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Crawford vs Indongo: Fight preview and matchup

Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo lock horns for 140-pound supremacy this Saturday on ESPN.

Terence Crawford

Terence Crawford v Felix Diaz Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Record: 31-0 (22 KO) ... Streak: W31 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Switch ... Height/Reach: 5'8" / 70" ... Age: 29

Thoughts: Crawford has dominated at 135 and 140, and is still right smack in the middle of his prime at age 29. The biggest question has been when he might move up to 147, but Terence was always insistent that he wanted to unify 140. I thought it wouldn’t be possible, really, because boxing and the sanctioning bodies make it very hard, but here we are, with two men who hold two belts apiece, ready to unify.

Crawford should win. Indongo is a little taller, has a reach advantage, and is a good fighter, but Crawford has been an excellent fighter. Just since moving up to 140, he’s owned the ring against Thomas Dulorme, Dierry Jean, Hank Lundy, Viktor Postol, John Molina Jr, and Felix Diaz. That’s not exactly murderer’s row or anything, but it’s a group of solid fighters, and Postol was considered the No. 2 man in the division, as Indongo is right now. Only Dulorme had any success, winning a couple of rounds while Crawford bided his time, figured him out, and then ended the fight in the sixth round. Everyone else has been disposed of with relative ease, and considering Dulorme truly competitive is a bit of a stretch that requires looking at the scorecards and not seeing the fight. When Crawford was ready, he took over.

If Crawford wins again here, and does so in the fashion he’s known for, there may truly be no more hills to climb at 140. The welterweight division is there for him, though Top Rank and non-Haymon stables are a bit barren at the weight right now. It’s up to him if or when he’ll move up, and if a fight with, say, Jessie Vargas is tempting enough — perhaps to set up a showdown with the Horn-Pacquiao II winner? I hate to get ahead of myself and overlook this fight, but that’s how good Crawford has been against this level of opponent.

Julius Indongo

Boxing at The SSE Hydro Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Record: 22-0 (11 KO) ... Streak: W22 ... Last 5: 5-0 ... Last 10: 10-0 ... Stance: Southpaw ... Height/Reach: 5'10" / 71½" ... Age: 34

Thoughts: Unless you’re from Namibia, chances are you’ve seen Indongo fight two times: once last December against Eduard Troyanovsky in Moscow, and once in April against Ricky Burns in Glasgow.

The Troyanovsky fight, impressive as it was, can kind of be written off. It was a 40-second knockout, a beautiful bit of violence to be sure, but fluky in that way that any 40-second knockout at a high level is inherently a bit fluky. Most high level fights have only functionally begun in the first 40 seconds, let alone had any serious action, let alone a knockout.

But his win four months ago over Ricky Burns was something different. Burns is a good fighter — one Crawford also beat, at 135 pounds in 2014 — but Indongo flat outclassed him. Burns found him near impossible to figure out.

Indongo’s ranginess saw him dominate that fight. Can he do the same with Crawford? Of course not. He’ll have to be better than he was against Burns, and more dynamic, to even have a shot at staying competitive, let alone winning.

Matchup Grade: B. It’s worth that for the fact that it’s a full unification, a legitimately important fight in this division, as big as it’s going to get. But does anyone really think Indongo is a real threat to Crawford? Is anyone calling for a potential upset or even serious danger for “Bud”? Nah.


  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk vs Craig Baker: Gvozdyk is a dynamite 175-pound prospect, 13-0 (11 KO) with impressive wins over Nadjib Mohammedi, Tommy Karpency, Isaac Chilemba, and Yunieski Gonzalez in his last four outings. This is a sideways step. Baker (17-1, 13 KO) is a true fighter, though, and his lone loss to Edwin Rodriguez was an exciting three-round war. Grade: C+
  • Mike Reed vs Robert Frankel: Reed (22-0, 12 KO) is an OK prospect, 24 years old and still putting things together. Frankel (35-17-1, 7 KO) is a well-traveled veteran, 37 years old, a stepping stone kind of guy, and that’s his role here.
  • Dillian Whyte vs Malcolm Tann: Whyte (20-1, 15 KO) is still in the mix at heavyweight, given the division kinda falls off a cliff after the top few fighters, and has won four straight since his loss to Anthony Joshua. Tann (24-5, 13 KO) is 38 and has lost three of his last four, and that dates way back to 2007. He didn’t fight between July 2007 and October 2016. He’s booked to lose.
  • Bryant Jennings vs Daniel Martz: Jennings (19-2, 10 KO) hasn’t fought since 2015, and went 0-2 that year, losing to Wladimir Klitschko and Luis Ortiz, not losses to be ashamed of by any means. Martz (15-4-1, 12 KO) has a nice KO percentage, but is here to get Jennings off the schneid. He’s 3-3 in his last six.
  • Shakur Stevenson vs David Michel Paz: Stevenson (2-0, 1 KO) returns for his third pro fight after winning silver in Rio last year, and Paz (4-3-1, 0 KO) isn’t exactly a good bet to challenge him. We’re not there yet with Stevenson — he’ll have a good handful more of fights like this. He’s not some ultra phenom, some experienced amateur stud coming into the pro game ready to contend off the bat. At 20, he’s got a lot of development left to go.

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