Roach: Arum needs Crawford to beat Postol
By Chris Williams: WBC light welterweight champion Viktor Postol’s trainer Freddie Roach says Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is hoping that his fighter unbeaten WBO 140lb champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) defeats Postol in their fight this Saturday night on July 23 on HBO pay-per-view, because he needs him to win in order to turn him into a PPV attraction. Arum thinks that Crawford can become Top Rank’s next PPV fighter. For that to have any chance of taking place, Crawford will need to defeat the unbeaten 32-year-old Postol in their fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The main thing is he has the height advantage and the reach advantage, and he needs to use that,” said Roach about Postol to Fighthype. “He does have good power in his right hand. I think people underestimate the power in his right hand. He does have knockout power. The thing is he won’t use his right hand until he knows he has you in the right distance and the right timing. He’s very good at that. He’s patient, he takes his time. He’s a very intelligent fighter. That’s why I like him so much. He doesn’t just go out there and try to get lucky He’s thinking all the time,” said Roach.
Postol, 5’11”, will have a three-inch height and reach advantage over Crawford in this fight. Postol has a long reach and he’s a technical fighter that uses his jab a lot to win his fights. He’s a more skilled guy than the other fighters that Crawford has fought. It’s going to be a very difficult fight for Crawford to deal with.
In speaking about Crawford, Roach said, “He’s a good fighter and he may be the next pay-per-view fighter out there. That’s what they’re hoping for him. I’m sure that’s why Bob [Arum] needs him to be the winner or wants him to win. But if they have to go the other way with my guy, they might have just as good success with him. Crawford is a good boxer, he’s very good, and he’s talented. My guy does tie people up at certain times. Maybe when he feels he’s not in his most comfort zone, and he will tie fighters up and waits for the referee to break him. I don’t think he’s excessive at it. I don’t think that’s going to make a difference in who’s going to win the fight through. It’s not illegal to clinch a guy. There’s a difference between clinching and excessive holding. I think my guy ends up in a clinch every once in a while, but he’s not excessive in his holding, no,” said Roach.
Even if Crawford wins the fight against Postol, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll become a PPV star. There are very few fighters in the sport that ever make the leap to PPV, and Arum can’t force the issue no matter how much he wants it to happen. It’s the fans that make the decision whether they want to pay to see a fighter on PPV. Right now, Crawford would appear to be way behind the likes of Gennady Golovkin, who isn’t a PPV fighter either. If Crawford doesn’t have Golovkin’s fan base, then there’s no chance that he’ll become a PPV star. I don’t see Crawford’s fighting style or his charisma being enough for him to make the leap into a PPV attraction like Pacquiao had going for him in his best years with Arum. I think Top Rank’s best chance for a future PPV guys is Felix Verdejo if he makes a lot of improvement in his game. He’s looked flawed lately, and I’m not sure that he’s got the talent to make the leap to PPV in the future. However, I do think Verdejo is a more exciting fighter to watch than Crawford, because he’s not a counter puncher like him. Verdejo takes the fight to his opponents.
If Postol beats Crawford on Saturday, it’s going to be a huge setback to Arum and Top Rank, because Crawford is now the best option the company has to try and turn him into a star. I’m not putting it past Postol to win this fight on Saturday. The only thing I’m not sure about is whether the judges will give him the victory if the fight goes to the scorecards. Postol may need a KO to win.