The Big Question: Crawford vs Postol - who wins?
It doesn't get much better than this. The two top fighters in the super-lightweight division putting it all on the line to determine who is the man. Terence Crawford leaves behind the comforts of fighting at home in Nebraska, hoping to shine in the bright lights of Las Vegas against the efficient and dangerous Viktor Postol. Two unbeaten men, two world titles on the line... something has got to give. The Boxing Monthly online team give their predictions on what looks a fascinating match-up.
This is a real sleeper fight, but it's always refreshing to see two people are top end of the division meet. I like Postol, and his significant height and reach advantages can create plenty of problems for Crawford. But the Nebraska ticket seller is so versatile I can see him finding a way. His speed and spite are wonderful (and occasionally terrifying) to behold. – James Oddy
Crawford is a very special fighter. He's an abundance of untested talent at top level and I can't see anybody beating him at present. Postol is a very durable fighter and hits with venom, but I see this going the distance with Crawford a clear winner. – Paul Zanon
Firstly I'm very much looking forward to this fight as it's pretty rare we get the top two facing each other especially above super-featherweight. There is also a nice clash of styles with Crawford's speed and switch hitting ability versus Postol's stand up boxing approach, which at times can resemble that of a snake in the sense that he loves to jab, grab and try to sap all the energy from his opponents before going for the kill. I'd be shocked if either man won by stoppage and the value on the betting front is definitely with Postol but I just feel after a slow start Crawford's greater dimensions will see him prevail via a close or even split decision. – Marcus Bellinger
Crawford is right up there with the best around today. His hands and boxing brain are incredibly quick and he's a hurtful, spiteful puncher, demonstrated in his last three stoppage victories against guys who don't really 'get' stopped. It also shouldn't be forgotten that he has a nasty streak to him too. He doesn't hail from the tough terrain or unforgiving gyms of Philadelphia or L.A., but Omaha, Nebraska, a city in the American midwest famous for producing Marlon Brando and Andy Roddick, not world champion pugilists. Nevertheless, he has an inherent hot streak that means he enjoys his craft. We saw it in the Hank Lundy fight in the presser flareups and directly after the stoppage. He's a man who enjoys being at the top and hurting the people trying to remove him from there.
He's up against the real deal in Postol. He's nowhere near as quick but the preciseness of his punches, especially when delivered from the range he possesses, can stop a fighter from getting off their shots before they get in close, which can frustrate and eventually wear down and stop them, like in his two most notable victories against Selcuk Aydin and Lucas Matthysse. He's a rough, tough, tall boxer whose style strays slightly from classic Eastern-European owing to his ability to stand and trade.
I'm expecting the fight itself to be one of the year's best. Its the biggest test in both men's careers and their styles are made for each other. My heart is saying Postol but my head says Crawford will be too slick and powerful. – Daniel Armstrong
Nothing wrong with Postol at all and he's a worthy number two in the world ratings, but Crawford is number one for a reason and he's "a bit special" as the saying goes............ so I see him taking a close but clear decision in a purist-pleasing bout. – Colin Harris
It's heartening to see both men wanting to test themselves against the best opposition in their division, even if the fight's PPV status in the USA is a kick in the teeth for those who want boxing to expand its fan base. Postol upset the much vaunted Lucas Matthysse last year, but defeating Crawford is a far tougher proposition than the limited Argentinian. I've seen Postol rated as wide as 4-1 to triumph, which I think is a fair reflection of just how good the Omaha stylist is. I see him gradually obtaining the upper hand with his versatile and highly adaptable boxing skills against a competitive and spirited Ukrainian, en route to a clear points win. It's not a daring prediction, but, hey, I'm trying to call the most likely outcome here. – Luke G. Williams
I am delighted to see this kind of top level fight getting made after a number of recent disappointments. Crawford has genuine flair and athleticism coupled with a diverse range of fundamental skills. Postol is perhaps best known for dethroning the hard-hitting Matthysse, and is an efficient fighter with lots of grit, stamina and an effective jab.
I think Crawford’s ability to adapt and switch stances will be crucial against a fighter with such a natural reach advantage who works well at range. Postol has some defensive weaknesses but is offensively very strong and Crawford will have to respect that. Postol has a painful punch that does cumulative damage thanks to his sustained attacks and sits on his shots more since working with Roach.
Crawford can't afford to be reckless. He will need to use movement and ring intelligence to get on the inside. He may also have to switch to southpaw in order to see Postol’s dangerous right hand coming and maybe to get over the top of his jab too. I’m expecting a tense and intelligent fight for the purists with enough to keep other fans entertained too. Crawford to stop Postol around the 9th or 10th. – Jessica Sinyard
Both men will be facing the best opponent of their professional careers on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Postol does several things very well, Crawford does many things very well; that will be the difference.
I expect Postol to establish his jab early and tie up any time Crawford gets close. Referee Tony Weeks will let them fight and it will be up to “Bud” to get some work done on the inside and chop down the tree as the rounds progress. Crawford will switch to the southpaw stance to nullify Postol’s right hand and use feints to penetrate his opponent’s longer jab. The fight will be even after eight rounds, then the Pride of Omaha begins to take over.
This will be a technical, if not dull, fight halfway through, then things will opponent up a bit for a dynamic finish. Crawford wins by competitive but decisive unanimous decision and calls out Manny Pacquiao during the post-fight interview. – Michael Montero
I've tipped Crawford to go unbeaten for the rest of his career, I believe he is that good and I don't see anything in Postol that convinces me that he will take Crawford's '0'. My concerns lie in Crawford's attitude to please the fans by getting involved when he doesn't really need to. From the switch-hitting to the way he moves from head to body, Crawford could make his fights even easier than he has done. Postol isn't going to freeze on this big occasion but I don't see headlines of 'The Ice Man Cometh' tomorrow morning. Crawford by nine rounds to three with enough moments of excitement for the Vegas fight fans to go home satsified. - Shaun Brown