Top Rank Boxing and Matchroom bring us an exciting Saturday fight-night, with divisional dominance and the title of undisputed junior welterweight champion on the cards.
Terence Crawford vs Julius Indongo for the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine junior welterweight titles.
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A
When: August 19th at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT or 3AM UK time.
TV: ESPN, Sky Sports Main Event.
Terence Crawford (31-0, 22 KOs) and Julius Indongo (22-0, 11 KOs) will lock horns in Nebraska, putting their WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine titles on the line, in an attempt to crown the first undisputed champion in any division for over 10 years.
With Crawford making many pound-for-pound lists with his unbeaten streak now reaching 31 wins, the American comes in as a heavy favourite with the bookmakers, with “Bud” expected to nullify the threat of his Namibian challenger with relative ease. However, after the last two victories of Indongo’s career came in impressive fashion, there is an air of uncertainty surrounding this fight, with many feeling that the 34-year-old underdog has another surprise in him.
Indongo rose to fame last December with a devastating first round knockout of the former IBF and IBO junior welterweight champion Eduard Troyanovsky, in Moscow, Russia. Since that victory, Eddie Hearn and Matchroom pin-pointed him as a possible easy champion for Ricky Burns to unify his WBA title with, however the Namibian didn’t read the script.
With a dominating performance over twelve round in Burns’ home city of Glasgow, Indongo announced himself on the world stage with a clear unanimous decision in front of a shocked, yet impressed crowd.
Showing a great gas tank and fantastic movement, Indongo was able to bully Burns for large parts of the fight, not allowing the Scot to plant his feet and get success against the ropes – something that will be included once again in Saturday night’s game-plan.
Indongo is certainly not short of confidence coming into Saturday’s unification, and has had this to say this week:
“I believe this is the time for me to show the world that a boxer from Africa, from Namibia, can beat a guy fighting in his home in front of his people. This is the best way to do it. I am confident in my styles and techniques that I have learned from years ago … I am not sure if there is going to be a knockout – but I know I can do that if I have to.”
Despite this confidence, Indongo is still the underdog against Crawford, whose hand speed and power are enhanced by an ability to switch smoothly from southpaw to orthodox.
The 29-year-old American is coming off back-to-back victories inside the distance, over John Molina Jr. and Felix Diaz, and has won five of his last six bouts inside the distance, solidifying his place in the top 5 pound-for-pound rankings.
With Crawford looking for as many belts as possible and Indongo looking for the biggest payday possible, you could argue that differing desires made this bout possible, however without a pure undisputed boxing champion since 2004, it’s a treat for everyone to look forward to.
Indongo looked durable and fit against Burns, but with Crawford offering a lot more in the way of movement and attack than the Scotsman, Indongo will gain less success if he walks his man down. Crawford has exceptional hand speed, great footwork, a tight defence and a solid chin, so if the Namibian is to have any success against the “home-fighter” you would expect it to have to come early. Indongo has ranging, long arms which could make the first few rounds awkward for “Bud”, however after Crawford has negated the early challenges expect him to put on a clinic in Nebraska. Terence Crawford by UD.
Check out the weight in before the big fight. Who wins? Comment below...
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