This Saturday night will determine who the best 140lbs fighter on the planet is in a rare unification fight involving all four major governing bodies.
American Terence Crawford (31-0) will battle Namibian Julius Indongo (22-0) to become the undisputed world super-lightweight champion on August 19 in Lincoln, Nebraska, live on ESPN and Sky Sports.
The 29-year-old Nebraskan has agreed to defend his WBC and WBO belts against the African southpaw, who puts his own WBA and IBF titles on the line.
It’s an incredibly exciting fight and rare treat for fans that will culminate in the crowning of the ‘King of the Super-lightweights’ and the next pound-for-pound superstar.
Crawford is regarded as one of the world’s greatest fighters right now after collecting world titles in two divisions during a 31-fight unbeaten career.
Crawford is a big name fighter, thanks to his series of wins on HBO, and he is taking on a relatively unknown name in Indongo…to Americans.
British fight fans witnessed the genus of Indongo when he beat Burns handily last April, so this side of the Atlantic knows just what he is capable of. In short, he is dangerous, risky and has a history of upsetting the odds.
Little was known about Indongo before his world title clash with three-weight world champion Ricky Burns this year but the Namibian proved himself to be world class by widely outpointing the experienced, history-making Scot in front of his home crowd in Glasgow, thus adding the WBA belt to his IBF strap with the convincing UD win.
The ‘Blue Machine’, who represented his homeland at the 2008 Olympic Games, secured his first world title – the IBF – in his maiden performance outside of Africa by defeating Eduard Troyanovsky in Russia with a sensational first-round knockout last December with less than a minute on the clock.
That’s two appearances in the champions’ backyards and both times he flew home with their belts – each win completely conclusive.
Crawford is flying high and is the strong favourite but this is a huge occasion for him. He is the 140lbs champion for WBC, WBO and The Ring Magazine, and the lineal division champion.
His opponent holds the titles for both the WBA and IBF, which means the winner of this fight will hold 100 per cent of the major titles in the division.
That’s largely unheard of in this day and age and the victor of this fight will make history.
I’m a big fan of Crawford as I think he is a special talent but I love Indongo’s story of a fighter that has fought his whole life in his hometown of Windhoek in front of just a few hundred people in small halls to beating world champions abroad, unexpectedly, and finding himself in the history books for being involved in one of boxing’s biggest fights ever.
Indongo clearly has one-punch power so Crawford will have to watch out for that one fight-ending shot – he does wear his heart on his sleeve so it is a real threat. He is also rangy and awkward so will be hard to reach and break down.
However, Crawford is called the Hunter for a reason so I believe that he will close the gap, get inside and land power punches to real effect.
I think that it will be a tough fight for him, a bit like the Postol fight was despite winning nearly every round, but that Crawford will win on points.
If a knockout comes then I believe it will be late on in rounds nine or 10.