Sunday, July 24, 2016

Big Fight Report: Crawford Proves He’s A Cut Above The Ice Man

Photo: www.totalsportek.com



By Peter Silkov



Terence ’Bud’ Crawford (29-0, 20koes) last night, July 23, gave Viktor Postol (28-1, 12koes) a 12-rounds boxing lesson, and added Postol’s WBC world light-welterweight title to his WBO world title belt. Fighting for the first time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Crawford took the first step on the road to what he hopes will lead him to taking over from Floyd Mayweather as boxing’s number one attraction, and pound-for-pound king.

In a fight that many expected to be competitive, Crawford dominated after some close early rounds, as Postol was unable to adjust to Crawford’s superior mobility, and faster hands.

Photo; http://www.boxingnewsonline.net
The first 3 rounds were close, as both men engaged in a battle of the jabs, and felt each other out. The 4th round saw Crawford step it up a gear, and begin to connect with sharper shots, that made Postol look visibly uncomfortable. Crawford had his big breakthrough in the 5th round when his sharp shooting resulted in Postol touching the canvas twice for disputed knockdowns. Certainly the first knockdown seemed to be a stumble, but the second was more of a genuine knock down, as Postol struggled to deal with the combination of Crawford’s constant movement, and impressive hand speed.

From this point on Crawford had control of the fight, and pretty much did what he wanted, as Postol began to look more and more frustrated and dispirited. Most rounds followed the same pattern as Crawford made good use of the ring, with plenty of side to side movement, while catching a constantly following Postol with flashy counters.

Crawford looked like he could step thing up if he really wanted to, but preferred to play it safe and be content to out-box the physically imposing Postol.

The final round saw Postal finally try something different and go after Crawford with both hand and try to rough him up.  Had he tried this change of tactics some rounds earlier it perhaps might have made for a different fight, but it was too little and too late. Crawford dealt with Postol’s last round onslaught by going toe-to-toe for a little bit, then spending the final portion of the round on the move, and sticking his tongue out at Postol. All in all it was an impressive performance by Crawford, but while he proved that he is indeed the best 140-pounder in the world, Postol for his part proved to be a disappointment, with no answer to Crawford’s superior boxing skills.  Postol’s trainer, Freddie Roach also seemed surprised by Crawford’s speed and movement, and was unable to coax a plan B out of his fighter.

Postol’s frustration was compounded in the 11th round when he was deducted a point by Referee Tony Weeks for hitting Crawford repeatedly behind the neck.

After what amounted to a 12-rounds showpiece of Crawford’s boxing skills, the point’s verdict for him was unanimous and predictably, one-sided. The scores were 118-107, 118-107, and 117-108.

Photo: ringtv.craveonline.com
Before this unification fight promoter, Bob Arum, had likened it to the 1982 light-welterweight showdown between Aaron Pryor and Alexis Arguello, for Pryor’s WBA title, but such comparisons are really a slight on both Pryor and Arguello. Last nights fight, while a good match between two solid boxers, and featuring an outstanding performance from Crawford, was a world away from the legendary Pryor vs. Arguello showdowns.   

While Crawford’s ability is undeniable, it is still too early to start talking about him as being the number one fighter pound-for-pound in the world, let alone compare him to the likes of Pryor and Arguello.

Saturday’s win looks to have set Crawford up for a November showdown with the come-backing, Manny Pacquiao. Although this is for some an interesting clash, there is something sad about the prospect of Manny being hauled out of an, all too brief retirement, to face a much bigger, younger, and hungrier fighter such as Crawford.  The suspicion is that now he has found his new ’star’ promoter Bob Arum is happily cashing in his ’old’ star Pacquiao.  

On the under card, Oscar Valdez (21-0, 18koes) produced a stunning performance of power-punching that almost stole the show from headliner, Terence Crawford.  Valdez completely overwhelmed previously unbeaten Matias ’La Cobrita’ Rueda (26-1, 23koes) and won the vacant WBO world featherweight championship that was recently vacated by Vasyl Lomachenko.  From the start of the 1st round, Valdez threw every punch with ’bad intentions’, but they weren’t just power punches, they were fast and accurate, and Rueda had no answer to them.  Indeed, Rueda did well to keep his feet through the first round, and already looked as if he had gone ten hard round when he returned to his corner at the end of the 1st. 

The second round saw Valdez’s onslaught continue, as he fired bombs from both hands, and Rueda resembled a wavering leaf in a heavy storm. It didn’t take long for Rueda to break, as a switch to the body saw him collapse to the deck.  He bravely beat one count, but was soon on the deck again from another body punch, and this time it was over at 2.18 of the round.

Valdez was highly emotional in victory, and looks to be a fighter to watch.


Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

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