On Saturday night WBO super lightweight champion Terence "Bud" Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) takes on WBC super lightweight belt-holder Viktor "Iceman" Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Despite the criticism about the fight being broadcast on Pay-Per-View, this bout is setting the standard for the post-Mayweather/post-Pacquiao boxing era. During the peak years of boxing, it was common to catch unification bouts between titlists in the same weight division. Unification bouts are a rarity these days due to many factors. In this current era of boxing we see many fighters taking a business-first approach to the sport instead of prioritizing greatness and legacy. And that is certainly understandable considering the nature of the sport where we have seen many fighters' health deteriorate after retiring. However, this leaves a stain on the sport when fans can consistently point out examples of the best fighters not facing each other.
Crawford comes into the fight with more buzz than his Ukrainian opponent. He has reeled off a string of impressive knockout victories against Thomas Dulorme, Dierry Jean and Hank Lundy since moving up to the weight class. Crawford hopes to be able to do the same against his rangy opponent Saturday night. Postol on the other hand, enters the title fight with a lot less fanfare. He is not as widely known as Crawford, but is certainly a threat in the ring. Postol proved that last year when he claimed the WBC belt against highly rated Lucas Matthysse via an impressive and surprising knockout victory. Postol was the underdog in that fight and he carries the same role heading into this unification bout. Crawford is more than a 6:1 favorite to win against Postol but many boxing insiders consider the fight to be closer to 50/50 between the two combatants.
Both fighters look fit and ready heading into Saturday's main event bout. The underdog Postol weighed in at 139.5 LBS, while the favored Crawford weighed in at the super lightweight limit of 140 LBS. When asked to reflect about the fight that he considers being the biggest fight of his career, Crawford stated, "It's two fighters in their prime. Both champs, both willing to take the risk. I'm ready to put on a show tomorrow night so don't blink". The much more subdued Postol was asked if he was upset by being cast as the underdog again for this fight. He stated through his translator; "A little bit but Saturday night I will prove that I am not an underdog once and for all".
The card will air three other fights throughout the telecast. Ex-Olympian Oscar Valdez seeks to capture his first world title in the co-main event for the vacant WBO featherweight belt against Matias Rueda of Argentina. After struggling to make weight in his past few fights, Jose Benavidez makes a return back to the welterweight division to face opponent Francisco Santana. The card will open up with 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk facing Tommy Karpency in a fight to be contested for the NABF light heavyweight title. This is a solid card for boxing fans highlighted by an incredible main event. For the sake of the sport, hopefully promoters can continue bringing these types of fights to the fans in order to restore their faith in boxing.