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Did Crawford just lure Pacquiao out of retirement?

Manny Pacquiao Terence Crawford

By J. Calderon: WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (29-0, 20 KOs) technically out-classed a frustrated and ineffective Viktor “The Iceman” Postol (28-1, 12 KOs), last Saturday night, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in front of over 7,000 fans. Both Crawford and Postol are technical fighters, and Crawford was simply the better chess player of the two.

Postol might have done better if he would’ve applied more pressure and use his superior size to push Crawford into a corner, or at least against the ropes, but that’s just not his style, and he is just too lean and long to bully the much-sturdier and muscular Crawford.

Crawford used movement throughout the fight, and was relatively reserved during the first three rounds, feeling out the taller Postol and sampling his power. Once convinced that Postol didn’t have too much crack behind his punch, Crawford began to impose his will on the seemingly fragile Postol.

Postol did not use much head movement and kept hopping up and down vertically, rather than in a circular motion. His stance was off as well, and he threw too many lazy jabs, as trainer Freddie Roach pointed out to him. Crawford was faster, and closed the distance with a quick punch while immediately stepping out of harm’s way. Crawford also displayed superior head movement and ring generalship.

Postol came out in the 5th round with his left hand sticking too far out, and appeared to throw another lazy jab, which Crawford easily avoided and countered with a perfectly angled over-hand right hook, that sent Postal down on one knee.

Upon getting up, Postol finally found an opportunity to strike when Crawford was momentarily backed-up into a corner, but failed miserably by lunging in with a semi-stiff left jab upstairs and a straight right to the body, which left him completely open to a mean straight-left from Crawford.

Postol was clearly dazed, if not hurt, after that punch and staggered backwards, while Crawford chased after him. In the process, Postol’s legs weakened and he fell to the ground for a second time. In neither of the two knockouts, did I witness Postol trip over Crawford’s or his own legs- his legs simply gave out.

After the two knockdowns, Crawford looked supremely confident and comfortable. He danced around the ring, played peek-a-boo with a timid and stiff Postol, and stuck his tongue out, as if daring him to throw a punch.

Postol’s stance is weird and leaves him too open and prone to throwing lazy punches. Although, Postol possessed a significant reach advantage, Crawford displayed a much better outside game, due to his blinding speed and evasive head movement. Postol wouldn’t stop coming forward and reminded me a lot of Yuriorkis Gamboa, who kept lunging in and getting countered with straight-lefts.

Freddie Roach appeared to be giving Postol really good advice, but Postol seemed stuck in his ways. This became increasingly evident in round 8, when Postol came out again with his left hand sticking too far out, threw a decent jab that Crawford managed to step around of, and almost got caught again with a right hook that didn’t land, but still wrangled around his neck and flung him across the ring.

Postol was too off-balance and wasn’t allowed to step on his punches, due to him stubbornly following Crawford all night. Postol fought Crawford’s fight and let him fight off the back-foot, instead of turning the table and letting Crawford come to him for a change.

Although he is a solid contender, Roach needs to work on Postol’s foot-work and stance. These two qualities won’t matter much if he fights a stationary target that stands in the pocket, but it will definitely matter if he is to face another pure boxer that utilizes a lot of movement.

I am not biased against Postol, I just call it how i see it. This just wasn’t a good style match up for him. Crawford could have afforded to use a little less movement and apply a bit more pressure, since he didn’t have too worry too much about Postol’s power. This would have made the fight more entertaining for the casual boxing fan, but I wouldn’t call this fight boring either, as true boxing purists witnessed a display of master class boxing.

With Crawford on his way to greatness, Bob Arum is now salivating at the possibility of lining him up against semi-retired, former eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs). I really hope that Manny Pacquiao accepts Uncle Bob’s challenge. I see Manny having an edge in terms of speed, but Crawford having the edge in movement and power.

In all fairness, Manny is past his prime and his KO power seems to have decayed after having jumped so many weight classes. Yet, Manny still beat a competitive Tim Bradley, arguably for the third time, this past April. I cannot pick one fighter over the other, due to Crawford still needing another solid test or two at 140, and Manny being 36 years old, but I am certain that Manny will be more effective at 140. The question on everyone’s mind is: did Crawford impress enough last night, to lure the mighty Pacman out of retirement?

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