Since knocking out Yuriorkis Gamboa and winning Fighter of the Year honors in 2014, Terence Crawford has been rightly viewed as one of most talented and versatile fighters in boxing. But the Omaha native and WBO junior welterweight titlist still has challenges ahead. On Saturday night, he attempts the unify by facing the other consensus top fighter in the division, WBC titlist Viktor Postol.
Aside from making deciding the best fighter in the division, the fight holds huge significance for Crawford as it marks his debut as a pay-per-view headliner. In a sport in dire need of a young, homegrown U.S. star, can Crawford fill the void?
When he’ll know he’s the best fighter in boxing.
Crawford: When I’m univerally labeled #1 Pound 4 Pound. I know I’ve arrived, but I’m not where I want to be yet. That’s why I won’t rate myself #1. The rating has to be a combination of both (fans and media). The people didn’t like Mayweather, but they had to respect he was Pound 4 Pound #1.
On facing Viktor Postol on pay-per-view.
Crawford: Well, it was a surprise. But at the same time, it wasn’t something I was worried about. My main concern is that I got the fight. I don’t feel like I cornered him. He’s a champion that wants to fight the best. I’ve been trying to do the same thing. We have the same promoter so we should have got the job done making this fight.
If unifying junior welterweight is still important over bigger matchups at welterweight.
Crawford: Not at all. I feel the winner of this fight will be labeled the best in the division, hands down. The fans, from New York to here in Vegas, have been receiving me very well. My team has been getting great feedback. As for this being my debut main event at the MGM Grand, it don’t matter where we fight — you still have to perform in that ring. We could fight in Mexico. What matters is what you do in the ring.
On being able to fight orthodox and southpaw against Viktor Postol’s style.
Crawford: It doesn’t matter that he’s taller — I have no preference on height. I got the ability to adjust to any fighter. I make my adjustments on the fly and am working on becoming one of greatest fighters of all time.
I don’t know if beating Postol will be enough to get me my second Fighter of the Year. It’s still a long year ahead and can’t worry about that until after I put the work in.
Who did you enjoy punching in the mouth the most?
Crawford: Ah man, Hank Lundy hands down! That was one guy that I really wanted to knock out. Yeah, I said something to him right after [the ref stopped it]. I’ll keep that between me and him — he knows what I said. He was real humble afterward and giving me my respect.
Buy the pay-per-view on Saturday night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing.
Crawford vs. Postol airs Saturday night July 23 on HBO pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET.