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The rarity will be seen live on ESPN Saturday night as an undisputed title fight will take place. It will be the lightweight division between WBC and WBO champion Terence “Bud” Crawford 31-0-0, 22 KOs) versus WBA and IBF champion Julius Indongo (22-0-0, 11 KOs). Coverage starts live at 10pm EST.
Not since Pernil Whitaker in 1990 have we seen an undisputed lightweight champion crowned. Crawford comes into this fight as a pound-for-pound listed fighter as he has been able to dismantle quality opponents one by one.
Along his way to being a two-belt champ within the division, he will be fighting in front of his hometown crowd of Omaha, Nebraska.
Since winning the WBO World Lightweight title over Ricky Burns, Crawford has developed his skills into the most feared fighter of the division. He astonished fans by solidifying his reputation with impressive wins over Lundy, Postol, Gamboa and an embarrassment of gold medalist Felix Diaz.
The victory over Diaz gave the fans their final piece of insurance that Crawford is a real star and should be recognized by the boxing public as one. Indongo comes into this fight as a relatively unknown fighter who will be making his United States debut.
With a recent victory over Ricky Burns, Julius Indongo looks to shake up the boxing world a bit with an upset over Crawford as he enters the fight a standing underdog.
Terence “Bud” Crawford has been improving in front of the boxing world each fight since landing on everyone’s radar as a prospect back in 2008. His ring generalship as of late has been so effortless that choreography would be a better excuse for opponents. The way Crawford can maneuver his opponents into a vulnerable place in the ring is masterful. Mixing in his pure strength with his ability to establish a proper distance working off his jab has led to his accomplishment as a top lightweight two-time champion.
Look for Crawford to hone in on his craft even further against Indongo in this undisputed championship bout. The one knock on Crawford’s career thus far (although he’s on the verge of being the undisputed lightweight champion) is that he isn’t a household name. Much of Crawford’s lack of fan appeal can be directly blamed for poor marketing. Yet sometimes the fans miss true skill because a fighter doesn’t obnoxiously self-promote. Crawford has a quiet demeanor like many of the greats; a quiet guy that keeps his circle small which has led to success.
This week it was nice to see him initiate the “McGregor Challenge” as the boxing world has mocked the MMA fighter Conor McGregor’s warm-up routine of flailing arms. As fans, we need to appreciate these champions like Crawford for their performance in the ring, not the social media nonsense that has swarmed the boxing and entertainment world this summer.
Julius Indongo comes in as an aged southpaw (34 years old) looking to make a name for himself on the world’s stage against his most challenging opposition of his career (without a doubt). Indongo loves to come forward and throw his over-the-top left-handed punch as his opponent retreats.
In his most recent bout with Ricky Burns, Indongo used his length and speed to get inside on Burns while connecting with his powerful left. Only problem facing an opponent like Crawford is Indongo must work off the jab to get inside and take away the distance from Crawford. Indongo has the ring IQ to adjust and game plan for a fighter like Crawford who can also switch from his orthodox stance to southpaw quickly. Does he have the talent and skill level to match Crawford? That remains to be seen.
Fight Prediction: Terence Crawford will wear down Julius Indongo with his full arsenal of boxing ability. Crawford will use this broadcast to showcase to the world that he is worth all the praise and if anything, he’s overlooked as a champion. The power and precision will be too much for Indongo to handle as a mid-late round stoppage will be for the new undisputed Lightweight Champion of the world, Terence “Bud” Crawford.