By beating Viktor Postol, Terence Crawford didn’t just unify the WBC, WBO, The Ring and lineal light welterweight titles; he also set himself up to be the favorite to face Manny Pacquiao next, thus ensuring himself a huge payday.
“Bud” improved to 29-0 in his career with a dominant unanimous decision win over the Ukrainian Postol at the MGM Grand Garden, retaining his 140 pounds belt while adding more to his growing collection, getting a huge approval rating from the ringside judges, scoring the fight 118-107, 118-107 and 117-108; no question about who was the better fighter. Both fighters were undefeated before the fight, which was a rare occasion of the two best in a boxing division actually going at it to unify divisions.
Crawford, 28, was accused a number of times by fans and critics for running from Postol, but according to Crawford, he asked for the fight. Postol has been dodged by a number of fighters, but as the fight showed, he’s not in the same class as Crawford, who was simply too fast from round 1 to round 12, although it took him about three rounds to find a way to get inside of Postol, who had the huge advantage in height and reach.
In the fourth round Crawford hit him with a hard left to the head, and from there, it was his fights, no longer throwing an endless number of jabs which didn’t really connect. Crawford connected twice more with his left to get two knockdowns, as Postol was once forced to take a knee, and then again use his gloves to touch the mat after getting sent to the ropes. From that moment, it seemed Postol was simply trying to avoid getting knocked out. He didn’t have the legs to keep up with Crawford, although the judges did score the first three rounds 38-38.
Crawford kept abusing Postol with big hits in rounds 6 through 9, and was going for the knockout in the 12 (20 KO’s in his career), but Postol back away just enough to avoid getting flattened. It didn’t really matters, there was no doubt as to who was the better fighter in the fight. Crawford didn’t trash talk Postol after the fight, but said that Postol kept urging him to knock him out in the 12th, but retreated every time Crawford, visibly tired at this point, got close. It didn’t stop Crawford from putting on a show and taunting Postol during the 12th, getting a huge reaction from the 7000 fans in attendance.
Crawford made $1.3 million in the fight, and if rumors are true, or Bob Arum is to be believed, he’s got an excellent shot at fighting Pacquiao next, as the Filipino fighter comes back from what seemed like retirement, which never really is in boxing. Jessie Vargas, who is a WBO Welterweight champion (27-1), is also in the running for the Pacquiao fight. It’ll probably come down to who can generate more money for Arum-Top Rank-Pacquiao.
One thing that Crawford made clear is that he wants the fight to be at 140 lbs, despite Pacquiao being mostly a Welterweight (147) fighter for years. Maybe he’ll stick by his words that it’ll be a 140 fight. But usually, unless Pacquiao is comfortable going down to that weight, the right amount of money makes people change their principles and demands. Crawford might be the next big American boxing star, but he might be forced to move up in order to get the biggest fight possible for him.