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Crawford vs. Postol: Is this fight worth $59.99 on PPV?

Terence Crawford

By Patrick McHugh: Tonight, Top Rank will be putting on a fight card on HBO pay-per-view headlined by light welterweights Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol. The fight is going for between $49.99 and $59.99 on pay-per-view. According to their promoter Bob Arum, he had no choice but to make the Crawford-Postol fight PPV because HBO didn’t have any available fight dates.

This is the same promotional company that put on Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. on pay-per-view last year with asking price of $100. It was a huge disappointment for the fight fans when the bout failed to produce fireworks of any kind. Pacquiao fought like he was scared after the first two rounds, and Mayweather moved around the ring to avoid getting hit.

You can’t blame the boxing public if they’re not ready to put their hard-earned money on another pay-per-view fight after their experience a year ago. Arum isn’t making things easy on himself by having the lesser known fighters like Crawford and Postol headline the PPV card on HBO. When casual boxing fans see a fight like this on PPV, it just reeks of a money grab attempt.

They don’t know that HBO didn’t have an available date for the Crawford vs. Postol fight to be shown on regular HBO. All the fans see is a fight with lesser known guys being sold on PPV. It’s a recipe for disaster. Arum says he recognizes the PPV event could lose money. According to Lance Pugmire of the LA Times, the break-even point for Arum and Top Rank is 80,000 pay-per-view buys for tonight’s card. It’s almost impossible for a card not to get at least 80,000 buys, so it’s likely that the fight won’t lose money. However, it’s hard to imagine it receiving much more than 80,000 buys.

When guys like middleweight Gennady “GGG” Golovkin is only able to get 100,000 PPV buys for his fight on HBO PPV, then it’s difficult to see Crawford vs. Postol doing better numbers. Crawford is not the same kind of star that Golovkin is. The two fighters are worlds apart in the popularity department. That’s why tonight’s fight is such a gamble by Arum in him putting it on HBO PPV.

Crawford vs. Postol is a good fight. I wouldn’t put it in the same as a fight matching Crawford against Manny Pacquiao or Crawford against a top welterweight like Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr. or Danny Garcia. For a fight in the 140lb division, Crawford-Postol is good entertainment. It’s just not a PPV worthy fight in my opinion. Not all the PPV fights can be great match-ups involving well-known stars unfortunately. This is a fight matching quality guys but they’re not well known. Arum might lose money tonight on his PPV risk, but the fans that do see the fight will get a good fight and an interesting co-feature bout.

The winner of the Crawford vs. Postol fight will be seen as the No.1 light welterweight in the division. The winner would still need to beat IBF champion Eduard Troyanovskiy, who is a very good fighter. He’s no easy out for either of these guys. However, the fans will still recognize the winner of the Crawford-Postol fight as the No.1 guy in the 140lb division, for what it’s worth.

Being recognized as the best in the light welterweight division doesn’t mean as much as it would if they were seen as the No.1 guy at welterweight. That’s a much more popular division than the 140lb division.

If Arum does have Postol and Crawford move up in weight to try and conquer the welterweight division, they might have a really hard time making that happen. Besides the problems with Arum having to deal with an outside promotional company that may or may not want to match their fighters against him, it’s going to be almost impossible for the likes of Postol or Crawford to beat sturdy welterweights like Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman. They have more of solid bone structure that than the slender Crawford and Postol. Boxing great Tommy Hearns was very slender too, but he was able to move up in weight and do well in other divisions during his career after starting out as a welterweight. Hearns had one-punch KO power. Postol and Crawford aren’t huge punchers like Hearns. They’re pretty well stuck at 140 because of their frames and lack of huge power.

Tonight’s Crawford vs. Postol fight will start at 7:00 p.m. ET/TV on HBO pay-per-view.
Crawford’s best win of his career came against former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2014. That was Crawford’s really exciting fight for his pro career because most of his other bouts had been dull affairs with him countering and waiting around for his opponents to try something.

Gamboa forced Crawford to make it exciting by taking the fight to him and giving him a lot of problems in the first four rounds. Crawford was losing the fight until dropping Gamboa in the 5th round, when the Cuban fighter slipped on the canvas and was hit while he was falling down. Arum has since matched Crawford against lightweights Dierry Jean and Raymundo Beltran, as well as light welterweights Thomas Dulorme and Hank Lundy. There haven’t been any big names that Crawford has faced. It’s been guys that Arum was able to match him against.

The fans wanted to see Crawford put in with Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Adrien Broner. Those fights have failed to happen, and it’s likely they never will because those fighters are with other promotional companies. Crawford’s best bet for fights after tonight’s fight against Postol are fights against Manny Pacquiao, Ruslan Provodnikov and perhaps Jessie Vargas. We could also see a rematch between Crawford and Postol in the near future.

Postol, 32, is coming off the biggest win of his career in stopping Lucas Matthysse in the 10th round last November. Matthysse is good enough to be someone that might even beat Crawford if the fight could be made between them. The 5’11” Postol used his long reach to keep Matthysse helpless on the outside for the entire fight. In the 10th, Postol knocked Matthysse out with a right hand to the head. Matthysse suffered an eye injury in being knocked down in the 10th and couldn’t continue.

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