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Arum: Crawford-Dulorme winner could face Matthysse-Provodnikov winner

Lucas Matthysse Terence Crawford Thomas DulormeBy Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is saying that the winner of this Saturday’s two fights between former WBO lightweight champion Terence Crawford (25-0, 17 KOs) vs. Thomas Dulorme (22-1, 14 KOs) and Lucas Matthysse (36-3, 34 KOs) vs. Ruslan Provodnikov (24-3, 17 KOs) could face each other. Both fights will be televised on HBO Championship Boxing as a split site double-header this Saturday night.

Crawford and Dulorme will be fighting for the vacant WBO 140 pound title at the University of Texas, in Arlington, Texas, USA. The Matthysse-Provodnikov fight will be taking place at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, New York, USA. Both fights will be 12 rounds.

There’s been a bit of controversy surrounding the news that Crawford-Dulorme will be fighting for the vacant WBO 140 pound title because the World Boxing Organization immediately elevated Crawford to the No.1 spot in the WBO’s 140 pound rankings recently after Crawford vacated his WBO 135 pound title. Crawford didn’t have to face anyone at 140 in order to pick up rank to get into position to fight for the vacant WBO light welterweight title.

Instead, Crawford has been pushed ahead of guys like Matthysse and Provodnikov. It strikes some boxing fans as a tad bit unfair. Additionally, the Crawford-Dulorme fight doesn’t figure to be nearly as an exciting fight compared to the Matthysse-Provodnikov fight. It’s quite possible that Crawford vs. Dulorme will involve a great deal of clinching just like Crawford’s last fight against Raymundo Beltran had. A lot of boxing fans thought that was a very boring fight due to Crawford holding all night long ach time Beltran came close to try and throw some of his shots.

“Provodnikov and Matthysse are excellent fighters and certainly the winner of that fight would be considered against the winner, who we feel is going to be Crawford,” Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum said via BoxNation.com. “It would be a natural, but would there be a better fight to be made? Would the manager of the winner of Provodnikov-Matthysse want to fight the winner of this fight? Those things need to be decided. In other words, this is not a puppet show. You sit down with the management of the winner of the fight and then it will be decided. Let’s just enjoy what we are going to see on Saturday.”

It makes a lot of sense for Arum to match the winner of the Crawford vs. Dulorme fight against the winner of the Matthysse vs. Provodnikov. Arum won’t be able to match the Crawford-Dulorme winner against #2 WBO Chris Algieri next because he has a fight against Amir Khan on May 29th, and Algieri is expected to lose the fight to Khan.

If Algieri does beat Khan, then you can expect for Arum to quickly try and put together a fight between Algieri and the Crawford-Dulorme winner. Arum obviously feels confident that Crawford will beat Dulorme this Saturday night.

Crawford likes to hold a lot, and it might not be a good match-up for Matthysse to face him if he emerges victorious this Saturday against Provodnikov. WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia used a combination of constant holding and low blows to beat Matthysse in their fight in 2013. Matthysse never adapted to Garcia’s strategy by fighting through the clinches and firing back low blows of his own to teach Garcia not to keep hitting him low.

If Crawford holding Matthysse 10+ times per round, Matthysse won’t have a chance unless he learns how to fight through the clinches like his fellow countryman Marcos Maidana does. There was a time where Maidana would just give up when his opponent would clinch him and wait for the referee to separate him from his opponent. We saw that in Maidana’s loss to Devon Alexander in 2012.

Alexander clinches Maidana over 10 times per round, and kept him from getting his shots off. It wasn’t until Maidana teamed with trainer Robert Garcia that he learned how to keep fighting while he was being held. If Matthysse doesn’t learn the same thing, he’ll never beat a guy like Crawford. There’s no way that Crawford could beat Matthysse without clinching him constantly because his movement and his jab wouldn’t be enough to keep Matthysse off of him. Crawford isn’t a big puncher and never will be. Clinching will definitely be a big part of his game at 140.


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