Crawford vs. Postol: Viktor wants KO on Saturday
By Chris Williams: WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) will be looking to KO unbeaten WBO 140lb champion Terence Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) to give him his first career defeat this Saturday night in their contest on HBO pay-per-view from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Crawford is the favorite by the line -750 to +750 for Postol, according to Bovada. The 32-year-old Postol doesn’t care that he’s the underdog in this fight because he has a great game plan put together by his trainer Freddie Roach, and he plans on carrying out that plan to the letter. Roach has talked wanting to have the 5’11” Postol stay on the outside and jab Crawford to keep him from getting near enough to land his power shots.
Roach believes that the Ukrainian Postol can beat Crawford in the battle of jabs, because he’s going to have a 3 ½ inch reach advantage in this contest. This isn’t quite as good as the 4 ½ inch reach advantage that Postol had in his last fight against Lucas Matthysse last October, but it’s pretty close. Postol was able to jab Matthysse over and over again to dominate him until scoring a 10th round knockout victory.
“I have one of the best trainers in Freddie Roach,” said Postol to Top Rank. “Raoch is a great trainer and we had a great training camp. We’re ready for this fight. We chose to be here. We’re going to be in this fight, and we’re going to win. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen Saturday night, but I can win. We have a plan, and I’ll stick to the plan and I’ll try and make everyone happy that watches the fight. I’ll make it an exciting fight, I promise that,” said Postol.
Crawford is a classic counter puncher who mainly likes to take advantage of his opponents when they attempt to throw power shots. What remains to be seen is whether Crawford can do well against an opponent that mainly just jabs like Postol, because there won’t be anything to work off of. Crawford will need to attack more in this fight if he’s to have any chance of winning, and he’s not good at attacking.
Like a lot of counter punchers, Crawford is very ordinary when he’s forced to initiate the action. If Postol stands on the outside jabbing all night long with his longer reach, it’s going to force Crawford to come out of his counter punching shell and go on the attack. This means he’ll be walking into a lot of jabs and right hands to the head. It might not turn out well for Crawford if he’s forced to each jabs all night long by the taller 5’11” Postol.
When asked if he wants to knockout Crawford, Postol said, “Of course, it’s part of my dream. I want o win this fight by knockout for two titles, but we’ll see on Saturday night. You never know what happens. I hope to win by knockout,” said Postol.
I believe that Postol can win this fight by knockout if Crawford becomes desperate and tries to take the fight to him. Top Rank has fed Crawford a lot of weak opposition since his shaky performance against Yuriorkis Gamboa two years ago, and he clearly isn’t as good as some people think he is. I won’t be surprised if Postol wins this fight by a KO. I also won’t be surprised if Postol gets robbed in the fight, because Crawford is the A-side and he’s the one that Top Rank is hoping will become their next PPV star.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s plans on turning Crawford into a PPV attraction will be obliterated if he loses to Postol by a knockout, or if he just loses to him by a decision. The boxing public won’t forget that loss by Crawford, even if Arum feeds him a 100 Hank Lundy and Dierry Jean type soft opponents. This fight is the moment of truth for Crawford and Top Rank. If Crawford loses, then Top Rank will need to fold up their tents and move on in search for another would be PPV attraction.
I personally think it’s a hopeless dream of Crawford becoming a PPV star, because he doesn’t attract enough buzz for his fights for him to become a PPV guy. I do think Crawford can become a Brandon Rios or Tim Bradley type of guy that brings in decent ratings on HBO, but not the kind of ratings that would suggest that he can bring in PPV buys. There’s a huge difference between those two of fighters.