Crawford Dominates Over Postol
By: Sean Crose
Things started on Saturday’s pay per view card at the MGM Grand in Vegas with undefeated Ukrainian light heavyweight Oleksandr Gvozdyk (10-8) facing off against Tommy Karpency (26-5-1) in a ten rounder. Karpency, who had lost to big names like Adonis Stevenson and Nathan Cleverly, stunned a great many people by dropping and hurting Gvozdyk in the first. Gvozdyk composed himself well, however – working his man efficiently from there on in and wrapping things up with a knockout win – via body blow – in the 6th.
That bout was followed with Francisco Santana (24-4-1) and Jose Benavidez Jr. (24-0) facing of in a 10 round welterweight affair. Needless to say, Benavidez, who had burned away some good will, came out looking magnificent the first several rounds. His shots were so hard and sharp, they almost hurt to watch. The fight didn’t continue going that way through. For Santana kept coming…and coming…and coming. Benavidez, on the other hand, was hot and cold throughout the bout, spending much time on the ropes.
In the end, however, it was Benavidez who did enough to pull off the unanimous decision win. Why one judge gave Benevidez a score of 100-90, however, is flabbergasting.
Moving on with the festivities, 20-0 Matias Rueda next stepped into the ring to meet 19-0 Oscar Valdez for the WBO Featherweight title. Valdez moved in like a terror, chopping away at his opponent. Rueda, a tough, game guy, survived the round. Needless to say, he didn’t make it through the second. A body shot took him down first. Then another body shot took him down again. The fight, which was simply Tysonesque, was then wisely stopped.
It was finally time for the main event. Omaha’s Terrence Crawford (28-0) met the Ukraine’s Viktor Postol (28-0) to unify – at least a large portion of – the junior middleweight titles (the WBC and WBO, respectively). The crowd was clearly pro Crawford and rather electric for a fight that was somewhat under the radar of casual fans. Sure enough, the atmosphere had risen to the occasion.
The first quarter of the fight was fairly even. Postol dominated the distance for the most part, but when Crawford was able to land, it was impressive. The fifth, however, began with a flash knockdown of Postol. Crawford was on fire and knocked Postol down again. The round was all Crawford’s. Postol ended up on his feet, but the Nebraska native’s shots were proving to be too fast and hard. Postol did a bit better in the 6th, but Crawford was still in control.
The second half of the fight made it clear that it was essentially an easy night at the office for Crawford. Indeed, the bout became completely one sided. Crawford was so fast, hit so hard, and employed such effective lateral movement that Postol looked like he wished he was someplace else, so confused and overwhelmed was he.
Sure enough, that was all there was to say. It was an absolutely dominant performance from Crawford. Some may say Viktor Postol was over-rated (like many top fighters, Crawford is accused of being hyped) but that’s nonsense. Postol is an excellent fighter. Crawford is simply a great fighter. That’s why he earned a well-deserved unanimous decision victory on Saturday.