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Crawford vs. Postol replay this Saturday, July 30

Terence Crawford

By Dan Ambrose: This Saturday night on July 30, HBO Sports will be playing the Terence Crawford vs. Viktor Postol light welterweight unification fight at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT. This is a replay of last Saturday’s unification match-up on HBO pay-per-view. While Crawford-Postol fight probably had no business being televised on PPV and might end up losing money for Top Rank, the undercard at least had a good performance in featherweight Oscar Valdez’s 2nd round knockout win over previously Matias Rueda to claim the vacant WBO featherweight title.

If there was a potential superstar on the card, it was Valdez, not Crawford. Valdez looks like the real deal. Whether he can get enough casual boxing fans excited about seeing him fight at featherweight is another question. Valdez might need to move up to at least light welterweight to have a chance of becoming a huge star. Since that’s not likely to happen, he’ll probably need to be satisfied with toiling away at featherweight or super featherweight his entire career and probably not getting the attention he would receive if he fought at 140 or 147.

The question that boxing fans wanted to know about the Terence Crawford after his win over Postol is whether or not he’ll be facing former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao next on November 5 in the Filipino fighter’s next match on HBO PPV. Top Rank promoter Bob Arum isn’t saying when/if the Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight will be taking place. After giving countless interviews and working very hard at promoting the Crawford vs. Postol fight last Saturday, Arum said he’s not going to speak anymore to the media.

“I’m not talking to you guys anymore,” Arum said after the fight. “From now on I’m Al Haymon. I’m putting everything on Twitter.”

It seems that Arum isn’t happy about a lot of the media members giving him static about the Crawford vs. Postol fight not being a PPV worthy event. In looking at the fight and the lack of excitement it generated, you can’t think that it was a worthy fight to put on PPV.

The Crawford-Postol fight itself was very boring to watch, as Crawford fought in a safety first manner, content with looking to counter-punch Postol each time he threw a right hand. Crawford rarely initiated any offense on his own, and he failed to go after Postol in the later rounds to try and finish strong. Instead of looking to get a knockout in the 12th, Crawford moved around the ring in wide circles, sticking his tongue out at Postol, and appearing child-like.

It wasn’t a good deal for the boxing fans that paid $59.99 to see Crawford fight Postol on HBO PPV, because him sticking his tongue out in the 12th was the equivalent of him doing that to the fight fans that had purchased the fight. Crawford wasn’t sticking his tongue out at the paying fans, but he might as well have with his decision to fight in a safe manner rather than looking to make it exciting in closing out the show.

“He’s very talented. I think he’s a star, but not a superstar,” said trainer Abel Sanchez to the Daily News about Crawford after the fight. “I see that showboating at the end of the fight and I think about Ray Leonard, and he didn’t do that, and not even Floyd Mayweather did that until late in his career. A superstar doesn’t do the things he did at the end. He did some things today that are very immature.”

Crawford is not a superstar, and it’s not likely that he will ever be one if he continues to fight the safety-first manner than he did last Saturday. What’s surprising is that a lot of boxing fans liked watching Crawford circle the ring endlessly. They thought that was exciting to watch, and they commended him for fighting like that. It’s very hard to understand though, because it was hard to watch the fight due to the lack of action. There was one partially interesting round in the 5th in which Crawford knocked Postol down twice. Other than that round, the remainder of the fight was boring and filled with non-action.

If you compare how Crawford fights to that of IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin, it’s like night and day. Golovkin fights hard the entire three minutes of every round, and he’s willing to put his chin on the line. We didn’t see that from Crawford last Saturday. He fought like he was afraid to get hit, and that made it very dull. You have to really like watching nonstop movement to enjoy what you saw from Crawford. I personally like watching punches being thrown with mean intention. I don’t enjoy watching a fighter move around the ring for 12 rounds while sticking his tongue out the way Crawford was doing.

Top Rank is going to have a hard time turning Crawford into a star if he continues to fight the way he did last Saturday. They’re going to have a hard time turning Crawford into a star anyway, because they don’t have a lot of guys to put him in with. If Arum decides to be insular with his match-making for Crawford by putting him in only with his own Top Rank guys, then he’ll only go so far.

The only way Crawford becomes a star that way is if Arum can stick him in with Pacquiao for a trilogy. If Arum does a ton of rematches with Crawford fighting various Top Rank guys, it’ll be difficult to get him to the next level unless Arum can convince Pacquiao to fight him over and over again for the next two or three years. I don’t see that happening though. That’s why it’s not likely that Crawford will become a superstar. If Crawford continues to fight in a safety first style, then it might not matter who he’s matched against. The boxing world wants to see excitement and not constant movement and counter punching.

“I don’t have to go anywhere,” Crawford said after the fight. “I think people should come to me.”

Crawford appears to have an attitude that he’s already a superstar. That’s not a good thing, because he doesn’t fight like a super star. He fights like like a run of the mill counter puncher, but one that likes to move around in circles for 12 rounds.

Crawford doesn’t want to move up in weight to welterweight, and he thinks that Pacquiao should have to come down to 140 to fight him rather than him going up to 147 to make that fight happen. That attitude might keep the fight against Pacquiao from happening unless Arum can convince Pacquiao to drain down to 140.

There aren’t too many guys at 140 for Crawford to fight. He would be limited to fighters like John Molina, Antonio Orozco, Rances Barthlemy and Omar Figueroa. I think those fights are barely any better than the guys that Crawford has fought recently in Dierry Jean, Raymundo Beltran, Postol and Hank Lundy. Casual boxing fans have probably never heard of Orozco, Barthlemy and Figueroa.

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