Crawford and Postol

By Timothy Seaver on April 29, 2016
Crawford and Postol
This isn’t tennis. Every fighter is potentially one beating away from never fighting again.

A boxer’s prime can come to a sudden end when he suffers a big loss. A tough fight can precipitate the inevitable decline of a fighter…

The perfect time for the collision of two fighters’ stars is when those stars are at their brightest. But too often the light of both has begun to fade when the battle finally comes about. That is why a special thank you should be offered to Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol for doing what should always be done. Why is thanks necessary for two guys doing what they should be doing? Because this is a sport that allows people to avoid each other. This is a sport where the best can take separate paths and find equal levels of glory. There is no AFC champion vs. the NFC champion for the Super Bowl. Both men could run if they wanted to, and they haven’t.

Crawford and Postol have agreed to face each other this July, when both men are at their peak and clearly the two best men in the junior welterweight division. They are doing it now, when it should happen; not in eight years when both men have built their legends and lost their skills.  There is risk in such a fight. A boxer’s prime can come to a sudden end when he suffers a big loss. A tough fight can precipitate the inevitable decline of a fighter.

It shouldn’t be that rare of an event to have two elite men in the same ring when both at their peak, but consider some battles throughout the decades. Marvin Hagler was not quite the same fighter he had been a few years before when Sugar Ray Leonard finally met him. Mike Tyson’s usefulness had long since run its course when he got in the ring with Lennox Lewis. And too many years had passed from when a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather was first discussed and when it actually took place.

This is one the best fight that could be made throughout all divisions; equal to Kovalev vs. Ward. And certainly better than the recent $70 pay-per-view of Pacquiao vs. Bradley match, and more enticing than the coming PPV event between Saul Alvarez and Amir Khan. It won’t be the cultural event that the former show was and the latter will be. And maybe that’s a good thing. A battle between two great fighters shouldn’t depend on the media verifying the legitimacy of the conflict. People who know Viktor Postol and Terence Crawford know that both men need to meet.

The real threat to these fighters is that the loser could lose more than just the fight. He could lose a chance at greatness. In boxing the trajectory of a man’s fame is not always parallel to his ability. The fame tends to lag behind and only reveals itself when the skills have begun to sag. Often a fighter spends his best years earning the “Name” and building the reputation. And that reputation becomes a veil behind which a fighter can hide his waning skills. He can pick and choose his opponents and just add to his growing accomplishments. With this fight, both Crawford and Postol risk the comfort of that eventual reputation.

Both are 28-0 with increasing credentials who have separated themselves from the rest of the men at 140 lbs. Both showcase an understanding of the sport that leads experts to think of artists, people who have learned the nuance of their specialty. They are remarkably comfortable in the ring. Crawford has a notable edge in knockouts, twenty to twelve. But in his previous fight, Postol showed that numbers don’t reveal everything when he stopped the immensely tough and experienced Lucas Matthysse.

Some would argue that there is little risk involved since a man is always respected for facing the best opponent he can face. But this isn’t tennis. Every fighter is potentially one beating away from never fighting again. It is true that both men could come out of this fight looking good. And it often happens that a fighter experiences a tough loss and then moves on to have a great career. But a man’s loss could become the excuse for lesser boxers to avoid him, claiming he’s not worthy. The loosing man could then spend his days searching for the chance to prove his worth again.

Postol and Crawford could knock off win after win and build simultaneous résumés of perfection, the whole while keeping a fight against the other as a potential mega-battle. And it would stay there, dangling like the fruit of Tantalum for the hungry fans desperate for fulfillment. But their records would be false. They could play it safe and shoot down one unworthy opponent after another. They have chosen not to. And maybe it’s odd to praise men for doing what we all think they should do. But when so many fighters turn away from the chance to face the pristine opponent at the best time, praise is called for. Here’s wishing that their reputations and their exploits in the ring ride a parallel course.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Carlos Torres 07:47pm, 05/16/2016

    Finally a fight that I am looking forward to see.

  2. Red Pill Of Truth 05:33pm, 05/01/2016

    Hagler won 4-5 rounds at best. Anyone who truly believes Hagler won that fight, take 2 blue pills and call me in the morning.

