Terence Crawford a lock to unify the super lightweight title

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: Terence Crawford poses for a photo after defeating Henry Lundy to retain the WBO World Championship at Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: Terence Crawford poses for a photo after defeating Henry Lundy to retain the WBO World Championship at Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Terence Crawford looks to stay unbeaten while unifying the super lightweight title against Julius Indongo.

Saturday, Aug. 19, Terence Crawford faces fellow undefeated super lightweight titleholder, Julius Indongo. This is a unification bout with the WBA, WBC, WBO, and IBF titles on the line. While this fight looks competitive on paper, Terence Crawford is the overwhelming favorite.

Crawford is widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in all of boxing. His record stands at 31-0, with 22 knockouts. These are gaudy numbers, but Crawford has also competed against skilled opposition.

In 2014, Crawford showed superior skills against Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa, stopping Gamboa in the ninth via TKO. There hasn’t been a single opponent that has threatened Crawford in the ring. He also owns victories over Ricky Burns and Viktor Postol.

Terence Crawford possesses a superior skill set. He has above average power, elite speed and stamina, and precise technique, but Crawford’s biggest asset is his boxing I.Q.

Crawford fights primarily from an orthodox stance, but he frequently switches to southpaw and back. His ability to use both stances affectively makes his boxing style one of the most elusive and difficult to figure out. Crawford’s footwork allows him to switch his stance with ease, but this also provides him multiple angles to attack and evade his opponent. This is a major advantage over a boxer who fights from one stance, which the vast majority do. This one element gives Crawford an edge over other boxers.

Crawford is not the fastest starter, but there is a reason behind his pacing. In rounds one and two, he usually throws a low number of punches and occasionally gets hit by his opponent. In rounds three, four, and five, Crawford takes over and dominates until the end of the fight.

He uses the first few rounds to time his opponent. He gets a feel for their power, speed, and punch combinations. Then, he calculates a plan of attack with pinpoint accuracy. His fight against Hank Lundy demonstrates this pattern well. Lundy had some early success against Crawford, but by round three, he was getting picked apart. Crawford stopped Lundy in round five.

Crawford’s WBC and WBO titles are on the line against Indongo.

Julius Indongo’s IBF and WBA titles are on the table for this fight. Indongo’s numbers look good, but are misleading. He has a record of 22-0, with 11 knockouts. Indongo is undefeated, but his boxing resume is weak.

The only boxer of merit that Indongo has beaten is Ricky Burns. He defeated Burns by unanimous decision in April to add the WBA title to his collection. Other than Burns, Indongo hasn’t fought any top boxers. His record is inflated with subpar opposition.

Indongo is from Namibia, a small country in southern Africa. He has fought there in all but two of his fights. He is a sheltered fighter who lacks experience on a championship stage and is on the road for only the third time of his career against Crawford. To make matters worse, he is fighting Crawford in Crawford’s home state of Nebraska. If by some miracle Indongo is able to be competitive against Crawford, he most likely won’t get the decision.

Indongo is a fighter that’s been protected throughout his entire eight-year career, but Crawford will expose him. Indongo is the definition of a paper champion. He lacks the skills of a legitimate champion.

Indongo has decent hand speed, but he lacks power. There are major holes in his technique that Crawford will exploit. Indongo lunges with his punches, which opens up his stance and makes him off balance. He likes to throw a looping left-cross that he telegraphs and he also looks down when he throws this left-cross. This leaves Indongo blind to punches coming his way. His style will be easy for Crawford to solve.

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Indongo is a southpaw, which gives conventional boxers trouble — but Crawford is anything but conventional. Crawford is a technical mastermind who is going to dominate Indongo. Indongo will be overwhelmed by Crawford. There is a good chance that Indongo’s defensive liabilities will make him an easy target for Crawford. Look for Crawford to stop Indongo in the later rounds.

Nothing in this world comes fully guaranteed, but a Terence Crawford victory against Julius Indongo is about as close as you will ever get.