Crawford-Postol Preview: Pacquiao and the Power Vacuum

By Cheekay Brandon on July 22, 2016
Crawford-Postol Preview: Pacquiao and the Power Vacuum
Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol both have unblemished records, and bright futures.

Crawford vs. Postol is a key battle in the war to fill boxing’s power and fame vacuum, now vanishingly occupied by legends of old…

Manny Pacquiao’s recent announcement of a return to boxing, scheduled for the fall of 2016, was met with well-warranted excitement. Some of this came from fans of Pacquiao, still numbering in the millions, and spanning the globe. Others smiled at the news, not because of what it meant for Pacquiao, but what his return meant for the sport. Whether Pacquiao is the dynamo of old (unlikely) is less relevant than the fact that his mere presence brings excitement back to the sport; even a diminished Pacquiao is a formidable foe, and at least a recognizable one for a sport at a popularity crossroads.

His return fosters many questions about the landscape to which he will re-emerge. Though it was just over a year ago, boxing is a far different place today than it was just after Mayweather/Pacquiao. And while star power is almost always a good thing for a sport, boxing’s relative parity, the lack of any single figure that dominates the headlines has left something of a power vacuum at the top. 

Several weight classes, and especially those in the ones circumventing the welterweight division, are loaded with talented, young fighters. The super welterweight division, for example, his occupied by a glut of super talented young fighters (many under the age of 30), “led” by Canelo Alvarez, but with many talented fighters gaining in steam and notoriety (Demetrius Andrade, Jermell and Jermall Charlo). The prestigious welterweight division is similar, with Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, and Danny Garcia all laying claim to the top spot. And finally, this jockeying leaks down to the super lightweight division, where Adrien Broner remains relevant, but is now solidly behind the top two: Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol.

Crawford and Postol, the top two, have unblemished records, and bright futures. In the case of Crawford, he’s been anointed by the Arum empire, branded with the “it factor” label, supposed carrier of the preternatural abilities of hall of famers like Mayweather, Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. The fight between Crawford and Postol is more than simply a unification fight: it’s a key battle in the war to fill boxing’s power and fame vacuum, now vanishingly occupied by legends of old.

Come Saturday night, we’ll find out if Terence Crawford is the unquestioned king of the super lightweight division. In the process, we might also discover who Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent is. And in the long term, we might figure out who fills the void, the power vacuum at the top of boxing, the cherished position where fighters are loved and hated, the inevitable stuff of superstardom.

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  1. ntjr 11:00am, 07/23/2016

    Sen. Pacquiao will fight November and campaign for Hillary Clinton come USA eelection

  2. Steven Stahler 09:10am, 07/23/2016

    Manny never “left’ boxing. Get a grip. If a guy comes out of “retirement” after 5 or 6 years that is legit. Not 1 or 2 years. Dumb dumb dumb.

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