Saturday night in Las Vegas, 28-year-old Terence Crawford and 32-year-old Viktor Postol will headline what could become a memorable PPV show at the top of the junior welterweight division. Bud Crawford will be aiming for his second lineal title after having conquered the lightweight ranks, while Postol is looking to play spoiler again and emerge as yet another Eastern European star in the North American boxing landscape. While not many expect a Fight of the Year candidate, Crawford vs Postol should be an intense battle of wits between two skilled and fiercely determined fighters in their primes. In terms of matchmaking this one ticks almost every box, making it a must-see for true fight fans. The Fight City’s staff weighs in with their predictions.
I might be wrong, but I don’t see Postol giving Crawford too much difficulty. The second half of the fight will be all Bud. Crawford by unanimous decision or late round stoppage. — Michael Carbert
Crawford vs Postol is for all the marbles at 140 pounds, and it involves two of the most talented guys at any weight: both are as methodical and cunning in their approach to fighting as they are ruthless in their execution. And if we end up getting a chess match instead of a good old fight, it will be every bit as riveting and dramatic as Bobby Fischer’s confrontation with Boris Spassky. In the same vein as the famed chess rivalry, expect the intensity underlying Crawford vs Postol to build to a climax that sees an initially outworked Crawford adjust and overpower Postol in a landmark come-from-behind victory. Crawford by KO inside eleven. — Rafael Garcia
Crawford vs Postol is a close fight, a tough one for me to pick a winner. I like both guys. Crawford likes to use the jab and is more than competent with both hands, so Postol needs to use his size and reach advantage to get his way inside and land some uppercuts. Most journalists and professionals on the scene are picking Crawford, therefore it is my duty to pick Postol. Not enough is said about his boxing acumen, and I also believe he’s got knockout power! Postol for the win. — Manny Montreal
Prior to Crawford’s visit to the UK when he relieved Ricky Burns of his WBO lightweight title, I had seen very little of the American, but every report I read about him from across the pond suggested he was an extremely talented fighter. And so it proved to be. Since that night, I have never failed to be impressed by Crawford’s performances in the ring: slick, savvy and highly skilled, ‘Bud’ is a joy to watch. Postol, less flashy but with excellent fundamentals, is certainly a difficult proposition for anyone at 140lbs. That being said, I think he may be flattered somewhat by his greatest victory to date, when he defeated Lucas Matthysse. Postol dealt with the feared Argentine brilliantly, but stylistically Crawford presents a far more intricate puzzle. While I expect Postol to compete effectively and have moments of success over the first half of the bout, I see Crawford’s speed and versatility taking over somewhere around the midway point as he begins to time the Ukrainian more regularly. Crawford by late rounds TKO or a clear unanimous points decision. — Matt O’Brien
Crawford is the real deal, and a pretty nasty customer to boot with a chip on his shoulder the size of Omaha’s First National Tower. I understand he’s pissed off about some of the pre-fight buzz for Postol and feeling mean. I predict a late round TKO where the referee has to pry “Bud” off his stunned and reeling quarry like one might a rabid pit bull off a wounded polecat. — Robert Portis
Viktor Postol is undoubtedly the best fighter Terence Crawford has ever faced. Postol’s ability as a ring technician will challenge Crawford in this match. Crawford’s overall ability to box and punch effectively with both hands gives him the edge in this contest. After overcoming a slow start, Crawford wins by decision. — Thad Moore
This here’s a tough one. In my case, it’s also a matter of my gut fighting with my brain. My brain tells me that Postol will start off well, and perhaps even take the lead in the early portion of the fight before Crawford makes adjustments and earns a decision win. My gut, on the other hand, tells me Postol’s discipline and skill set will tell the story. Ultimately, I’m going to go with my gut. Postol by a close, perhaps controversial, decision. — Sean Crose
Crawford may have the edge in speed and mobility, but Postol’s height and reach would probably trouble most junior middleweights, and both men have scored impressive stoppages in recent fights. It might not be the kind of matchup that guarantees entertainment, but it’s a very even fight on paper. That said, Crawford has been on boxing’s more mainstream radar for longer and we’ve seen him clearly develop, while we have no idea if what we’ve seen from Postol is the extent of his potential. Look for Crawford’s speed and adaptability to make the difference and earn him a decision win, but not without a rough patch or two. — Patrick Connor
What a treat we have on our hands! A unification fight between two undefeated champions. I think Postol will give Crawford trouble early with his output and slick style. But I see Crawford taking over in the middle rounds. He will figure out Postol’s rhythm, then will proceed to land the more damaging shots and even stun the Ukrainian on several occasions. Crawford by UD, proving he’s the best at 140. — Jamie Rebner
With the exception of Andre Ward, Crawford is arguably the most well-rounded fighter in the sport. Postol is no doubt a very good boxer, but Crawford looks like he might be an exceptional one, a potential all-time great. A consummate ring technician, Crawford typically spends the opening rounds getting a read on his opponent, noting tendencies with the aim of exploiting them. As a result, it sometimes takes a while for ‘Bud’ to find his groove. But by the middle rounds, and with the necessary adjustments firmly in place, Crawford is usually in complete control. I believe this fight will follow a similar path. Postol surprised many (myself included) by knocking out Lucas Matthysse with a short, perfectly-timed right hand in his last outing, but I don’t think anything like that will happen here, not against a far more cerebral, defensively responsible boxer-puncher like Crawford.
I can see Crawford having success landing his right hand over the jab as Postol is pivoting left, or going to the body after working his way inside via some slipping and countering to combat the Ukrainian’s height and reach advantages. Crawford invariably switches to a southpaw stance to create confusion and open up further angles of attack, but doing so increases the space between a right-handed and left-handed boxer, so switch-hitting may not be a viable option considering Postol’s physical traits and out-fighting style. Having said that, the jab—Postol’s most potent offensive/defensive weapon—can be difficult to establish against a southpaw due to the alignment of the opposing lead hand and foot. Thus, Crawford may switch to a southpaw stance to form a barrier to neutralize his opponent’s most effective means of controlling distance, and subsequently, the fight. Regardless of what physical or tactical problems Postol might pose, I suspect Crawford, one way or another, will find the solution. Crawford by decision. — Lee Wylie
Crawford by unanimous decision. — Eliott McCormick
Terence Crawford is deemed by many experts to be the next superstar in boxing and there should be no doubt on anyone’s mind, TBud is special. Saturday night will be his first PPV fight and in my opinion, it is worth every cent. This is a make it or break it fight for Omaha’s champion. It is the fight in which we will know for sure if he is the future of the welterweight division. I think he is. Crawford by unanimous decision. — Alfonso Jasso
Viktor Postol by unanimous decision. I am a big Crawford fan but Postol is tall, rangy and as awkward as an octopus. Expect to see Postol jump out to an early lead as Crawford tries to figure him out. — Chris Connor
This is Crawford’s litmus test, but I see him passing it with flying colours. The kid from Omaha seems to have it all. Crawford by unanimous decision, something in the range of 116-112. — Ronnie McCluskey
So there you have it. While most expect a close, competitive fight, The Fight City’s contributors heavily favor Terence Crawford over Viktor Postol, by a margin of 11 to 3.
For more on Crawford vs Postol, plus some illuminating banter on other significant unification battles from boxing history, check out the latest Top Men Boxing Radio podcast, hosted by our own Patrick Connor: