Crawford and Postol Unfiy 140-lb. Titles

By Charles Jay

Boxing fans may be a bit tired of having to turn to pay-per-view to watch the best of the game compete in the best bouts, but for some of them, Saturday night’s unification fight in Las Vegas between Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol might wind up being something that is well worth the price of “admission.” Both of these fighters are listed with 28-0 records.Crawford holds the junior welterweight title as recognized by the WBO, while Postol is the WBC champion at 140 pounds.

Postol is unknown to casual audiences, but he scored a significant win last October when he defeated Lucas Matthyse on a 10th-round TKO to claim the vacant WBC belt. Prior to that there were some good fights – including one over Hank Lundy, who Crawford fought last – but nothing earth-shattering. What you have to do with Postol is take a look at him operating and project what he will do against Crawford, who first won the WBO lightweight championship in March 2014 and, in what has become boxing’s new way, decided to go “wide” rather than “deep,” moving into another weight division rather than dominate one for an extended period. Thus, he annexed the WBO 140-pound title in April 2015 against Thomas Delorme, who went quietly in six rounds.

On balance, you might say that Crawford has faced the tougher roster of opponents, although the margin isn’t all that wide. He’s been active more recently, however, as he fought Lundy in February, retaining his title with a fifth-round TKO.

Here are the odds, as they are set forth at America’s Bookie, on this matchup:

Terence Crawford -565
Viktor Postol +440

When you look at Crawford, you see a guy with terrific energy and the ability to go from his standard southpaw stance and then show his opponents some artillery from the orthodox posture. He certainly isn’t a conventional boxer, but he will able to attack Postol from a number of different angles. And he has some pop as well, which means that he can make any opponent pay for a mistake.

Postol is a guy who stands basically straight-up and boxes. He is not necessarily fluid, but you can tell that he is well-schooled. He knows how to spin around and use distance in order to keep an opponent at bay. He has an educated jab, and it has been mentioned that in some ways he resembles the Klitschkos in his ring style, minus the big power. There is some truth to that, and as one can see from his knockout numbers, he is not a huge puncher. But he is a crisp puncher nonetheless, and if he is going to “chop Crawford down” it is likely that he will have to frustrate the Omaha native and have him swinging at air a lot.

Postol will also have to be able to take a punch. He took some pretty good shots from Matthysse, who was far from orthodox, although admittedly we have seen him buckled when nailed cleanly.

His challenge is that he is going to have to keep Crawford out at the end of his left hand, thus limiting the ability to Crawford to get brazen. One way in which he differs from the Klitschos, his Ukrainian countrymen, is that he moves a heck of a lot better, and if he is going to win this fight, it’s going to be with his feet as much as with his hands.

A bet made by Freddie Roach in his fighter (Postol), which we believe is around $2000, has gotten some publicity this week, proving that writers clearly have been starved for something to highlight. But this falls into the “so what?” category anyway, if anyone otherwise felt that this offered insight.

In the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge, our play is not big here, but even though we think Crawford has much more native talent and power than his opponent here, there is a chance Postol might get him frustrated to the point where he gets sloppy, and that could conceivably lead to a points win, so we took the underdog price – in a very small way.

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