fireworks expected in Vegas dust-up
Crawford, nicknamed ‘Bud’, is aiming to add Postol’s WBC strap to his currently held WBO belt when the pair go head-to-head on Sunday morning, with the 28-year-old switch-hitter claiming fans can expect plenty of fireworks once the first bell sounds.
“I’m really excited. I’m just ready for the moment. I’m looking forward to it. [Fans can expect] fireworks,” stated Crawford, who is evens to gain the judges’ decision.
“All the fans tuning in, stay tuned and support two undefeated fighters. It’s going to be a great night of boxing.”
The American sensation stopped Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme to clinch the then vacant WBO title in April last year and has since defended it twice, when halting both Canadian Dierry Jean last October and most-recently Hank Lundy in February.
Crawford has previously reigned as WBO lightweight king too before stepping up in weight, having overcame Scotland’s Ricky Burns in 2014 to earn his maiden title triumph, then successfully kept hold of it with wins over Yuriorkis Gamboa and Raymundo Beltran.
The two-weight world champion now faces arguably his toughest test in his career so far though, with Postol having showcased supreme form in his last outing, and the hard-hitting Ukrainian is 7/2 to prevail.
Confident Postol vows to crush Crawford
Postol, who is mentored by esteemed coach Freddie Roach, will be contesting on United States soil for the fourth time in succession this weekend and comes into his latest outing on the back of a superb showing last October.
The 32-year-old halted Argentine warrior Lucas Matthysse with a brutal 10th-round KO in California, a stunning victory which saw ‘the Iceman’ crowned WBC light-welterweight champion, and he is seeking Crawford’s WBO strap next.
Postol admitted he’s coming up against a technically astute fighter but also outlined his intentions to shatter Crawford’s reputation, which he is 10/1 to do by KO.
“What differentiates Crawford from many other fighters are his skills and technical attributes,” declared the Ukrainian.
“I am looking forward to destroying Crawford…”
“From a mental aspect, he is a very clever boxer, always using his mind in the ring, changing stances, all the time adapting to different types of opponents.
“He has shown this in his previous fights. But that does not mean he is the best I have fought. I think Lucas Matthysse is a higher-level fighter than Crawford and everyone knows how my fight with Matthysse ended – with him knocked out and the WBC belt around my waist.
“That is exactly where the WBC belt will remain after my fight with Crawford on July 23. Just above the WBO belt. I am looking forward to destroying Crawford – destroying his perfect record and destroying his reign as world champion.”
As well as the chance to unify the division, there is added incentive for both fighters too, with a potential encounter against Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao on the cards for the winner of this showdown.
The eight-division world champion retired after beating Timothy Bradley again in April, but the victor of Crawford versus Postol is likely to find themselves in the running to be ‘Pacman’s’ returning opponent in November.
Valdez versus Rueda clash for WBO title
On a potentially exciting undercard in Sin City, Oscar Valdez (19-0 17 KOs) takes on Matias Rueda (26-0, 23 KOs) in what has recently been upgraded to a WBO featherweight title fight, following former champion Vasyl Lomachenko vacating his crown when moving up divisions.
Now, in their 12-round title fight, former Mexico Olympian Valdez enters as the overwhelming odds-on 1/20 favourite to reign supreme, while his Argentine opponent Rueda will take to the ring at 8/1 to cause an upset.
Now 25 years of age, Valdez was previously one of the most exciting fighters on show at the 2012 Olympics in London, where he lost to Ireland’s John Joe Nevin, the eventual silver medalist. He also featured at the 2008 Games as a 17-year-old, losing out to eventual gold medalist Enkhbatyn Badar-Uugan of Mongolia.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian light-heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk is 1/16 to overcome American southpaw Tommy Karpency, who is an 8/1 outsider to prevail, with unbeaten light-welterweight Jose Benavidez 1/5 to get the better of Francisco Santana (10/3).