  3. andrew 04:49pm, 05/01/2016

    Unless you score 15 seconds of shoe shine pitty pat punches every round Hagler won the fight.

  4. Don from Prov 02:52pm, 05/01/2016

    Using age to imply that Lewis was about in the same point of his career when he fought a complete shadow of Mike Tyson is questionable.

    And one just might find some tall fighters who Tyson dominated—
    Blanket statement that tall = trouble for Tyson also inaccurate.

  5. Leave a comment 03:01am, 05/01/2016

    Canelo khan? it hasnt evn fough tyet.. pac vs bradly?  Yet Mayweather Berto was ok with you ?  there was nothing wrong with manny vs bradly..

  6. Arnold Butler 01:17pm, 04/30/2016

    It’s a verygood scrap but should be on regular HBO. More fans will surely tuned in if only it’s free.

  7. Steve-O 07:59am, 04/30/2016

    GREAT ARTICLE!

  8. Steve-O 07:58am, 04/30/2016

    Eric, do you have macular degeneration? Seriously. DOMINATED Hagler? Please. I was there. Dominated is a poor description for a fight that was so close. I personally gave it to Hagler. I have been a judge that never went for the stealing the round behavior. And Tyson would have destroyed Lennox when he was at his peak.

  9. No10Count 02:50pm, 04/29/2016

    Well thanks to Arum as they are both Arum fighters.
    Arum will obviously use this to build the winner into a “super star” or if fight is Gatti-Ward type- use it to build rematch.

    This will be the first true super lightweight Crawford has fought and I think the first time he will have a bigger man. 

    I like Crawford but he was headed down the slippery road of
    hype. I don’t know if Postol is all that but the Gamboa is Crawford’s marquee, while Postols is Matthysse. One is a smaller man moving up and well we know Matthysse’s power.

    I think Crawfords people are taking this fight based on 2 things:
    First is the fact that Crawford can not get a super fight.
    Second is his Lundy win. Thinking he will be the stronger man with him TKOing Lundy while Postol UD him.

    Fors Postol - jab’s and check hook to keep control.
    For Crawford - foot movement with jab to body and left cross (as lefty)

    2016 year of some possibly great fights.

  10. Timothy Seaver 08:54am, 04/29/2016

    Thank you for the correction, The Tache….Really. That sort of mistake is something I don’t like seeing in the local papers, and I want to avoid it myself

  11. Eric 06:32am, 04/29/2016

    Leonard had the style to beat Hagler in 1982 as well as 1987, and it isn’t as if Lennox Lewis was in his prime when pounded Mike Tyson. Leonard hadn’t fought in 3 years and had only one fight since his first retirement in ‘82 when he met Hagler. Leonard had never fought at 160lbs as well, so it is safe to say that Leonard might have dominated Hagler even more had they fought 5 years earlier. Lewis is a year older than Tyson and certainly wasn’t in his prime when he destroyed Mike in their match. Tyson always had problems with tall fighters and Lennox manhandled Tyson pretty handidly. Sorry, but I can’t see Hagler ever beating Leonard or Tyson ever beating Lewis at any point and time. Leonard DOMINATED Hagler, despite what people said afterwards. The only thing “controversial” about the Leonard-Hagler fight was the judge who actually scored a victory for Hagler. I’m a Hagler fan and never could stand Leonard, but in no way, shape or form did Hagler even win more than a few rounds of that fight. Styles make fights and Leonard had the style to beat Hagler and Lewis was all wrong for Iron Mike.

  12. Pete The Sneak 04:18am, 04/29/2016

    Yes! Finally, a fight worth getting excited about for Boxing fans. Props to Crawford and Postol and yes Tim, we shouldn’t be praising these guys for doing what we all think they should do, but in this sports world of me first and let me make my money, it’s great to see 2 fighters in their primes wanting to ‘Truly’ be the best by fighting the best today, not 6 years from now after their pockets got fat and they want to go out with one more big payday…Peace.

  13. The Tache 03:59am, 04/29/2016

    Agree with the gist of the article, but have to mention it is “losing” not “loosing”.

    I know it’s only the internet but come on, you still have to have some journalistic standards, otherwise you’re just Twitter.

  14. procopy 01:18am, 04/29/2016

    OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THIS!!!!!!!

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