Cashing Out On Manny – In most cases a column on the Crawford-Postol junior welterweight clash this past Saturday night – might begin with the assumption that most boxing fans saw the bout and by now are well informed as to how the fight went. It was Crawford’s first PPV bout as the headliner and the buy numbers aren’t in as of this writing, but it’s a given the numbers won’t be anywhere near the million plus who would’ve seen the fight had it aired on HBO.
If by chance you didn’t see the bout, Terence Crawford 29-0 (20) was brilliant in dismantling Viktor Postol 28-1 (12). In the course of successfully defending his WBO junior welterweight belt, he also captured Postol’s junior welterweight belt and cleared up any confusion (if there was any) as to who is the baddest and certainly the alpha fighter in the division. Crawford won a lopsided unanimous decision, dominating perhaps 32 minutes of a 36 minute fight. If you’ve been a regular reader of this column, you know it’s been said in this space that Crawford is the genuine article. Terence can box, he can punch, and he can fight both inside and outside. He’s also terrific at fighting on the move and taking away the bullets his opponents have in their holster looking to send his way – and if that weren’t enough, Crawford has a bit of a cocky mean streak running through him that gives him a little extra as a fighter.
Some were surprised by how easily Crawford took away Postol’s good jab, but not me. I expected Crawford to make Postol look almost pedestrian. And that’s not because Postol is a slouch – it’s more so because Crawford is such a natural boxer and possesses a boxing aptitude that’s higher than he gets credit for. He totally flustered Postol and when Viktor attempted to let his hands go, Crawford neutralized him by tying him up and mixing his attack to the head and body. Terence counter-punched masterfully and after dropping Postol twice in the fifth round, he ran away with the fight.
Granted, he was respectful of Postol, whose strength kept Crawford wary throughout the fight. Crawford never really tried for the kayo, although he might have been able to get it had he really pushed. Then again, Postol was so hesitant from being countered that he didn’t let his hands go because he was concerned with what was coming back at him. And with that unfolding, it was easy for Crawford to control the bout without taking any reckless and unnecessary chances.
Crawford probably exceeded expectations due to the ease in which he controlled the bout. It was a great performance and hopefully not outside the understanding of casual observers. The only negative that may surface, which has nothing to do with Crawford, is that perhaps not many saw the fight because of the $60 cost to purchase it. As I said before the bout, I think promoter Bob Arum was penny wise and pound foolish in making the fight a PPV event. That said, there’s no doubt the next time Crawford fights, it’ll be a legitimate PPV extravaganza.
Cashing Out On Manny?
Cashing Out On Manny – The question now is who will be next for Crawford? The opponent mentioned most often is former eight division title holder Manny Pacquiao 58-6-2 (38). Pacquiao retired this past April after winning a unanimous decision over Timothy Bradley in their rubber match, but his retirement was short-lived. In his bout prior to fighting Bradley, Pacquiao was thoroughly out-boxed by Floyd Mayweather en route to losing a one-sided decision. As a fighter Pacquiao still has something in the tank and would no doubt beat many of the big names, but not all, at the top of both the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions. Maybe the most important question is, exactly how much does his longtime promoter Bob Arum believe he has left at the world class level? And here’s how you’ll glean a pretty good idea. If Arum makes a fight between Pacquiao and Crawford, it will be my belief that Bob now realizes Manny is capable of losing to any of the elite 140 or 147 pound fighters on a given night. And when that happens, Arum wants to guarantee that it is his fighter who ultimately closes out Pacquiao’s stellar career.
Pacquiao is still a major draw and would be a favorite over fighters the likes of Adrien Broner 32-2 (24) and Danny Garcia 32-0 (18) who have been clamoring to fight him. That said, it’s not automatic that Pacquiao would come out on top versus either….and you can throw the names Keith Thurman 27-0 (22) and Shawn Porter 26-2-1 (16) into the mix as well. The only problem for Arum is that he doesn’t get anything in return if Pacquiao were to lose to any of these fighters. If Arum had implicit confidence in Pacquiao, he could try to line up Broner or Garcia and then fight Crawford. That represents one and perhaps two big paydays for Arum to take his cut before cashing out against Crawford…..but it’s a pretty sizable risk and Bob knows it!
I say if Arum makes Pacquiao vs. Crawford, he’s cashing out with Manny. Crawford is all wrong for Pacquiao now and would probably out-box Pacquiao in the same manner in which Mayweather did a little over 14 months ago — something that hasn’t escaped Arum.
There’s no other reason for Arum making Pacquiao-Crawford, because Manny is still a draw, but Arum no longer believes he’s a sure bet over the elite fighters between 140-147. So he smartly wants to avoid the risk of his fighter, Pacquiao, losing to a fighter he doesn’t control.
Frank Lotierzo, can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com / Cashing Out On Manny
Cashing Out On Manny